I just found out that this week is Invisible Illness Week. I have a few invisible illnesses. I am going to cover EDS at my EDS blog, Please Tape Me Back Together. I will be doing fibromyalgia at my fibro blog, Smart Fibro Chick.
I'm a bit frustrated right now, because every time I get my subluxed wrist back in, typing knocks it right back out. So I have to type with one hand or type with one wrist subluxed. So. for now, I'm typing one-handed.
I've got quite a few invisible illnesses, other than EDS and fibromyalgia. My other invisible illnesses include: PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), Chronic pain, Epilepsy, TMJ Dysfunction, Bipolar, Migraines, Bruxism, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), SI (Self-Injury), social anxiety, panic attacks, C-PTSD (Complex-Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. I have a lot to pick from (more than I'd like) but I still want can't decide between two of them. I've only recently started talking more about Bipolar. So, without further ado...
1. The illness I live with is: Bipolar I ultraradian rapid cycling (learn more about Bipolar I here and more about rapid cycling here and more about ultraradian rapid cycling here)
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2000 - the year I went on disability
3. But I had symptoms since: age 10
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: everything! My goals changed, my performance in school changed, I quit being able to work. I have to deal with people acting like I'm stupid or crazy because I have bipolar, as if they are better than me. It is even more frustrating to be talked down to or treated like I'm stupid when my IQ is much higher than the majority of people's.
5. Most people assume: that people with mental illness are violent. That is far from the truth. In reality, people with mental illness are more likely to be the victims of violence that the perpetrators.
6. The hardest part about mornings are: knowing I have another day ahead of me. Sometimes that is hard, but most of the time that is a good thing.
7. My favorite medical TV show is: Scrubs. I used to watch House until they did the two part episode with House in the mental hospital. It gave me horrible flashbacks and I haven't watched House since.
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: the computer. it's my link to the outside world. I can't leave the house often because my pain levels are so high-I'm nearly homebound from EDS and fibro. I get a lot of support online.
9. The hardest part about nights are: the way my mind can suddenly turn dark, my thoughts racing downwards, into a nightmare from hell.
10. Each day I take __ pills & vitamins. (No comments, please) 27
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: Meditate, take fish oil, write. I don't want to mix my meds with anything herbal.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: Almost anything if I didn't have to deal with mental illness anymore.
13. Regarding working and career: I went on disability in 2000. I cannot work from my bipolar, EDS, C-PTSD, epilepsy, and fibro.
14. People would be surprised to know: That the majority of the most artistic people in history-writers, poets, artists, actors, actresses, etc.-are or were bipolar.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: not being what I could have been. There are a lot of doors that are closed to me because I can't handle the stress that goes with them.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: go to grad school!
17. The commercials about my illness: make it sound like you pop a pill and your bipolar is okay. What a lie! Bipolar is a constant internal struggle. Medicine and therapy help, but it's always there.
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: I don't know. I've been bipolar since age 10 and was diagnosed at 19. I'm 30 now.
19. It was really hard to have to give up: my dream of a really good school
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: crocheting helped my hands have something to do in the past when I was manic. I took up writing right at the beginning.
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: I don't know what normal feels like. :-)
22. My illness has taught me: No one is better than anyone else.
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: when they joke about someone who is moody and say something alone the lines of "Well isn't she acting bipolar?" Bipolar isn't a joke. Bipolar can destroy almost every life it touches. I think in that way I was fortunate that my bipolar started so early, because I've learned how to handle the ups and downs better that some.
24. But I love it when people: Just say something like "Oh, I heard that Bipolar is pretty rough. Hope tomorrow is a better day for you."
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: "Tomorrow's another day, and I'm thirsty anyway, so bring on the rain." ~JoDee Messina
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: I'd like to say that it gets better, but with a lot of people it doesn't. For me it did get better. The best thing you can do is to educate yourself and learn your symptoms of mania, depression, and a mixed state.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: How uncomfortable people still are when you mention mental illness
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: Sister Renita visited me once when I was having a very hard time. Her visit meant so much.
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: So many of us have invisible illnesses yet no one wants to talk about them, especially mental illness. I think this should change.
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: honored! I hope that when you meet someone who is bipolar you realize a few things you didn't know before or if you are bipolar, know that you are not alone!
Throughout the week I will be doing blogs on Bipolar for Invisible Illness Week.