Helping support partners

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Re: Helping support partners

Post by 6egirl on Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:46 am

GM - I always admire your posts
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Re: Helping support partners

Post by dalbyj on Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:59 am

Paddy2 wrote:Just cos I can, I'm going to post something I put on a TradeMe Thread a few minutes ago. The original post was by a 'partner' asking for ideas on how to cope. Well hon, its not solely your responsibility to cope with his mental illness - he's gotta put some effort in to and that may well be more than by taking the meds, but hey, thats a damn good step in itself. Anyway:

Hiya. I can only give my perspective or talk about my own experiences Ė Iím Bi Polar, amongst other things. Iím male, 49, and have lost pretty much everything you could think of listing. I also have mobility disabilities and assorted OCDís, just cos I can, sigh.

One thing I have gained is the slow realisation that a lot of my responses to Ďsituationsí were Ďconditionedí responses and that I didnít necessarily HAVE to react to a situation with an explosion of outbursts or whatever. Iím trying to learn that that NOTHING and NO ONE MAKES ME ANGRY. (I think I was in Sunnyside when they first told me that?)

I CAN CHOOSE TO REACT IN ANGER, or if I can grab meself by the scruff of the neck in time, I can maybe defer reacting outwardly and flick through me Brain Index real fast and see if I have other options in the catalogue of potential responses.

Hey, sometimes, the decision to express anger is quite the correct response Ė but maybe, by thinking it through for a moment or two first, I can modify the way I express that anger and maybe even reduce the potential to hurt by words I canít take back once uttered. No matter how much I grovel.

And sometimes, I think I need a damn good kick up the arse to remind myself of all that;

because changing long established Ďreactionsí is bloody hard work and it can take individuals different periods of time and different hurts and losses etc or risk of losses to come to the acceptance that yeah, sure, we have a mental illness, but it doesnít mean we have to be pricks 24/7. Or prickess, if thatís the female equivalent?

Maybe you or your partner might benefit from having a look around The Big Black Dog Message Board & Chat Room (TBBD) Ė itís just a free to use NZ mental health peer support site, started by a bloke actually. Me. It has no Ďaffiliationsí with any other groups or organisations and it does not offer or pretend to offer, professional support. We ainít got the resources for that - its me, me invalids bene (TY taxpayers), the cat and a wee bit of space between the couch and the fridge Ė thatís TBBD. That, and its members and the over 11, 500 Messages posted there in just our first 16 months online.

Take care eh,

Paddy.

Hi, I'm the one who posted the message on the Trademe message boards, thanks so much for directing me here Paddy.

My husband was diagnosed with Bipolar over a year ago but he has been heading in that direction for some years now. I finally sent him to the doctor when I discovered he had put his profile on an internet dating site.

He is very good at taking his medication but just lately he has been a lot more up and down than usual, not as bad as before the medication but still bad. It's really exhausting not knowing what kind of mood he is going to be in at any given time and quite frankly I'm shattered. And he has also started annoying me on purpose - stupid little things like tickling me (which I hate, I'm extremely ticklish and he knows it), poking and prodding me, almost as if he is trying to get me to bite back. It sounds petty but I can't get through a TV program without him doing something to wind me up! I get enough of that from the kids, I don't need it from him lol.

And his latest thing is he wants to buy a widescreen TV. We can't afford one and don't even need one, we have 2 perfectly good tvs in the house. He would have bought one already but our entertainment unit is too small - and we can't afford a new one of those either! I don't know how to talk him out of it.

Anyway thanks for listening to my vent, I guess I'm just tired cos its the end of a rather difficult year and hubbys illness isn't making it any easier.
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Re: Helping support partners

Post by 6egirl on Sun Dec 13, 2009 3:26 am

Hi

Snap. My husband was diagnosed bipolar as well. it too one year to get an official diagnosis. He was also quite manic - spent $5k on war memorobila etc etc. Sounds like we have a lot in common. As well as support on here, there is an excellent book which is called 'loving someone with bipolar' which I found. it talks about all the stuff that impacts on marriages when you are marrried to someone with the illness. if i can help you at all - talking on the phone, or on here, please let me know. I KNOW what this is like!

6egirl (Katharine)
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Re: Helping support partners

Post by Paddy on Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:23 am

I know this isn't overly helpful Katherine, but yeah, I too had the Militatia bug. About $42k size, that particular infestation. I now have a dozen or so family items. Hmmm. And a cat.

On the positive side, anyone who happens to 'invest' a little in say, WW1 ephemera (maybe military Post Cards, cough cough, wink wink) then I can say quite confidently that with 2014 not far off, there is going to be an huge resurgence of interest around the 100th Anniversary of the start of WW1. And what an miserable waste, any war is.

