Cheryl (Crice)

Email Cheryl


          I am a 31 year old, BPI, with so many other letters behind my name that you would almost think I was a doctor.  I also have been diagnosed as ADD, BPD and my latest, PTSD.  I to am also a rapid cycler.


          I was officially diagnosed as BP in July of 2000, while hospitalized (self-admitted) for addiction to opiates and benzos.   I had been diagnosed as ADD at the age of 7, but had learned to live with the symptoms from it.


          Just like so many, in my first year, I was non-med compliant, and was in a total state of denial.  Did not agree to medication until I threw raw chicken across my kitchen in a fit of rage.  Rage has been one of the hardest obstacles for me to deal with and over come with my BP.  I have for the most part not really been a depressed person, I seem to always get the high, high mania-, which we all know is what leads a lot of us to have issues with money, relationships, and just in general the difficulty to recognize what is and what is not reality.  We knew that the trigger for my BP to show its ugly face was a combination of events that were set into motion all the way back to my childhood and that my fathers death in 1997 is what sent me sailing down this long and twisting road that I have learned to call Bipolar.


          As a child I was abandoned by both of my biological parents and raised by my fraternal grandparents.  I was given everything any child could want, my grandparents always tried to make up for what I just did not have, the love of my parents.  I was always a good student but could have been so much better than what I ever put the effort towards to achieve. 


          I am the mother of three beautiful children, Allyson, Clay and Christopher.  I have always been the mother who was so involved in every facet of lives of my children.  I learned how to suppress the symptoms for social situations so that no one would ever know I had a problem. 


          And, just like so many others out there, I have had the struggles with relationships.  By the time I was 30, I had been married and divorced four times.  Having marriages with physical abuse (as well as mental); one where I literally almost drove him crazy; and this last one is where I learned more about me and my Bipolar that any of the others.  I married a man for money.  I thought that money WOULD buy happiness and love.   Boy was I wrong.  And in all that has occurred I signed custody of all of my children over to their fathers.  Was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.  I knew that I was unable to support myself, less alone three children.  And after what I had done to my kids in the past, I knew that they did not need to see a mother as sick as I was, and felt that for their own stability the best choice for them was not to be with me.  I struggle still with my decision but have to remind myself that I did what was best for THEM.


          I have been hospitalized twice for detox, three times for a nervous breakdown and twice for med regulation and stabilization.  I to this day hate to hear the word hospital.  I have developed a phobia for them.


          As lots of you do, I struggled to keep a job in my career field.  I was a paralegal for 10 years.  Law was all I had ever known, all I ever really wanted to do.  I even went so far as to go back to college to re-train myself for a new career field.  But alas, I also was unable to complete that.  I now have been declared totally disabled by my BP and my many other add on diagnosis.


          Over the years, my bipolar has changed.  I still stay more on the manic end, and have come to learn how to control a lot of the impulsiveness that comes, but still struggle with the rage and the fears I hold in me of abandonment.  I am told it is back to therapy for me.  Yay, cause yall know, ya just have to love paying someone to make you cry, hehehe. 


          I try to look at the bright side, when I can.  Using humor to hide a lot of my emotions (coupled with a hint of sarcasm as well). 


          Bipolar World Chat became a key part of my everyday therapy about 4 years ago.  And to this day, I still use chat as my outlet.  I even met a man in BPW, to whom I have fallen deeply in love with.  Even helped me to realize that I have never been in love, until him.  He to is BPI.  Although his bipolar is much different than mine, I still have the drive to learn more and more about this multi-faceted illness. 


          I do not know where this road will take me.  Not sure I want to know the out come, because we all know, half the fun is getting there.   I have learned to have peace with lots in my life, and with some, I wonder if I will ever have any peace.  But what ever may come to be, I know my friends in BPW will be there, right beside me, holding my hand and waiting for what lies new on my horizon. 



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