Effects of Meds on Marriage

I’m trying to decide which can cause more damage to my marriage: the medication side effects or an unmedicated illness.

Ever since I started medication for my bipolar disorder years ago, I have secretly struggled with a decrease in sexual desire.

I could stop the meds. Then I wouldn’t have to force myself to have sex with my husband. I wouldn’t have to start mentally preparing myself in the morning so that I could initiate sex that night and make my husband think I’m all fired up.

I am, in fact, fired up. But it’s not something that instantly happens anymore. I can’t get spontaneously turned on and desire sex at random times. Not since I began treatment for bipolar disorder.

I have to spend hours working towards it. Mentally, I self talk.  I do thinks to make myself FEEL pretty. Paint my nails. Or style my hair. Send David a few kinky texts at work. Texts I have already written and prepared and saved in a file. Ready for when I need them. Maybe I put clean sheets in our bed.

And sometimes I go to our “special” drawer. A place where we keep our adult toys. I hold one and visualize the things we’ve done with it. I pick up another and another and imagine what I could do with it with David that night.

Sometimes I start to feel a tinge of desire. Of longing. And I begin to get excited for him to get home from work. I lie back on my bed and all of a sudden I feel like crying.

I should not have to work this hard and I should definitely not need to prepare myself like this in order to be intimate with my own husband. So I battle with the thought of stopping my medications.

If I do that, what happens then? A completely different problem arises. The bipolar itself. A whole new kind of strain on our marriage.

Stopping my meds means the depression will surface. I won’t want to get out of bed. I’ll be very irritable and end up causing arguments with my husband over little insignificant things. Without my meds I blow up over everything.

I may become manic. End up spending our mortgage money on dog toys on eBay. I stop sleeping so I don’t even make it to bed for nights on end.

And sex? Yeah! I can’t control myself. I want to be touching him all the time. I need to be near him every minute that he’s home, often causing him frustration because I take away his personal space.

Then we argue.

We get frustrated.

And I get suicidal.

All of this because I stopped my medication so that I could be more intimate with my husband. But instead, the bipolar has made things even worse.

So ultimately, what has more effect on intimacy in my marriage? I don’t exactly have an answer to that. Living with bipolar isn’t easy and there isn’t a single area of my life that isn’t affected. I wake up every morning, afraid. Afraid that he will leave me because intimacy is so complicated for us.

So what would cause more damage to my marriage? Taking the medication or living with untreated bipolar disorder? I’m not sure and I’m not about to find out.

Because thankfully I have an amazing guy who tries his best to understand me and my illness. We communicate openly about intimacy in our relationship and I know that I won’t ever have to stop my medication in order to keep my husband satisfied sexually.

And I hope you never feel the need to do that either.

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I’m Needed

But zoey needs me. I am needed. My beloved furry lifeline, my spirit twin, the one who has saved me repeatedly and who I am now ready to save in return. She needs me. I Have a job now. I am going to nurse my girl back to health. I am going to spend every waking minute of my days taking care of her. I have memorized care plans for when we bring her home from surgery. I am constantly going over and over and over in my head what I have to do and what I’m not supposed to do to make sure that her recovery goes exactly the way that it should. One wrong move and the surgery could be all in vain and her future will be cut short because without full recovery from this, we have been told that Zoey does not have a future. Without this surgery we would be saying goodbye to her. And I am not prepared to do that. Not now not ever.

Surgery in 3 Days

I can’t stop the thoughts. My mind keeps reeling through different scenarios, picturing that cold metal table she will be lying on as they shave the fur from the base of her spine down to her ankle and then make the incision in her skin. While she lies there, her breathing labored, her tongue hanging out of the side of her mouth. I keep imagining things that could happen. The surgeon slipping on the floor and accidentally cutting my girl in some random place on her body, blood pouring out of her. I keep thinking that the anesthetic is going to be too strong in her heart is going to stop. And never start again, ever. I just keep visualizing her lifeless body there on that metal table in that strange room, Without me there to comfort her. The thoughts. I just can’t stop these thoughts.