Amongst other things, the 100 Year Secrecy Embargo on millions of Archived documents will start to expire in the period 2014 - 2019.

It will be an interesting time to be an militaria collector or better, a researcher.

I really am not much help here, am I? Sorry (but you tell me in 2014 that I was wrong, eh? pffft)

I am constantly amazed that a lucky few of us find partners who last it out much past the first few 'episodes'. Bless You for your love and patience with your partners, but don't be afraid to tell them to put a bit more into it as well. Remind them maybe that this togetherness thing doesn't HAVE to happen, you both CHOOSE it to happen and sometimes 'we' gotta try a bit harder as well. 'Cos sometimes, we really do.

Here puss puss, would you like cuddles? - See, thats an not too fun alternative reality for many of us.

Paddy.

P.S.
Katherine, I'm still keen to 'talk' militaria and stuff if he's interested, sigh. Sorry.
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Re: Helping support partners

Post by 6egirl on Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:13 am

Thanks for that. Yes, he is keen to talk all things militaria - and I would dearly love for him to 'know' someone that also has bi-polar. His problem is motivation at the moment and he is having alot of concentration problems (in fact having a neuro-psychological test on friday to see if they can figure it out) I dont mind the militaria hobby - just the $5k in one week scenario. This is the first major episode that he has had - nearly two years on and only last few weeks "stable"on meds. I am HOPING that the meds will prevent another episode like this - what do you think Paddy?

As far as the marriage goes and supporting him through this, geez I dont know how I have done it. I feel like I got some super-human strenght from somewhere but I have suffered terribly as well. Why did I do it? I have searched my soul over this many times. I think because I love him very deeply and I BELIEVE IN HIM. Because, i didnt think that he deserved to loose everything and because I didnt want to take 2 little boys away from their Dad.
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Re: Helping support partners

Post by dalbyj on Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:24 pm

6egirl - Katherine - thanks so much for replying, It seems we do have a lot in common, I too have 2 boys who love their dad heaps - and he really is a good dad to them.
I think my problem at the moment is that I still love my husband, but I just don't like him very much Crying or Very sad
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Re: Helping support partners

Post by Will on Wed Dec 16, 2009 6:15 am

THE BIGGEST THING TO REMEMBER IN LIFE IS THE ONLY PERSON WHO MAKES YOU FEEL ANYTHING IS YOU!

Someone can call you a loser and ugly and fat and stupid - but are you? really?

No - you are special in your own way and if you are fat to them you are a BBW to someone else, if you are ugly to them you are a babe to someone else, if you are stupid to them you are a genius to someone else

the idea is drop the loser telling you these things and find the winner who knows you are great

That is why i like the song in the charts at the moment "According to him ...i'm rah de rah de rah" but according to you i/m beautiful, la le la le lal!!
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Re: Helping support partners

Post by 6egirl on Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:07 am

Dalbyj - how are you doing? It sounds like he is still quite unwell - does it feel like you live with someone who looks like your husband but isn't your husband?

Newbie, you around? How are you getting on? I love you
6egirl


Last edited by 6egirl on Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:08 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling error)
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Re: Helping support partners

Post by 6egirl on Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:01 am

No
Just got home from husband's 3hr assessment with Neuro-Psych. Far out, what an ordeal. Need to wait for report but definitely deficits in cognitiion due to illness. Usually I take things one day at a time, but I gotta say, that with Christmas and all that goes with this time of year, I am feeling a tad outdone with it. OVer and out.
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Re: Helping support partners

Post by becks on Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:08 am

Hi 6egirl sorry to hear about the ordeal to do with your husbands assessment. I hope that things improve for the both of you and that Christmas is as painless as possible. Take care.
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Re: Helping support partners

Post by dalbyj on Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:18 pm

6egirl wrote:Dalbyj - how are you doing? It sounds like he is still quite unwell - does it feel like you live with someone who looks like your husband but isn't your husband?

Newbie, you around? How are you getting on? I love you
6egirl

Yes he is not the greatest at the moment, he is on a 'high' as I call it, not sleeping much and generally just manic. I don't think he is as unwell as some others, he still seems to have a grasp of money and how much we have or don't have to spend! He quickly gave up on the idea of a widescreen TV and instead bought a second hand tv thats a bit bigger than the one we currently have, so we are both reasonably happy - he used his own personal spending money for that so we don't have to dig into savings or get finance or anything like that.

In some ways it can feel like I live with someone who looks like my husband but isn't ... but we have been married for 14 years and I firmly believe he was bipolar before I even met him. I think it has just become more noticeable in the last couple of years.
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Re: Helping support partners

Post by Guest on Fri Dec 18, 2009 11:21 pm

Hey dalbyj

How are you - are you looking after yourself too?

