Bipolar: The Priority Thief

•October 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I have a teenager at home that I’m supposed to be homeschooling.  He signed up for all virtual classes which pretty much got me off the hook because I’m just not suited to the whole home schooling set-up.  It’s a long story how we got into it in the first place, but let’s just say I had no choice or I would never have done it. 

Now, unfortunately, he’s dropped out of all of his courses but one and I really need to pick up the slack in a big way, but I’m failing miserably.  I let days go by without a lesson because I’m distracted with my own things.  You see, even though it’s very difficult for me, I try to do some little jobs to bring in extra money.  It keeps me distracted.  But that’s not the only reason.  I have hobbies that keep me sane.  I get wrapped up in them and the internet and get lost.  The next thing  I know I’ve let my kid get away with not turning in work and haven’t given the next lesson. 

I really don’t know what I’m going to do.  If the state were to check up on me, I suppose I could go to jail for my failure to have him substantially “in school”.  But worse than that, what am I doing to my child?  How is he going to cope next term when he returns to school?  Will they even let him?  I’m scared and lost.  I wish there was someone safe I could talk to about it.  I may just have to bite the bullet and talk to the director of the home school program.  But that is a very dangerous course of action.  I just don’t know. 

I wish I wouldn’t keep forgetting his schooling.  I’m not a bad mother.  I just get tired and I let things slip.  If we could get on some sort of schedule it would help.  I need a regular schedule to function well.  But my son has chronic insomnia so he is up and down at all hours.  I can’t keep up.  I’m becoming despondent/terrified.  Don’t you love Bipolar emotions?  I don’t.

Freelancing Foibles

•September 29, 2009 • Leave a Comment

It’s time to start writing and I’m grinding like a granite wheel through the texts I need to do the chapter.  The articles are not so bad, but there’s this book I’m supposed to use and it’s such a slow read.  It’s very interesting and if I was just reading it for my own information, I’m sure I wouldn’t have to reread passages and take so many notes.  But, like with so many technical things, my short term memory is not so great and I just don’t retain the information.  This, of course, adds stress.  And naturally I had to get sick and get behind on my schedule.  More stress.

But I suppose if it was easy to do then I could work full-time and make a “normal” living instead of eking out little bits of income here and there to help me pay the bills.  You know my health insurance went up $185.00 a month.  I don’t know how I’m going to pay that.  I could try to get more jobs, but there’s never any guarantee and working a lot of little jobs can almost as stressful as one big one.  I know the insurance company is trying to weed me out because of my diagnosis.  It’s so unfair.  They hardly have to pay anything related to it – just the drugs, and those are all generic now.  I’m really scared.  I can’t afford it, but I can’t afford to be without it because of my diagnosis.  No one decent will take you on with that as a pre-existing condition.  I’ve tried to find other health care, but I haven’t had any luck at all.  I’ve just gotten more frustrated.

So, I’m off track again.  Nature of the beast.  I wish I could think of a more effective way to approach the research for this chapter.  I feel like the fool that Tony Robbins is always talking about.  The one who keeps trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  I guess the best thing for me to do is to just stick my nose in that book and get it done.  If I get tired I can read articles or do some formatting that still needs to be done.    I wish I wasn’t so distractable.  Sometimes I can’t even make it through a paragraph without having to get up and do something that I just thought of.  Ain’t bipolar fun?

Bipolar & ADHD meet Freelancing

•September 19, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I don’t know if I’ve told you or not, but I sometimes do little freelance writing projects for extra money.  I always think it’s going to be “do-able” and it always turns out to be such a push- me- pull -you.  I don’t know why, but working for someone else is so hard.  I can sit down and write 4000 words on a story I made up in my head, or 1000 words here about being Bipolar, but when it comes to work, it practically hurts to do it.  I took on this big project because I really need the money and I’m suffering.  so far, it’s really not that hard, but I’m going to have to do some writing soon and I know it’s going to be like pulling teeth.  I have to fight the distractibility and concentration issues constantly.  I’m lucky to get 2  1/2 hours a day logged in.  I really need to get this project done so that I can get paid and also, I did give a certain time frame that I would be done in.  I think that pressure has something to do with it too.  If it was fiction, it wouldn’t be so hard.  I wrote 5000 words for a guy over about 3 days which included all the editing and formatting and didn’t really have a problem until it came to getting paid. lol.  Normally, I go through a broker, but I met this guy some other way and had done stories for him before.  This was just the biggest and he didn’t want to pay for all of my time.  So, I kept the story under my copyright.  I’m off the subject a little here. 

