Elusive suicide recovery

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by tryagain, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    difficult child had been experiencing weeks of good recovery from the suicide attempt and suddenly has regressed to the living nightmare of a bipolar mood swing.

    There is a special kind of pain for a mom from detaching, then reattaching in hopes that things are really getting better, then getting shot down yet again.

    It has only been four months since she tried to kill herself so of course I am very concerned about her being alone right now and experiencing depression and clouded reasoning, all due to worries over debt & safety of military boyfriend.

    I have been crying for the last hour because as a result of this mood swing she announced this morning that she doesn't make enough at her job and might take a side job as a bartender. No problem.

    I asked where, and of all places it is the very sleazy strip club here in town. The place is notorious and anyone associated with it is thought very poorly of. What in this world is she thinking? She was adamant that this was perfectly fine. I knew then that she was not rational and still having the mood swing. I had to ask her to leave the house because it upset me so much.

    After a couple of hours I called her and offered her the usual kind gentle support that I have to give her during these times. But I can tell that she is still suffering from the mood swing and did not want to be around me.

    Just putting this down in words has finally helped me to stop crying. So thank you friends for letting me just express what I cannot express to anyone else around here. I'm not really asking a question, because I've come to the conclusion that there really is no answer.

    I feel like I'm on a merry-go-round and grasped the golden ring hanging down, and now it's slipped away again. So elusive.
  2. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Yes, exactly, although I would say "there is a special kind of hell."

    So sad.

    Is she taking her medications?

    Try to just ride with it, try not to try to stop her or change things. If she is manic she may not even follow through.

    Hugs for you in this time of trial.

  3. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    sending hugs and positive energy

    I understand that roller coaster ride all too well but I just don't have the stomach for it anymore, with 2 of them over here I'm lucky to get 5 good minutes a month.

  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh boy Tryagain, we all know exactly how you feel right now. I am so sorry for your pain. I am so sorry for all of it.

    My daughter has made choices like that as well. Hang on. Breathe. Take a walk. Take a bath. Take some action, no matter what it is, just do it..........go get some ice cream (that's one of my favorites!).............

    There seems to be a real need tonight to circle the wagons around many of us, Tryagain we are all here for you, we are holding you up while you rest from this last episode..............we're all here...............sending hugs and prayers for you and your daughter..........
  5. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    Echolette, Helpangel, and Recovering: thank you for reaching out. It meant sooo much.

    Echo-great advice and I'm taking it. Just gonna ride with it, as you said, and resist the urge to check up on her & create further resentment.. Praying she doesn't take an overdose again, but she was scheduled to go to work tonight, forcing her to get her mind on other things.
    Says she's taking her medications. I left her p-doctor a voicemail and when he checks on her, he can get away with asking.
    Bipolar is such a cruel disease.

    Helpangel-I'm just "meeting" you, and your name fits you. Yes, it's a roller coaster besides a merry go round-I could make comparisons to so many fair rides (ferris wheel-goes up then down, etc).

    Recovering-always so kind and understanding. I took your advice and went to exercise class. Now for a hot bath. Tonight I'll read the new posts since the wagons seem to be circling, and pay your kindness forward.
  6. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

  7. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Try, I am here, too.

    Thank heaven we have one another. Know that you and your child are in my thoughts, today. I was happy to learn that you took your class, and that you felt stronger for having been away from the intensity of loving your daughter and worrying for her.

    Try? This does feel like reaching for that gold ring and having it break apart in our hands.

    Holding a good thought for your daughter today, Try.

  8. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    My mother is bi-polar and since her diagnosis about 20 years ago there has only been one time when she has behaved like my "real" mom. The rest of the time she is so wrapped up in her pain and her issues that she doesnt seem to be able to think about others. I almost resent that time. Even though it was only a week or so I was so happy to have her back and my dad was happier than I have ever seen him. It gave me hope that she was still in there and that we might someday break through the shell and get her back.

    Unfortunately that glimpse of her makes me cautious when dealing with difficult child's brief moments of easy child behavior. I don't trust that it will last. I guard my feelings and reactions regardless of difficult child's current state of mind. In reality dealing with my mom's GFGness prepared me for my difficult child's actions. I'm not going to say it still doesnt hurt when things happen or that I am perfect at detaching from it BUT I know that empty feeling and it doesnt hurt quite as much because I know I will survive.

    My new reality is that my mom is so different and so needy that I can't deal with her most of the time. I still grieve for that mom I used to know and while I know deep down that she is in there I am not in control of the situation. The hardest realization is figuring out she is not in total control of the situation either. It is easy to blame her for her condition but reality is that none of this is her fault. The horrible way she cares for the disease is her fault but it is also the disease and its treatments that make her have times when caring for herself is very difficult. Its a no win situation as long as she is in control and my dad enables her to stay that way.