You are just as important ok?

I hope your husband is getting better or at least on the path to recovery.

I know how hard it is for partners - watching mine go through what he has gone through because of me is very, very understanding. But I feel hopeless knowing I have caused it.

Take care please,

Smile

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Hey everyone

Post by rach on Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:03 am

I have started a thread on trademe and have been directed here (i think) for support. My dad chose to die on 25th November 2009. It was completely out of the blue and there were no signs, cries or asking for help. He just died without any warning. I believe he was depressed but it was never diagnosed and i didnt SEE any signs or symptoms apart from not sleeping at nights. Came as a complete and utter shock to the family and i still cant quite believe that he is gone.

rach
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Re: Helping support partners

Post by Guest on Thu Dec 31, 2009 12:21 pm

welcome Rach, and sorry to hear of your dad's passing,

Please ask questions and i hope we can help to answer them,

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Re: Helping support partners

Post by daze7 on Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:03 pm

So sorry you've lost your Dad Rach. Depression so very often hides behind a mask. Hope you find it helpful to come in here. ....... Daze
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thanks Daze and Mylife

Post by rach on Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:46 pm

I have seen the support you all offer each other here and thought i could come here for support - to ask questions, to vent to seek help, support and advice. The hard thing for me is that we didnt know that he was sick or how sick he actually was, he just did it one night with no warning, thats what i find hard i didnt know that he may have been depressed or how much he actually was, he said absolutely nothing and he had just disappeared off the face of the earth????

rach
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Re: Helping support partners

Post by daze7 on Fri Jan 01, 2010 1:03 am

Hello again Rach, it must be very hard for you - so many questions, and wondering why. There are specialist counsellors for family members left behind, when someone dies the way your Dad did. Not that I'm suggesting you need counselling - but keep that info tucked away, maybe for later. Have you other family members to talk to? So difficult to come to terms with the loss of your Dad. ...... Daze
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Re: Helping support partners

Post by becks on Fri Jan 01, 2010 2:19 am

Hello Rach and welcome to TBBD. I am so sorry to hear about what your Dad did and how it has effected those of you who loved and cared for him. Daze mentions that Depression can often hide behind a mask of normality and it sounds as if this is what your Dad did, whatever his reasons were. I too have had someone close to me suicide and I found therapy useful in dealing with the aftermath of this. This may be something that you could perhaps consider if you feel like you need some support other than through friends and family. Please take care Rach and post here if you find it useful. Becks.
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Catch Up

Post by Newbie on Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:07 am

6egirl wrote:
Newbie, you around? How are you getting on? I love you
6egirl

Hi Everyone
Sorry, I don't seem to have been getting the notifications from the site, so have been a little out of touch.
Christmas was not surprisingly very tough - to add to all odds my Mother broke her ankle in 3 places and has been in hospital for 4 weeks now - she was able to come home for Christmas Day though. J's parents also came round to the house in the afternoon as well. So Christmas went pretty well - I guess it was the days afterwards and leading up to NY that really hurt - to tell the truth I seriously considered getting some support people in place for NY's as I was feeling very, very down and was a little afraid. I managed to ride it out and here I am.
For those of you who I told about the Young Widows forum, this has been a very good outlet. So many people struggling with pain, all looking for answers to their grief.
I had a bit of an epiphany today while watching 'The Lovely Bones' today. This was the post I added on the Young Widows forum today - although many of you are still with your partners, this made me very happy and peaceful today:
"If you've read the book you know that Alice Sebold conjures up a beautiful concept of heaven. When they announced that Peter Jackson (A Kiwi - our very own!) was going to direct it, I knew it was going to be something very, very special.
I went to it today - my friend was concerned that as the story deals with death, grief, very scary content etc I was not going to cope - but I knew I wanted to see Heaven, and I did.
Sebolds idea is that Heaven is different for every person that they are surrounded by all the things they love. If this is true, then my girl is surrounded by happiness, she is no longer in pain and has her passed over loved ones, friends and animals surrounding her, making her happy and loved - I like that Heaven and it makes me feel happy to know she will be there and at peace. All going to plan for her there will also be a library, a KFC and a snuggly couch and blanket too
What will your spouses heaven be like? "
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Re: Helping support partners

Post by Guest on Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:18 am

hmmm I think my spouses heaven would be lots of .... well we won't go there....

I think it would also be sunny with plenty of snapper and gurnard in the harbour with a bloody big boat and good fishing gear... catching and catching fish.

His heaven would be free of worry, stress and he would be carefree...

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Re: Helping support partners

Post by Guest on Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:19 am

how are you Rach - hope you are keeping well Smile

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