Friday, September 18, 2009

Invisible Illness

1. The illnesses I live with are: bipolar disorder type 2, borderline personality disorder, provisional diagnosis of intermittent explosive disorder

2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2009

3. But I had symptoms since: Childhood signs of some BPD, but mostly since age 17, on first 2 counts

4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: learning to distance myself from difficult situations and people, times where it would trigger rage or severe fear of abandonment

5. Most people assume: that I'm just not sucking it up enough, or that I just have a bad attitude and I'm seeing reality all wrong (guess what...this IS my reality).

6. The hardest part about mornings are: waking up while on an antopsychotic. makes me so sleepy.

7. My favorite medical TV show is: House

8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: Laptop

9. The hardest part about nights are: calming down my nerves which give my stomach the butterflies feeling, which is much easier on the Risperdal

10. Each day I take _2_ pills & vitamins. I cut out my other stuff, this may change starting Tuesday when I see the doctor again. 2 isn't bad. Risperdal and a B complex.

11. Regarding alternative treatments I: think they can be helpful but I'm not willing to go off all medications due to the symptoms of the disorders

12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: Visible, just non psychiatric. People with psychiatric diagnoses often get told they're lazy, whiny, etc. They aren't "real" disorders.

13. Regarding working and career: Sometimes I need to stop the obsessive cycle of thoughts that is making me anxious, and I take Xanax mostly at work to calm myself down.

14. People would be surprised to know: I can only control so much, and some of my actions are truly beyond my control.

15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: That medication doesn't help BPD too involves learning effective coping skills. Shoot. No easy answer there.

16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: be a good teacher.

17. The commercials about my illness: make it seem so cut and dry.

18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Nothing, because most of these symptoms have been present for as long as I can remember.

19. It was really hard to have to give up: nothing.

20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: meditating with more purpose

21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: say what I need to say when I need to say it without the fear of that person abandoning me forever

22. My illness has taught me: that our bodies are imperfect and so are medications

23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: telling me that I'm just seeing it wrong, and I need to have a better attitude.

24. But I love it when people: ask me what I need, how they can help, and ask me to explain myself so that they can understand more, and don't judge me when I answer honestly.

25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: "Your silence will not protect you." I know I need to speak up and advocate for myself.

26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: that there is hope, but nothing is perfect.

27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: the side effects of medication can be so crazy.

28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: BFF agreeing to have child-free time with me once a week.

29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: I have recently been diagnosed with invisible illnesses.

30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: grateful for people who don't just write me off as a crazy unstable confused-about-religion/sexuality/life person


BarbaraRyan said...

Hey Em! Great list. I live with several Invisible Illnesses myself. It's always good to meet other Femmes who understand and face similar challenges.

Stay AWAP (as well as possible).


Gina said...

Those are some tough things you are dealing with and the fact that you are able to look at them objectively is amazing. My ex husband had BPD, I am sure. But there is absolutely no way that he'd ever admit he had a problem. You are so strong.

Anonymous said...

it is fascinating and strong how honestly and thoughtfully you write about this.

Anonymous said...

it is fascinating and strong how honestly and thoughtfully you write about this.

Anonymous said...

oops, and i am bad at computers ;)

Mockingbird Girl said...


I just found your blog a little earlier today and have been sneaking in reads of it while at work. You and I have quite a bit in common it seems... :

* My name is Emily
* I have bipolar disorder 2, and most likely have some degree of intermittent explosive disorder too (I am prone to have what I would call my "black moods"... not a good thing to be at either end of)
* I struggle with what to call my sexuality. Not my actual sexuality mind you. I'm perfectly comfortable with who I like and what I like to do. More with hating the "bisexual" label but feeling disingenuous saying I'm queer. sigh

I could go on, but need to get back to work. Anyway, just a little note to let you know you're not alone out there...

~ (the other) Em

Miss Emily said...

Another Emily! We do sound alike. I'm glad you found the blog. Welcome!