    My new reality with difficult child is that I accept the good and walk away from the bad. She is learning quickly that I wont engage her. I walk away or get off the phone. Thats not to say I ignore the situation its just that I don't deal with it until she and I are in a place to do it constructively.

    I wish you peace. I know how hard it is to find peace when dealing with this.
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  9. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    This was very helpful to me, Dist, in thinking about how to think about my daughter.

    Part of me still struggles with acknowledging the illness for what it is.

  10. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    I find it very easy to forget that my mentally ill people didn't choose their illness. They make so many poor choices that it often feels like they are choosing to stay ill. All we can do is hope that some day they will want more and be capable of reaching for it.

    Honestly I think we could forgive them for all the pain this disease has brought if they would TRY to help themselves. On the other hand why should they need to be forgiven for actions their disease often dictates. They shouldnt have to. Then again there are times their actions feel very deliberate so it makes it hard to blame it all on the disease and not make them somewhat responsible for their choices.
  11. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    As one with a mood disorder, which is not as bad as Bipolar I, I still have to do the right things to be able to act like others do. I have to take my medicaiton all the time. I can't drink or do other fun drugs.

    I think some of our mentally ill kids would get better if they took care of themselves. Oten they choose not to. That is NOT part of bipolar. And it only makes things worse.

    They are not alone. I read that 60% of the mentally ill do not comply with their medications. They complain about side effects or they don't want to abstain from drinking/drugging or they think they can do it themselves. It's a very sad statistic. But your kid can get better and reject all those excuses. I know I'd be a mess if I even drank. It screws up the good affects of the psychiatric medications and renders them pretty useless.

    I hope the best for all of our adult kids. 36 needs medications desperately as well and NOT eight Xanax a day!!!! as his psychiatrist was prescribing. His drinking while taking Xanax is unhelpful and scares me to death.
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  12. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Years ago when I asked my psychiatrist about a couple drinks while taking zanax his response was "I'm not recommending it but why don't you just shoot some heroine?" Most psychotropic medications don't mix with alcohol it will depress you more then what you were taking the medications for.

  13. tryagain

    tryagain Active Member

    Pasajes -Cedar-dstc -MWM -and helpangel-thank you for loving thoughts, support, and thought-provoking ideas. Dstc, I could relate to the mixed emotions you expressed. I felt so helpless yesterday with the full wrath of BiPolar (BP) upon me.
  14. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Try, there was a recent thread about whether or not it's "good" to have hope or put hope aside when dealing with the ups and downs of a difficult child.

    I STILL have mixed emotions about it. I believe a person can always change and that is always a possibility. Believing that is allowing for hope.

    But actively hoping, waiting for change, watching for it, holding our breath when we think we see a glimpse of it, only to crash all the way back down...that is hope laced with expectations.

    Having expectations is what gets us in trouble every time.

    Of course you don't want her working in a bad place. But there is some good news here---she is working and she is wanting to work MORE. I love that.

    We can't control outcomes. And whatever path our difficult children take is going to be crooked and one step forward, two steps back, and filled with questionable decisions (for us).

    We have to let it happen. We can't do it for them. We can safeguard them from all of the things they decide to do, and all of the fits and starts that they will encounter.

    It's so hard to watch. It's so painful. That is why distance is a godsend. Backing off, allowing some physical distance between us and them, is all we can do.

    And then we worry. I know last night I woke up three times, and difficult child flashed into my head. Where is he? Is he sleeping somewhere? Is he safe? Is he scared?

    Every time I said, God, I'm giving him to you right now. Please put your arms around him and keep him safe.

    And you know what? I was able to go right back to sleep. I don't know why that worked for me last night, but it did.

    I am gradually getting up off the floor after my downturn this week. I went to an AlAnon meeting Thursday night and cried and blubbered all the way through it, just giving the other two people there my stream of consciousness about difficult child. They listened, nodded and were so empathetic in their responses to me. I could feel them coming alongside me in my pain and my grief.

    And then, I went again last night. I was so much better. I was able to be open and honest and participate but I wasn't a wreck like I had been the night before.

    I am so thankful for the tools of recovery. If I use them, I will get better. I am so thankful for all of you on this forum.

    This is the hardest road we will ever walk in our lives, I believe. We need support. We need help. We need tools. We need the thoughts and ideas of others. We need love and kindness and empathy. Thanks for giving all of that to me, time and time again.
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  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    I am another one with bipolar. However I am very compliant with my medications. I also worked hard with my psychiatrist to get on medications that I could take and they would not make me feel bad. I refuse to take anything that makes me feel drugged. I have had people look at my list of medications and think I couldnt possibly feel normal but I do. I still have bipolar and I still cycle badly during times of stress...which has made the last 3 years hell...but I do my very best.

    I wouldnt take medications either if they made me sit in a corner and drool.
  16. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    One ? for anyone who can answer "What is normal?"