So, why do you suppose it is so hard to work, when it is not so difficult to do other things like read, watch videos, or even write fiction?  Stress.  Stress has to be the answer.  There is no pressure to do a good job, or hurry, or whatever when I write my stories.  But when I write for someone else, I have all of those stressors.  I’m constantly worried that they’ll find out I’m really a fraud with no talent at all.  (Of course none of that explains why I can’t do the laundry.  I guess that’s just a bipolar mystery.)  Anyway, I’ve committed myself to writing two, maybe three new chapters in two different books.  I’m getting a little worked up over that.  As soon as I finished editing and reformatting the first book, that’s when I’ll start.  Maybe that’s why it’s taking me so long to finish the editing.   I’m shaking just thinking about it.  I’d better quit  “playing” and get to work if I’m ever going to get paid.  Wish me luck.  I’m going to need it – and a steady supply of Klonopin. lol.

The ADDiva is a New Grandma

•July 11, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I read this great blog by a woman who calls herself the ADDiva.  She seems to have totally embraced her ADD/ADHD.  Her post was about whether she should act more grown up for her soon to be born grandchild.  And, of course, what to nickname herself!  It’s a great post and worth the read.  See The Name Game.

ADHD and Bipolar Disorder: Relationship Killers?

•July 11, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Let’s talk about men.  Since I’ve been diagnosed, I’ve been out with three men, well four if you count that one lunch I had with a guy I decided not to see again.  But I’m talking about three that I actually told about me.  All three had different reactions.  I met all of them through online dating services.  Same pattern too, we’d talk by email, then by phone, getting to know and like one another, and then we’d meet. 

 With the first, it was instant attraction, boy we really hit it off.  We lived in different cities so we took turns traveling back and forth to see each other.  This gave us some really concentrated, quality time together when we did see each other.  It was after our second meeting, when I returned home, that I began to feel wrong about not telling him the truth about my condition.  I mean, it hadn’t caused any problems, but I did have to hide taking my medications from him, and I take them three times a day.  Anyway, I thought I might rather break up with him than tell him the truth, it seemed so hard.  I just liked him so much and he made me so happy.  But somehow, I guess since it was weighing so heavily on my mind, it just came up in the conversation that night and I told him everything.  When he had caught his breath, he said he didn’t want to stop seeing me.  I was elated.  We dated another four months before he was transferred across country.  I can’t say things would have worked out.  I know he wasn’t pleased with my lack of organization and my wreck of a house (it’s much better now, but still highly disorganized and cluttered).  But I think we made each other happy and that’s what counts; I know I was the happiest I think I’ve ever been.  But that’s a moot point, isn’t it.  The point of this vignette is that telling your story can work out for the best.

The second man I told took it completely in stride as though it was nothing.  He had already decided – without even meeting me in person – that he wanted to marry me.  He was an Asian American who was looking for a wife to be with him in his later years ( he was only 53).  When we met, he never changed his mind.  We saw each other for about three months, but my feelings never quite matched his and I had to call it off.  Too bad, considering he was offering me not only marriage, but to take care of my special needs as well – without judging me.  He was a very kind and giving gentlemen and I will always be sad that it didn’t work out between us.

The third fellow I believe I may have mentioned briefly before.  We met on the internet, had long searching talks on the phone and finally met in person.  It went well, though not what I would characterize as instant attraction.  Still I think we both wanted to continue to see each other as we continued to telephone and text each other daily.  Finally, after much badgering by him about why I quit practicing law, I just told him.  He had a million questions which I did my best to answer, but which I know were woefully inadequate to convey my situation without at the same time sounding “sick”.  He never called again.  I called once and we had a good conversation, just regular stuff.  Still no calls, so I texted him asking him for some closure.  I asked him to do me the favor of letting me know that we were done because of what I told him.  I thought it was only fair.  He texted back and said he had a lot to think about and would call me.  He never has.  He got what he asked for, and then ran for the hills.  I never expected it of this one. 

It just goes to show you, you never know what is going to happen when you open up and bear your soul.  But relationships have to be built on truth and trust.  It’s unfortunate that our truth happens to be Bipolar and/or ADHD.  We have an invisible illness that is hard for others to understand unless they invest some real time and effort.  That’s hard to find.  Even the first man I talked about didn’t do that.  I functioned normally when I was around him and that was good enough for him.

I’ve been talking to someone else lately.  I met him online, but not through a dating service.  We have a lot in common and we’ve had short conversations over the last couple of years.  But lately, our conversations have taken a turn toward the romantic and I really like it.  He even invited me to a conference out of state.  I was seriously considering going until I found out that, although having serious troubles, he is still married.  Definitely not a relationship for me.  I’m looking for a husband of my own, not someone else’s.  It’s hard enough dealing with Bipolar and ADHD without complicating things like that.  So sad, there seemed so much potential there.  I really admire his work.

