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Living like I do

by Heather Bliss 2 years ago in bipolar
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Home in my car

Living like I do (out of my car) is a very humbling experience. It teaches me a lot about what to be grateful for. Who knew it was going to be so long for me to ever get stable. "Ever" as in, not yet. I have been unstable staying anywhere accept anything that is my own for the last 10 years. A couple of years I lived with my ex and his family and with numerous break ups I stayed in a few "motels", not "hotels", (note the difference). I consider my life disgusting and many would agree. Homelessness is not accepted by I believe the majority of those so fortunate not to be without a roof of their own over their head.

Maybe it started by not finishing college. Maybe it started when I separated from my husband and lost my family. Mind you, he asked me to leave. Like a friend of mine once said, I should have "put my foot down and told him he did not keep his end of the contract!". Yet, that did not play out that way. Maybe it was when I lost my mind and was in and out of mental wards because I could not keep it together because I lost my family. There are a number of other factors I will not get to yet that may be the cause as to why I am still unstable, homeless and considered one of the thousands in the city where I live that are considered "homeless". As a single woman it is kind of scary. I have to admit that I have only slept IN my car around 10 times. And I still cannot figure out if I should be parked in a dark space or a space with light. I prefer to be parked in light. My windows are not tinted very dark but I rather be somewhere not able to sleep deep than in a dark space where something could happen to me and nobody notices.

I had big dreams for myself. I never thought I would be in this predicament. Definitely not for so long. I have begun to doubt and lose hope. I do not stay in my depression long when it hits. As I said there are other factors... one of which is depression that plays into why I am stuck. I am bi-polar. I sometimes get severely depressed and it feels like (and looks like!) I have a dark cloud over me. I can also get manic and be really happy, confident and have a lot of energy. I like it when I am manic. I do not tell my doctor or complain when I am. I do not like to be like a zombie on medication so I am content with what I take now. Sometimes something triggers a very scary side for me in which I start interpreting any voice that is talking as saying horrible or mean things about me. Usually it is stress, or lack of sleep that triggers this scary side of myself that I hate to face. I care too much about what people think of me too. So I am already thinking of the ones who have stopped reading this because they sum it up as boring. The ones, who call me flat out "crazy" or "stupid". I do not know who you are but I really do not care (even though I just said I do) as long as I do not hear you. Living my life is of course my own personal nightmare because I am always on edge but if I could only find my "niche" I believe I would be on a roll and with the little self-esteem I do have, I do not doubt that I may be talented. Yet, in what? So I decided to write. I hope that people are interested and can feel what I am saying and not necessarily have to be bi-polar or homeless. I know some might say that they have good days and bad days. With me I can not get a grip on what (for instance) the people may be saying about me. Or when I am really scared I hide, literally hide, from the world. Living out of my car it is hard to do that. So that is when I run. I run (drive) from a situation scaring me or in which I feel threatened and in the end it turns out it was all in my head. I have also lost a number of relationships like that. It really has caused a lot of problems.

I have 2 children. Believe it or not when I was still with my husband I was a good mom. I just made a shitty wife, and that started after he had the affair. I think part of him doing that was my fault. He is far from "normal" as a narcissist and pathological liar but living with someone who has already been labeled as "bi-polar, high anxiety with pschizo effective tendencies" can be grueling. I wish I had put more effort into helping him. I was so in need of his accepting me as I was and needed something I could not get from him. I was very insecure because of this and the dark cloud of depression I spoke of earlier grew larger and larger. I carry a tremendous amount of guilt because of that towards my children and my ex. All I can do today is be the best person I can be. And I have. I have managed to avoid that dark cloud of depression that steers people away and I am proud of that. I just want to get out of my situation and be a contributing member of society. The thing is, I feel so insecure once I even start talking about. Hence, the comfort of "hiding"or "running". I feel I am not worthy anymore of certain things. I am more comfortable around people with the same or less than me than around successful "normal" people. That is horrible. I do not understand it. I am intimidated by the plastic people who are well off and look at me with such disdain once they here a little about me. I can't lie very well. So I avoid the topic of myself and what I do. That is shameful to me. I am blessed and so grateful my kids love me so much. And believe or not they still want to live with me. They are grown and living on their own. No, they do not the means for me to live with them. I am grateful though that they are together. I love my kids so much. I remember for years being frantic about their well being. And it was not until recently that I have learned to let go.

Now it is my time to find out about me. What do I want? What am I good at? Believe it or not I have a resume. I came back to the States in 1999. I grew up in Europe for a great part of my formative years and all my experience working is there. I came back in 1999 and had a nervous breakdown. I had rose colored glasses on and was not at all prepared for the cutthroat rat race that I was to face here in the land of Apple Pie and dreams coming true. I fell flat on my face though, unable to find a job as an Executive Assistant which was the position I held the last job I had. I started to become very doubtful after I being so confident. I thought I would get a job in no time. Which comes to one of the factors that may be part of why I am homeless, I also developed a liking for mind altering substances in which I became seriously addicted and I lost all my inhibition and my lost confidence due to not being able to fit in and find a job was covered by a blanket of false confidence and fuzzy feeling of euphoria in which any drug addict can relate.

I have been in and out of rehabilitation clinics this last decade. I did not want to relapse when I got sober the last time. Yet, the only place to go when I could not afford the sober living was my exes (boyfriend, not husband) and he did so much drugs he thinks he is Jesus in the sense he is never wrong and there is always someone else to blame for his predicament or problem(s). I have been contemplating going into a program again for a number of months. I am not getting any younger and I felt so happy within when I was sober. I hate to rave about sobriety too much because I know in the moments when I am feeling really depressed, or extremely pissed off, high anxiety in which I am shaking and fear I do not know how to cope without reaching for a bottle of Bacardi Gold, or a hit off of the "pookie". The alcohol is legal so I do not have as much shame as I do the drug. Alcohol is accepted for the most part and the drug is dirty and illegal so I do not like to put much energy or time into talking about that. I might later. Just know it is my secret shame along with not being able to take care of my kids, fix my situation and other things that are not as important.

So drug and alcohol rehab here I come! I remember being sober in rehab and I had an epiphany I would be a good drug and alcohol counselor. I was not thinking in terms of the money. I followed my heart, and my passion is in people, helping people and understanding them. I tend to be a giver and I know I would have no problem giving all I had to helping others with this disease of dual diagnosis, bi-polar combined with addiction. It is no joke and getting sober is no walk in the park. Yet, driving around endlessly to stay a while, a night here, a night there and feeling lost is no life. I do not accept myself as this and no I can do better.

Hey! I am feeling really happy and confident with a sense of hope ... I hope it just me being okay or "normal" rather than bi-polar manic. Because I feel really good and have a sense of hope. I hope and pray I did not jinx myself.

bipolar

About the author

Heather Bliss

In the midst of my addiction, depression and bi-polar mood swings. My own personal nightmare. Someone, someday please, make this nightmare end.

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