    Besides a setting on my washer that I never use (we are a heavy duty family) I have no idea or clue what normal would even look like...

    in my opinion every person on the planet is dealing with their own personal level of "crazy" ; if they make a pill that makes it more tolerable isn't that what those pills are for?

    I guess I'm over thinking stuff again

  17. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Nancy, it is one thing to have a few neurotic issues. But as one who has a mood disorder it is definitely outside the norm to not even be able to get out of bed because you're so depressed and scared (and you don't know why) that you can't function without your medications. Nancy, you are kind and did not mean to make anyone feel bad, but I need to explain that the pill isn't a "happy" pill. It actually changes your brain chemistry so that a mentally ill person can function just like a normal person. It is the same as insulin for diabetes. If you need it, it is indeed very crazy NOT to take it. It can kill you if you don't.

    Like Janet, whom I admire a lot, I am always compliant with my medication and abstain from all drinking and extra drug use. This is mandatory for me I will fall far from the "norm." There actually IS a norm and when people suffer from serious mood disorders, you have to be more careful about yourself. Those medications are absolutely a must. There is no question about it. Drinking, which many people do anyway, can screw up those medications. Obviously so can pot or any other recreational drug. You need to try to eat well and sleep well or the stress can set you back.

    Most people don't have to go that far just to be able to get out of bed and go to work. Also, depression fogs your brain so badly that I know, when I used to get so depressed, I couldn't read a book or watch a funny television show to get my mind off of it. It is always there, like a broken leg that is not being treated. It is some sort of extreme hurt that will not go away.

    Thank God for Paroxatine, the first and only medication that made me understand "normal." When our difficult children won't take their medication or mix it with recreational drugs and alcohol or claim they can do it themselves or that they don't need the medications, if they really do have mental illness, it is no surprise they turn to dangerous drugs, which is ironic since they won't take monitored drugs that have helped them.

    Also, a normal person will probably never be a patient in a psychiatric ward. I was, once for ten weeks, and two other times for medication reactions/adjustments. But I was trying hard to get well.

    Now I like to joke that I'm insane, not normal, etc, but I mean it like most people mean it...they don't really mean it literally. There is a normal. It is the ability to function without abnormally wild mood swings or the horror of the even worse schizophrenia with it's hallucinations and cognitive deterioration.

    And, because of the Civil Rights movement, there is no way to force the truly mentally ill to be compliant and most of them are not compliant.
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Are you taking the "couldnt possibly feel normal but I do" out of my reply? If so I may not be using that in the same context anyone else would.

    What I mean is that my medications dont make me feel loopy, drugged, sluggish, high, slow, fast, etc. I feel the same when I take them as I would if I didnt. The difference is that I dont have the severe bipolar symptoms. Its probably easier to explain it with my pain medications than psychiatric medications.

    I am on some pretty strong pain medications. If a person who didnt take anything more than an aspirin or advil took what I take each day they would definitely be loopy and possibly could die due to slowed breathing. I cant even tell I have taken a pill. I still have a lot of pain which makes me wonder exactly how bad I would be without the pills!!!!!

    One of the reasons I dont feel anything when I take my medications is I take them on schedule as prescribed. I never take more. Im sure most people have heard of Dilaudid. I am on 24 mgs of the long acting form of that. I remember years ago getting a shot of dilaudid at the hospital and it put me on my butt. Of course that was IM and this is slow release over 24 hours.
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Pam is right. Now I will admit that I used to drink occasionally. I love margaritas. I would love to go out to eat and have one with dinner. I havent had a drink since Jamie's 21'st birthday. He will be 30 in 11 days. I was on medications back then and I talked to my doctor about it and I went off my medications two days before I was going to drink then started them back the day after. Now that was a huge party and I admit I drank...I even drank several Marines under the table. LOL. I was supposed to have a drink at the get together in Cleveland but I was having such a good time I forgot!

    My psychiatrist has told me that if I wanted to have one mixed drink or one glass of wine every so often...not one an hour! but every so often it wouldnt be a big deal. Now I have a feeling my pain doctor might feel differently. Im trying to get up the courage to ask that doctor if its okay to cook with wine...lol
  20. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I do too, Janet. Funny how others who don't have these issues think we are drooling all over ourselves...lol. They make us feel normal, not doped up.

    I think some people watch "One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest" too much or think psychiatry hasn't advanced. I'm like you. I take my medication only as prescribed and don't add anything else. I think therapy helps a lot too, but without my medications, even therapy couldn't touch me. I would not be able to grasp it or concentrate.

    LOL, after reading your post about drinking, I just couldn't. There is no way I'd go off my medications even one day (I'd be too scared) and I wouldn't want to have to get my brain adjusted all over again for a drink :) But I understand that sometimes we all want to be able to do what others do. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't drink even if I didn't have a mood disorder. I just don't like drinking or the way it makes people act. I can just see myself dancing on a table with a lampshade over my head....and worse!!!!! YIKES!

    I get it :)