Brenda W's Story


             My name is Brenda. As I sit here and try to figure out how I want to tell my story the memories come flooding back. They are not easy to bear with so please bear with me.


I think I remember when my first episode happened when I was 14 years old. Of course my mother would say different but this is my story. I remember because I did not know what to do I was in such a manic state that no one would even come near me. They thought I was a nut. So to deal with this I began drinking (the drugs would come later) the drinking quickly began my only escape, when I was manic this was the only way I could figured out how to come down some. When I stop drinking the depression came crashing down around me. I had nobody there to help me with this. My parents where always with my sister who was terminally ill so I was on my own. As I look back I wish my parents would have seen something anything then maybe I would not have had to go though all I did. I am not one to go into specific stories just the facts. By this time I was 17, I was a full blown alcoholic and that's when the drugs came in. I still to this very day do not know how I made it though high school  and then some collage. The alcohol did not work to keep me in check so I needed something else, so here I was not knowing what is actually wrong with me. Just knowing I wasnít right. I did not fit in, and someone introduced me to crack well my god I thought I found my answer, but that was short lived, after about 6 months of that I was to the point where I could not even get enough of the crack and/or the alcohol. So now came the time when I had to start finding ways to deal with these manic episodes got into alot of trouble even with the law. I was about 18 or19 somewhere around there. I was still an addict but I thought well if I can find someone who really loves me then they will help me, right. Wrong I met someone, a drinking partner and we had are first baby. I still had not been diagnosed yet. After my first child I went and seen a phcytrist after trying many medications for depression I still did not feel better. That is when I became suicidal I tried twice to kill myself. On my third hospitalaltion is when they told me I was bipolar I also started having anxiety attacks. I was put on depakote and zanax. My this time I had my second child. I was doing better. In 1992 Feb. 3rd to be exact I went into a detox this was not my first one but it was my last one. I have been sober since almost 9 years. That is when I stayed on my meds. and began working on myself. In all this mess I did have one more child who now at the age of ten is diagnosed bipolar. My second child now 13 is diagnosed with ADHD. I lost my sister April 16, 1986, I still miss her today. The man I married Iím still with. He has sobered up. He was as bad a drunk as I was. He was also mentally and sometimes physical abusive. He has changed all that. He took a lot of anger management classes and has become a man I really do love. He understands more of what I go though, because he has to watch his son go though it also. In Jan 1993 his brother who I believe was bipolar killed himself, he hung himself which is only one more lose to are family. After seeing what suicide does to a family I could not image doing this to my children. My children are slowly getting better, my daughter who is 15 now is the best thing to happen to me. The only thing is now I have to deal with my mother who in a year has tried to kill herself 5 times she never even showed a sign of depression until then at the age of 57. I am now 35 years old, I have been sober and stable for nearly 9 years now, and sometimes I feel like Iím going to lose it all. Everything Iíve worked for feels like itís just slipping away and I know I canít let this happen. My life depends on it. I do not have another recovery in me. For now all I can do is stay with my therapy stay on my meds. and pray to God I make though just one more day. For me one day at a time is all I can do, some days I have to take it minute by minute. Thank you for letting me share some of what my life has been being a person who is bipolar and a recovering addict. If I was to sit here and tell you every detail this would probably be one of the longest story told. I honestly believe I could probably write a book and I'm sure a lot of people find they could also. Again thank you for this forum, something I think we all can benefit from. My love to all of us who suffer day in and day out.



Part 2

            I know I said I do not go into specifics but I feel I must .  To do so will help me in progression.

            I to as a teenager had my time as being known as a little promiscuous , for this I am very ashamed. It is not a easy thing to admit. There where times I just wanted someone to love me, so if you told me you loved me then I believed you, even after being hurt so many times I would still believe you. Today when I look back at all the things that I did as teenager Iím lucky to be alive. I can not even begin to tell you how many times I drove drunk and some of these times when I was older with my children in the car with me. Iím so lucky I did not kill someone or myself and of course the kids. The only thing I cared about was about then was where is the next drink and/or drug was coming from.

            There was a time in 1991 that I was in such a manic state that I actually set my own apartment on fire. I do not remember much of it cause I was way out of it. I always told people that I was drunk and passed out, but I know this is not true. I do not know why I set the fire but I did. A lot of my story you will notice I go back and forth from adult hood to my teenage years. Iím just writing it as I remember it. I also remember having friends who really werenít my friends if I had booze or drugs they were always there, if I had nothing or tried to quit they were always gone. It really hurt to find out who were your real friends, and to this very day I can with great honestly say I only have one friend who has stuck my me though thick and thin. So Deb I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Oh and let me not forget my husband Tom we have been though hell and back but we will always be there for each other for the rest of are lives cause that is were love , respect, and finally trust has bought us.


                 Part 3                      


            As life has thrown itís blows at me. I taken them in and indured them. So now for past nine years of my life I work with a therapist. I of course have had a few, but for the most part I have been lucky. I have had mainly three therapist over these past nine years and two of them have really helped me though a lot of issues. I give a lot of credit to the first therapist she really helped me get though the years of the post traumatic stress disorder caused by the domestic abuse. The flash backs were are a real scary thing to go though. Thankfully the flash backs were only in the first few years of my recovery and stabilization. They were hard to get though it was hard to leave my home. I was always afraid of either having a flash back or an anxiety attack. With years of work hard work my therapist and me were able to get me to a point were I was starting to recover. I must also say that at that time my medication for the flash backs and anxiety attacks was high. I was taken 4 mg of zanax a day, some days more I was not suppose to, but I had to. My depakote was up 2000 mg a day. This was no easy feat to come off the zanax when the time came. I went from the 4 mg a day down to 1.5 mg a day. My first therapist helped get a lot of the anger out I had when my sister died. The weekend my sister died I had spent about two and half days there. We knew she was going to die this time. She had been in the hospital so many times before I could not even begin count. So on the this third day my mother called my husband and told him to come and take me home to get some sleep. I did not know my mother had called him till he had shown up. We were a good forty-five miles away from home. I was furious he actually came to get me. I refused to go, but it was turning into a fight and I didnít want that there. This was in 1986 so we were drinking heavy at the time and not yet diagnosed. We fought the hole way home. When I got home it was late so I laid down on my bed. Big mistake I fell asleep. Well after being up for almost three days straight I slept probably about two hours at the most. I heard that phone ring on the first ring. My husband tried to get it before it could wake me, but I had heard it and nobody needed tell what the phone call was about. Instead of crying, my sister had just died I was mad, mad as hell. Who gave my mother and my husband the right to take me away from her. I wanted to be with her, but no they decided I needed to get some sleep. Well my mother didnít leave she had been there just as long. What gave them the right to take that away from me ~ They did not have the right and I had to find a way to forgive them and say bye to my sister. This took quite some time. In the end after about a good solid three years of therapy I was able to let go of most of that anger. I say most because when the memories come back so vivid as they are now some of the anger is still there, but is not an anger that consumes me. I have worked though the major part of this and I believe that is why Iím able to write about it. I have found that any of the issues with me are a lot easier to write about when Iím more at ease with the issue.


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