The feeling in the pit of my stomach is sour. Awful. If they call me with bad news and I answer my phone to hear your voice on the other end telling me that my baby girl did not pull through this surgery, I’m pretty convinced that it will be the end of me.

Battling Guilt Over Suicide Prevention

National Suicide Prevention Month is observed each September and survivors often see social media plastered with the simple message that suicide can be prevented. As a survivor, this upsets me.

Short posts and memes say that by showing someone you care or by picking up a phone you can or may save a life. Notice the words “can” and “may” in those sentences?  I feel that many people miss those words, if they are even included. Those words are crucial to the message because saving a life is NOT always the outcome.

Without the words “can” or “may,” anyone reading these messages who have never experienced the horror of having a loved one die by suicide can easily think that a person who has had this type of tragedy must not have loved enough or cared enough or have ever had those conversations with the person who had ended their life. Even worse, an individual who has lost a loved one to suicide may read those statements and be overwhelmed by guilt thinking that there was something more they could have done!

We know better, and hindsight is a huge struggle for survivors. As if we don’t already second-guess everything we said or did, over and over, while reliving the days leading up to the death of our loved one …

My best friend died from suicide. She struggled for many years with an eating disorder, self injury, mental illness and addiction. I tried to encourage her on a daily basis. I found counseling for her and offered suggestions for various treatments. I sought help for myself so I could better help her. Not only were we friends joined at the hip, but we were also roommates sharing the same apartment. She was the first face I saw when I woke up in the morning and she was usually there when I went to bed at night. We spent many sleepless nights talking for hours on end. She sat at the foot of my bed for comfort while I went through some of the darkest days of my own life, and I did the same for her. What more could I have possibly done to show her that I cared?

I have experienced a lot of guilt surrounding Ashley’s death. Then I see all these social media posts, blog entries, and pamphlets stating that suicide is preventable. I don’t think people realize how damaging it is and the huge burden of guilt that it creates for us survivors in saying things like this. I really think that instead of coming out and saying that it is preventable, all of these prevention and awareness campaigns should add the words “can” be prevented or “may” be prevented.

Just sayin.

Ashley, I Miss You

My heart is hurting so much today. Its an anniversary. But not the kind which you would celebrate. She was 24 when she took her life.

I lost a part of me when Ashley died. My best friend. My roommate. My soul sister. During that year before she passed I was caught up in one of the most difficult times in my life but she was always there for me. Many wonderful memories were made sitting around our kitchen table in our 3 bedroom basement apartment, spending hours upon hours drinking our own special brew of coffee and playing crazy eights. I still keep our score notebook on my shelf.

She was with me through my drug addiction, my alcohol binging, my worst point with my eating disorder, and all of the self harm. She kept me alive. She was so supportive to me even though she was also going through hell herself.

Some say that we had a very unhealthy friendship because we both were struggling with the same addictions. But they are wrong. I can honestly say that without Ashley’s friendship I would not be sitting here writing this right now. Unfortunately, Ashley did not make it.

My best friend took her life on October 20th.

Throughout my entire life I have never had many friends but Ashley taught me the true meaning of friendship. She taught me how to be a friend.

Do you have a friend or family member or even a co-worker that seems to be struggling right now? The worst you can do is pull away. Let your friend know that you care, watch for warning signs, and be prepared to call for help. It is better to risk a friendship by breaking a confidence than to lose a friend forever to suicide.

I miss you Ashley.

You never said you’re leaving
You never said goodbye
You were gone before I knew it
And only God knows why

A million times I’ve needed you
And a million times I’ve cried
If love alone could have saved you
You never would have died

In life I loved you dearly
In death I love you still
In my heart I hold a place
That only you can fill

My Miracle In Disquise

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Can’t wait until we adopt our precious fur baby. Your children may have 2 legs, a mouth that allows them to verbalize what they want and how they are feeling, and so on. Despite their many differences, my baby will mean just as much to our family.