Bipolar Disabled Father Of Young Twins Seeks Stress Relief Solution
by Arthur black
(Cincinatti, OH, USA)
It all started with the birth of my children in January of 2004.
At first I was elated and then soon after felt guilty for bringing two precious and innocent souls into a world I was not completely satisfied with, and quite frankly disgusted with.
My wife at the time was completely sober during her nine months of pregnancy, while I was an active heavy wine drinker.
When the twins were born, my wife started to drink heavily and I was forced to feed the children every two hours and began to stop sleeping.
This was the first sign that I was beginning my first extreme bipolar episode.
I stayed awake for nearly three weeks and began self-medicating with wine and pills, which had little effect on the manic episode that would soon implode.
I began seeing things like lights circling around the room and believed I had somehow reached a state of enlightenment, which I had been actively pursuing through reading many metaphysical books over the previous three to four years.
My actions became almost passive aggressive and I felt entitled to tell my wife that there was something wrong with her and on one occasion put her in a bath tub to try and sober her up.
To say the least I was making everyone around me scared, and was pink slipped into the hospital for several stays, but managed to sign myself out every time after a few days.
Soon after my wife and in-laws put a restraining order out and I went from a huge house in Pepper Pike to being homeless, with all of my assets frozen by the courts.
My family, who almost all reside on the West Coast, tried to get me help, but I refused, and said that I would "rather die on the street, than seek any more professional help."
I ended up befriending a man in one of my hospital stays that said I could live with his older brother nearby.
"Now I felt at home" and everyone around me was just as crazy as I was. I actively propelled my mania with more booze and an unlimited supply of narcotics.
For ten months I bounced from house to house around the small town streets, somehow making my weekly hour-long visitation rights to see my twins.
There were many nights I made my bed on a park bench. Strangely enough during those ten months I felt a strong connection to God and that somehow, someway he would guide me through these rough waters.
And believe me I was mixed up with some very dangerous people and circumstances throughout my time. In fact everyone that I associated with then is now either dead or in prison.
Around this time after ten months, my mania ceased and I was left with seizures and chronic anxiety trying to come off the alcohol and pills.
I ended up in a weekly hotel rental where my twin brother picked me up and brought me to a hospital in Ohio.
It was there that I was finally diagnosed and treated for bipolar disorder. It was there that I would remain for the next nine months.
It was a long, lonely and painful recovery, with a few visits from my parents and siblings, who at the time were still frightened by my experience and made it clear that they were nervous to be even around me.
Eventually I moved out of the hospital with two peers, who immediately relapsed and I called my Mom and asked if they would take me into their home in OR.
I spent four months on their living room couch, until I got the energy up to seek employment nearby.
I got myself a small one bedroom close to downtown, not in the greatest area of town, but made the best of it for almost two years.
At this time I was on better terms with my now ex-wife and made monthly visits to Cincinatti to be with my children.
Little did I know that my ex was an active alcoholic throughout our divorce, my time in the hospital and the two years I spent on the West Coast.
I remember the day I told my parents that I had to move back to Cincinatti to be an active parent to my now 3-year-old children.
We all cried, because there had been so much pain I had gone through and now I was going back to where it all began.
Even though I didn't know the extent of my ex-wife's illness, I had a gut feeling that something awful was going to happen and I needed to be there for my children.
I can only tell you that God was involved throughout my entire ordeal whether I knew it or not.
I returned to Cincinatti in February of 2008 to find out my wife had entered rehab on the West Coast and had taken the children with her.
I had a job and lived with a close friend and his family for a couple of months until she returned.
Ten days after her return, my ex-wife went into a coma from an overdose of cocaine and alcohol.
I filed for full custody of the children and it was granted.
Three and a half months later my ex-wife died on Father's day.
Although I wanted to write off my in-laws for good and take the children back West, I discovered that my children had many of their needs met here in Cincinatti.
They had a nanny that had been with them since birth and as much as I despised them, my in-laws were a big part of my children's life and had filled in when my ex was too sick to care for them.
I have a wonderful therapist who has helped me since I have returned.
The road here has been has been a struggle too.
Being a single father and holding down a full-time job has tested my resilience and trying to forgive people that have hurt me in the past has been trying to say the least.
I have had to set boundaries for my in-laws, who believe that Love consists of material gifts and expensive dinners out.
It's not perfect, but we have managed to strike a balance that the children and I can live with, and it helps that my in-laws reside in the South for the better part of the year.
Unfortunately my life will never be the same. I have witnessed horrendous acts of violence, murder and drug overdoses!
I live a quiet live now that consists of taking care of my children and working. I enjoy my livelihood and especially being a father, but am still tortured silently of a past that will be a part of me forever!
My condition has been under control for many years now. I have been able to perform my duties as active Father to my children and have held down a fairly lucrative job.
I have recently had to change positions and my new job is highly stressful and requires a lot of travel and time away from home.
I have discussed these issues with my therapist and have concluded that this added stress may lead to another bipolar episode!
I can't afford another episode and have prepared a living will in case something happens to me again.
I'm praying that this will not be the case, but I am going to have to quit my new position.
In order to be a responsible and active parent, I must first be a healthy one!
It's not I'm my nature to seek for outside assistance, but with my current circumstances, I'm going to need help.
Without my job, I will be without a company vehicle! I need transportation to get my children from place to place, to get groceries, get them to their doctor visits. My daughter has asthma and my son is ADHD.
I have a tremendously stressful life and huge responsibilities even without full time employment.
I'm reaching out in the hopes that someone will read about what has happened to me and direct myself and my children toward some recourses that can help us!
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