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Mozphoto


Member

Posted Sat Jun 12th, 2010 6:38pm Post subject: A place for carers

At last she sleeps. It's about 1pm here in Toronto and my fiance has finally fallen asleep. I almost want to laugh when I hear people say that it is impossible to go more than a few days without sleep. I've even heard doctors say it. This time, it was five days for her. Five whole days.

I can't believe I feel guilty when I sleep. I keep feeling that I should be staying up and toughing it out with her so she doesn't feel so alone. I know that it is unrealistic, but there it is.

Now the only thing I really have to worry about (well actually, I've got shitloads to worry about but, the immediate worry) is that the cats might get it into their heads that they want her attention, much deserved and needed sleep be damned. Cats are so evil and yet so cute and cuddly. That would make an interesting sci-fi story. Cat's evolving a-la "Planet of the Apes" and ruling over humans. But I digress.

Near the end of her last stretch of insomnia, I woke up one morning (5am) to discover that she'd disappeared. Brown shorts time. I saw that she'd had the pressence of mind to take her cel. Kept calling her for 5 minutes before she answered. She sounded half asleep (slurring words occasional mumbling of nonsense) and didn't even know where she was. Amazingly, got her to focus long enough to look for some kind of landmark. A school. Looked it up online. A school over an hour's walk away (Sunday, that early no bus service). Which meant she'd been wandering in a sleep deprived daze for at least an hour.

When I finally found her, I had to keep reminding myself "don't yel at her, don't yell at her, don't yell at her..." and half carried her home. As we passed an all-night coffee shop a block away from our apartment, she suddenly pulled away from me and stridently announced that she wanted, nay needed, a hot chocolate and a chocolate eclair. "Don't yell at her, don't yell at her...".

Finally got her home, left her on the couch, enjoying her drink and pastry to go to the washroom. Came out to find her passed out, chocolate eclair smeared all over her. In other circumstances, the sight of my fiance covered in whipped cream and chocolate icing would have filled me with joy (isn't she wonderful? once again catering to my kinky predilictions), not this time. "Don't yell at her, don't yell at her...."


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katysara


Moderator

Posted Thu Jun 17th, 2010 7:58pm Post subject: A place for carers

Aww hon, it is so strange to hear this from the other person's perspective. You wouldn't hear me telling you people don't sleep for days on end. My record is 8 days - and I was in hospital at the time and nobody took a bit of notice, even though I was a wandering zombie after about 3 days.

I am sorry that you have this to deal with, but heartened to read that you ARE dealing with it - absolutely and unequivocately you are there for her and I wish I could find someone like you. She is indeed very lucky.

You are right, don't yell at her, but find a way to yell at bipolar disorder, don't sit on those feelings or you will resent her. I guess writing the above post will have helped you vent those emotions so I would encourage you to keep writing about how you feel, whether you share it or not. But do vent.

With great respect,

KSx

I am an administrator on this site.

"Having a great intellect is no path to being happy."
~ Stephen Fry

See my website: www.katysaraculling.com

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Mozphoto


Member

Posted Thu Jun 17th, 2010 11:11pm Post subject: A place for carers

It is incredibly frustrating. I sometimes think I'm the only person in her life that cares one fig about her emotional well being. For example:

Her adopted father was a fairly wealthy man. At one point a very respected politician who was considered one of only a few that stood a chance of running against Pierre Trudeau (For those of you not familiar with the history of Canadian politics, Trudeau, in his prime, was a law unto himself). He chose the security of a job over politics for the sake of his family and was a big executive at one of Canada's biggest corporation (was actually still a monopoly until about a decade ago).

Unfortunately while her father wanted a daughter, it seems fairly obvious that his wife did not. Any opportunity my fiance had to shine in her life was in some way squashed by her adopted mother. Blatantly screwed her out of a scholarship with the Royal Canadian Opera Company because (her own words) she just didn't care.

Her father passed away some time ago, before I met her (pity, from what she's told me about him, we probably would have liked each other), and her mother promptly began to disown her. She also refuses to acknowledge any of (let's call my fiance vixen for the sake of privacy and to minimize pronoun confusion) Vixen's conditions.