So, are Bipolar and ADHD relationship killers.  Yes.  And no.  It all depends on the man and the relationship.  The problem is, you will never know until you take the plunge and bear it all.  Is it unfair?  Yes.  Very.  The stigma  these illnesses carry alone can submarine you before you ever get a chance to explain your own life.  Of course, if you’re like me and you have to justify not working and still explain why you want a relationship (duh) and how you can hope to  maintain one, then you’re almost sunk before you start.  If your beau is an organization fanatic or neatnick you’re also sunk unless he doesn’t mind picking up your occasional slack.  Or better yet,  letting you have your own space and learning to look the other way from your inevitable clutter.

The bottom line here is, you really have to fess up at some point in the relationship.  You want some foundation laid to give him something to hold on to when you do tell, but you don’t want to be so invested that you’re crushed if he can’t take it.  Believe me, I’m smarting over this last guy and all we had was the one lunch and about a month of really intense phone conversations.  Be strong, you can get through it.  I wish I could tell you it gets easier every time you do it, but it doesn’t.  Just like every guy is different, so is every confession.  But you’ll get through it.  Just remember, honesty is best.  You can’t hide it forever, and you don’t want them finding out from any source but you.  Good Luck!

Lost Focus: ADHD at its Finest

•July 7, 2009 • 2 Comments

I have spent another entire day at the computer typing away, blogging, commenting.  Somehow, I’ve managed to eat all of that time and not accomplish anything but a single load of dishes.  Okay, I fixed dinner too, but still.  I sit here and think of how many weeks have gone by since I’ve packed a thing.  I’ve completely lost focus.  I’m supposed to be packing my house to sell it and move, but it just ain’t happening.

What is it about ADHD and bipolar disorder that lets you do that – just not do what you know you need to do?  And it’s not like I’m not scared.  I know the hammer’s gonna fall and I’m not going to be ready.  The worst part is, I have an out and I’m not taking it.  I seem to be waiting for something – I don’t know what.  I need to be proactive and get this show on the road and get my loan modified so I don’t have to move.  The problem is how to go about it.  My mortgage broker says I have to do it myself, a group of lawyers down south want $2500 to do it, and my realtor friend says she may know of some lawyers here that do it.  If I was smart – which I am, I would call my friend back ab out those lawyers until I got some information.  But I just sit on it.  Why?  I want to do it, but I don’t.  Stupid.  Tomorrow I’ll call her for sure. 

I want to talk about focus some more.  When I lose mine, it’s like I don’t even see the thing or chore at all anymore.  It’s gone from my mind completely.  Like packing the house.  I only think about it because I have it on my “to do” list and even then I can feel myself suppressing the thought.  It’s the same with other things.  I can completely forget to do something important over and over, even if it is on my to do list.  It’s like I have blinders on for certain things at certain times.  At other times I can see quite clearly and have no trouble handling those items on my list.  This is a particularly frustrating feature of bipolar and ADHD.  This is especially true if there is a third party tracking your progress and you have to continually say, “no, I haven’t gotten to that yet”. 

I guess the blinders don’t come off until the manic phase, such that it is when you are medicated.  In any event, there do seem to be times when I approach things with greater clarity than at other times.  This is definitely not one of those times.  I’ve been in this fog for weeks now.  I would say I was worried if that emotion wasn’t also foggy and clouded over.  I feel it, but it seems so far away somehow.  The truth is, I can’t afford all this complacence right now.  I have to do something about my house one way or another right away.   I can only afford to live in it another month, maybe two, then I’m in big trouble.

Yet here I sit, blogging, answering email, applying for freelance writing jobs – wait, that’s good.  lol.  But seriously, I’m not doing anything to further my ultimate goal which is either to stay in the house or move.  I think I’ve reached that lovely place where you can’t decide so you don’t decide until circumstances decide for you.  I hate that place.  Not being able to make a decision is the worst feeling.  Talk about disempowering.  Tony Robbins would have a field day.  Of course he says he integrated someone with over 100 personalities in 45 minutes.  I find that hard to believe, even for him.  But I digress.

Let me leave you with this little kernel of wisdom that I’ve picked up over the years.  It may not seem to apply to what we’ve been talking about, but it really does.    God never gives us more than we can handle.  I believe that to be true and it has certainly proven to be so in my life. (Sound funny coming from a crazy woman? :-) )  So, I’m thinking, maybe these little “grey outs” are just one way of handling matters along the way – a way of keeping things from getting too overwhelming.  Of course,  not handling things at all is not an option.  Losing my grip completely is a place I never want to go.  For now, I’ll just keep fighting the grey outs and trying to cope as best I can.  Wish me luck.

•July 7, 2009 • Leave a Comment

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