Kenneth B

By August 29, 2016Story

Hi! I will be 60 next week. I am currently retired but previously was a Sr. Vice President of several Fortune 500 companies. I am educated and, despite being BiPolar and an alcoholic, was a high functioning, very successful overachiever. I believe that I have been BiPolar since my teenage years. I started drinking heavily when I was also in my teens and continued drinking heavily until 2 1/2 years ago (1,018 days ago to be precise). I was fired from my very prestigious job in 2010 for my alcohol-related behaviors while working. Of course, I began drinking very heavily (approximately 1 liter of vodka each day 5-6 days per week. My relationships were seriously damaged, almost destroyed, and severe financial problems also appeared which continue to this day.

Although I was diagnosed and started treatment for BiPolar Disorder approximately 20 years ago, my heavy drinking seriously impaired the effectiveness of the prescribed medication. So I have really only been effectively treated for the last couple of years. After I quit drinking and really began to seriously treat my condition everything was going fine until June 28, 2015 when I “fell off the “wagon” and drank approximately 6 ounces of vodka (I believe I was in a depression phase at the time). I ended up in the hospital and was transferred to a facility for the treatment of mental illness. I was there for 3 days and managed to convince them I was ready for dismissal so I came home to a very pissed wife and very concerned family and extended family members. I was still in a depression phase and my depression continued to worsen until July 11, 2015.

On July 11, 2015, I shot myself and, but for the grace of God and some very good trauma surgeons, came within millimeters of ending my life. I spent 3 weeks in the hospital and underwent 2 life saving surgeries where my life was hanging in the balance and a third major surgery. This experience was life changing. After dismissal from the hospital, I immediately met with the mental health professional who helps me manage my medication and we made some serious changes to my medication regimen. At that time, I also sought treatment from a very well-respected therapist and treatment continues to this day and will probably continue for some time, maybe for the rest of my life.

The medication changes have, so far, been effective in preventing any suicidal thoughts or feelings of despair, helplessness and negative feelings regarding my self-worth. I began keeping a Daily Log to track my cycling and work on it at least twice each day, usually multiple times each day. In other words,I now know that BiPolar disorder is a life-threatening illness that must be carefully and consistently managed every single day .

On the bright side, although I continue to cycle through depression, mania and mixed states, for the last year I have been consistently happier than I can ever remember and am very optimistic about what the future holds. I have rediscovered my spiritual beliefs, made significant positive improvement in family relations which have been horribly, but not irrevocably damaged.

This has been a classic American Tragedy and I hope my experiences educate, and, hopefully, help someone else who is struggling. Even If no one reads this, it has been very helpful to publicly acknowledge my condition and continue to move forward with my life.

God Bless You all and thank you to the creators of this website and allowing me a chance to publicly acknowledge my experiences. It really does help to share with others who are understaanding and care about others.

7 Comments

  • Angela says:

    Thank you for posting this.

  • Shannon M says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. Keep moving forward, that’s what we all aim for!

  • Tania R says:

    You are a rock star for choosing to tell your story out loud-may you continue to heal and experience contentment . Gd knows you’ve been through hell and back many times over. There’s no reason you can’t have a wonderful next however many years you have left on the planet.

  • Oksana B says:

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Tonya K says:

    I am a health teacher and I find your story inspiring and informative. So much of hour health and how our lives turn out are based on decisions and I was glad to see that you spoke about the outcomes of your decisions and the outcomes of your decisions. I like that you acknowledge that your mental disorder as something that you have to manage and work on everyday. So many people believe and want to think that a situation like yours gets treated and then it works or it doesn’t.
    When everyone understands that both mental and physical health is something to strive for each day we can change perceptions and attitudes and move forward to a healthier lifestyle. Good luck to you!

  • Darlene says:

    Thank you for sharing your story, I cried for you and will lift you up in prayer. Please stay on your meds and with your counselor. Your life is important, and remember graces come from all things. Your story may save lives.

  • Stacey K. says:

    Thank you for sharing. I am a high functioning well educated bipolar person as well. Your testimony spoke to me and I can relate in everyway. Keep up the good fight.

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