I have been trying over the past few years to create some kind of peaceful relationship between them but, it seems that my efforts have been wasted. During a recent phone call, Vixen asked her mother if maybe, if she didn't mind, could we please use the family cottage for a couple of days this summer? Her mother's response was (I am not making this up) "Your father is dead. The cottage is mine now, and I only invite people to it that I like."

How's that for a good swift kick to the yahoos?

Needless to say this led to a wonderful (sarcasm) downswing in Vixen's mood which lasted long enough for me to be quite worried. Vixen's mood did improve, slowly. I've got to try to make sure she doesn't talk much about or to her mother. Extremely difficult because her mother posted her bail (after trying to have her committed to an asylum). Bitch.


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katysara


Moderator

Posted Fri Jun 18th, 2010 6:57pm Post subject: A place for carers

She does sound like a prime time BITCH to me too! Wow.

You are not alone anymore - you have us. Not much but a faint glimmer of hope, I hope.

KSx

I am an administrator on this site.

"Having a great intellect is no path to being happy."
~ Stephen Fry

See my website: www.katysaraculling.com

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xxx Simon xxx


Member

Posted Sun Jun 20th, 2010 1:54am Post subject: A place for carers

Hello, my name is Simon and I'm new to the website.
I have experience in mental health from 'both sides of the fence' - since I started working in the healthcare 'arena' early in my professional life, and only recently discovered that I'd suffered with deep depression that predated most of my childhood.

Can I tell you that it is my humble but battle-torn view that you guys are the unsung heros - those sent to the frontline with inadequate and sometime incorrect information to fight in a battle that you believe in so blindly that even though it at times it make you doubt the very core of your being, you cannot (for its reasons lie with your purpose, not your name), give into loosing that battle.

I respect and salute you, and look forward to the time when we all find peace.

"We only exist as the stories we write about ourselves XX"

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marzgirl


Member

Posted Tue Jul 13th, 2010 11:08pm Post subject: A place for carers

His Simon and everyone. I have been away and just caught up. I bought this book to try to learn to be more supportive for my son. It says "Understanding and helping your partner." Well obviously being his mom I am his partner in this and did not think too much of the title.

I have learned some things from it, but it is really geared more towards adult partners. Anyway, here is the amazonuk link for it and it looks like there are many more to choose from on this subject.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Loving-Someone-Bipolar-Dis.....amp;sr=1-1

XXXXXXXX

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
~Martin Luther King Jr.~

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marzgirl


Member

Posted Thu Jul 15th, 2010 1:07am Post subject: A place for carers

Hey y'all!!! Here is a song that really reminds me of my son. I think it illustrates what the bipolar person might be going through. As carers we want to help so bad that we are willing to try and go as far as we can into their place so we can just grab them up and pull them out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbyBZR8chBE

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
~Martin Luther King Jr.~

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Wilde Woman


Member

Posted Fri Oct 22nd, 2010 11:28pm Post subject: A place for carers

Timothy Grayson said:
Good evening. I'm not sure if I'll be welcomed here as I don't have bi-polar disorder myself, but my mother has been sectioned due to numerous episodes over the past 5 years. I love my mum, but sometimes when she's in the grasp of full-mania she frightens me. I often find it difficult to cope (which makes me feel like a coward), but as her next of kin I desperately want to be courageous; I want to be there for her, and know I should be but [as awful as it sounds] when I'm crying myself to sleep because of something her illness has made her say, who's there to console me? People always say they're 'there for me' but how could they possibly understand how lonely it is?

So, my friends, does anybody know of any decent freephone numbers / organisations offering support for carers? I know I need some.

My Mum was severely ill throughout most of my life. You are far from alone. I wish I had had someone to explain things when I was a child. You are welcome to contact me anytime if you need to chat. I won't pretend to understand what it's like for you because... it's your Mum, not mine. And in any case, even in families people react differently in order to cope.

Feel free, anytime.

Mel

My Blogsites:
http://mindwalking-ajournalofdiscovery.blogspot.com/
It's the one who haven't been assessed I'm scared of!

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elTweeno


Member

Posted Mon Jan 31st, 2011 2:31pm Post subject: A place for carers

Hi guys

I'm back, and I have a new problem that I've never quite dealt with before.

Those of you who know me know I'm Bipolar (hence the long absences) and those of you who've known me a long time know that I spent most of my adolescence caring for my my mother (who is probably also Bipolar, just undiagnosed and determined to remain so.)

I've managed that, moved away 4 years ago, and had a turbulent but certainly refreshing and 'free' time finding myself and working out my own world. I thought I could use those 'survival' skills I'd learned in dealing with my mother to deal with anything, simply adapting them to the situation. It's done me huge favours in my youth work, so why not with anyone close to me?

Well, there's the issue.

6 months ago I met the guy who, not to sound soppy, I think I was always meant to find. I'm absolutely in love, and he certainly loves and cares about me more than anyone else ever has. He's seen me when I'm low, when I'm hypomanic and he's dealt with the random moodswings in between like an absolute star. When we first met, and I told him about my condition and my past, he told me in return that he's suffered from Clinical Depression in the past, and has considered suicide more than once. "Not a problem," I thought, "I can empathise with that."

Well, I can. Most of the time I can cheer him up or distract him, and I know when he needs to talk and when he doesn't. The big problem has come now - I've had a major downswing brewing for a while, and over the weekend it definitely hit. Big Time. But yesterday, all the little things finally caught up with my boyfriend too; he got himself frustrated while cooking something he can usually do with his eyes shut, and he totally shut himself away. So, even though I had no social abilities, I forced myself to be there, look after him, and of course I really wanted him to be ok - especially when the 'S' word came into the picture.

The problem really is that, although I love him and I can force myself to do that even in my darkest moments, I can't retain the energy to do it for long enough, however hard I try. I can't let him spot that I'm unwell right now, he'll worry and that's a dangerous spiral - I just want the energy to look after him the way he has for me so many times.

Any carers willing to give me some advice? Like KS said earlier, it is so weird to see this type of thing from the other side, and right now I just don't have the capacity I need (which obviously makes me feel even worse).

Thanks.

eT

I'm also on Twitter: elTweeno (of course!)

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Mandala


Inactive

Posted Fri Apr 29th, 2011 4:05am Post subject: A place for carers

Dear eT,

Apologies no one has seen this thread yet, and by now the moment has passed but the question was asked. You wouldn't think it going in, but care giving really is one of those things can isolate people emotionally who are experiencing it. Lots of couples and families go through is-it-my-turn-to-panic? moments.

There are some of us out there that for whatever reason end up being the flexible reed that doesn't break as easily as the ones next to us. No one starts off that way, but eventually you recognize when you've developed a little of that flexibility because you end up the one facing the wind when it's your turn. You do it sometimes because you love someone else who is falling behind and you'd do just about anything to pad their descent. You take on more responsibility or listen more, or bite your tongue more and before you know it that's your baseline. If you're still coping, you can give a little more than you expected, often more than you ever could before. Growing is a progression.

There's another term for that, too. What some people mistake it for. "Tall Poppy." This is also how the quiet carers usually meet their crash. It isn't the big things. It's the little ones. Bad drivers. Annoying movie theater people. Missed phone calls. Burned dinner. People who want to see miss sunshine fall over in a heap.

The coping skill needed in long term care giving is different from emergency management. It's how not to bend so much that you lose your responsibility to yourself. In a relationship, you're going for endurance.

Learning not to feel guilty about leaving someone alone long enough to get some fresh air once in a while is a critical skill in care giving. Not feeling guilt immediately after that you hit a limit when people are used to you being the human dispenser of sunshine is another.

There are times, especially in family and relationships when you really do have to give until it hurts because it's just the right thing to do, and you know in the end you are the stronger or younger or more fit one emotionally who can take the hit. But when you get to that point where you know you are delaying that snap in the reed through sheer willpower, the balance of that is to listen often. Check in with yourself occasionally to make sure ignoring your own needs isn't driving you out of energy you need even faster.

Remind yourself it's the responsible thing to do. Go for a walk. Make room for sunshine and birds singing. Talk to someone removed from the situation, especially about something totally unrelated. Have a plan, like a fire escape drill, a categorical system of coping strategies that you can fall back on without becoming dependent on them. Music that works for you. A book you like but have kept partly unread for when you need to be absorbed. Chocolate. Hobbies. If you don't have family you can lean on, keep a list of older people you can call to cheer up because they honestly won't care what the hell you talk about. Of course if they're a little off it works best. You get all sorts of hilarious unfiltered narratives and eventually you can help each other out. If there's one group of people who know what it's like to be tired, it's the elderly. Puts things into a different perspective.

Above all remember what it feels like when you are happy. Make a conscious effort to stop and memorize those happy seconds so they are nearby.

Remind yourself often how odd and wonderful and really quite insignificant a lot of the problems we obsess over really are in the grand scheme of Tsunamis and Earthquakes and Darfur and whatever causes rally you back to your purpose. Above all, remember that we're all in this together, even the people who think otherwise, and you have the advantage if you know it.

Hope it helps!


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elTweeno


Member

Posted Fri May 20th, 2011 4:53pm Post subject: A place for carers

Thanks Mandala!

That really helped, but I can't quite figure out how to express it in words.

I'm just returning to normal - via the usual slight downswing - after a typically Ultradian few weeks, probably triggered by moving home and all of the related stress.

Ironically, just as I resigned myself to monitoring the downswing, my boyfriend was signed off work for 2 works with depression, which doesn't seem to be improving and in fact worsens with every little new 'problem' he encounters. Again, I can sympathise, and I'm working to help him however I can - but also, with your advice and learning from that last experience 3 months ago, I'm feeling far more able to cope.

Thank you!

eT

I'm also on Twitter: elTweeno (of course!)

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Vampyros


Member

Posted Sun Jun 26th, 2011 9:59pm Post subject: A place for carers

OK finally sorry for the delay. Blame a certain management company u know who u are. - STILL WAITING.

Anyway deadline for submissions - 31st July 2011

Reviewing for 1 week then sent to proofreaders then publishers.

Any questions/submission etc email KatySaraCullingTributeBook@yahoo.co.uk

This info is available on Twitter @Vampaj @NorthEastMood and Facebook Amanda Groves, NorthEastMoodOrganisation Guinness Groves and Techkit IT Consultancy and on Katy's page Katy-Sara Culling,

To reiterate we have the full support of Katy's closest friends and family - they are approving at every stage.

One of our own members MrCartoonGuy is designing the cover.

Please get involved,
Thank you,
Amanda Groves
Vampyros.
xoxoxoxoxo

The Katy Sara Culling Tribute is ready in e-Book form http://chipmunkapublishing.co.uk/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=2326 Charity/Bipolar

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marzgirl


Member

Posted Thu Dec 29th, 2011 2:12am Post subject: A place for carers

Hey yall! For those that don't know me I have severe depression and my 13 year old son is bipolar.
Here is the new thing....My husband and I have been having issues for a while. Everything for him has to be black or white, he is very regimented, he is an astro engineer, monotone voice.......Anyway, for the last year or so I have wondered if he is Aspergers. We got into yet another heated arguement and I just blurted this out to him. I explained that I was not in any way putting him down, that I thought this might be a real possibility.
He asked why I thought this was possible and I rattled off a bunch of things including his lack of empathy. He asked what the difference is between empathy and sympathy so I explained. He totally did not get the concept. Case in point I think.

I obviously failed in my approach to bring up my suspicion. Does anyone have any experience talking to a partner about the possibility of them having an undiagnosed condition?

Really in need of some help if anyone has anything. I am at my breaking point with him but we have a family. I cannot just toss all that out but I also cannot keep living like this.

Thnx Marz XXXX

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
~Martin Luther King Jr.~

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