Sunday, July 31, 2016
Well, it's been over two years now that I began one of the greatest struggles of my life. And how am I doing? Great! Am I cured? Far from. I feel blessed to be stable. A little over medicated, but I'm ok with it right now as I'm going through a lot of stresses in my life. We moved from San Antonio, Texas up to the great state of Washington. Uprooting myself has been a hard thing for me. I had a great therapist and a good psychiatrist. He empowered me to take control of my medications. And then there was the comfort of the psychiatric hospital pretty much in my backyard. Moving has been a great leap of faith. "Faith is not faith until it's all you're hanging onto" a great friend once said. And here I am living in a tiny town. And I am ok with it. Drugs, therapists, they all help, but the biggest thing that brought everything together to make it mesh was faith. I had to practice having faith that I could be content and that I would feel better one day. That was the biggest help for me. But like I said, it was in a combination of the three. I believe in meds. I believe God has blessed us with that knowledge. Does it take time to find the right mix? Absolutely. My heart goes out to those still struggling. I feel blessed that it only took two years to get me where I am today. But I'm not through. I am still over medicated, meaning I don't have much emotions one way or another and I sleep too well. I love sleep. So I have things to tweak. But most of what I want to say is that I've discovered that there's hope and there is a light in that dark tunnel of problems and trials. Take each day one at a time if you have to. I remember thinking that I would never be able to stop thinking about being depressed. It consumed my thoughts every day. But I don't worry about it now. It was work, but I got through it. So work on! You can survive until tomorrow. You don't have to worry that you're going to feel crazy for the next five years. Seek all the help you can get. And just try. Trying felt so hard at first. But take it one day, one hour at a time.
Sunday, June 7, 2015
Thursday, April 16, 2015
I think we can all agree that there are two forces in this world: good and evil. Good being whatever you want to call it: God, Budha, Allah, or just a moral purpose. Then there's evil. Most call it The devil, or Satan, or also the opposite of living in peace and tranquility. Anyways, I believe in God and that God wants us to be happy. I believe in Satan and that he wants us to be miserable. This is one of my coping mechanisms. If I start to feel lousy and miserable I try to remember where that source is coming from. This doesn't guarantee that I'll feel happy right away, but it brings things back into perspective. It's irrational to think that you can be happy every day. But it is not irrational to be content and at peace no matter what you are going through. When you are going through a particularly hard time, challenge those negative thoughts. For example, one of mine is the thought that I will never be happy again because of my mental illness. Well, this miserable thought isn't put into my brain by God because God wants me to be happy. So I write down why this feeling of never being happy again is a lie. (It's best to write things down because your brain is going a million miles an hour and when you have to stop and think to write it slows it down and causes you to think and be more rational.). I write down every moment in the past week that I've experienced some happiness. This shows me that I have been happy while dealing with my anxiety and depression. Sometimes when you're in the moment, you over dramatize things or catastrophize things. This works for anything. Remember, the good forces in this world are happiness, contentment, and joy. The evil forces are unhappiness and misery. Remembering that can help as you struggle with anything in this life. If you are confused with what I'm talking about or disagree, give me an example and I'll help you figure it out!
Thursday, April 2, 2015
So the number one thing about a mental illness is acceptance. If you don't believe one doctor, get a second opinion. So after 4 doctors telling me that I have Bipolar 2, I think it's safe to say I need to accept it. Yes, I spent another week in a psychiatric hospital after my mood swings were getting to intense to handle. I was in denial about the Bipolar. I had myself convinced all it was was anxiety and depression. A lot of it is stigma. But it's the stigma I've created myself. So while I agree there is no magic pill to make us happy, for those of us with Bipolar, psychosis, or schizophrenia, there are drugs to help manage it. Therapy is still key in dealing and thriving. I feel more in control now. It took me three days at the hospital to accept the fact that I needed to accept my Bipolar. After that, and a positive attitude, things started to get better. I've been able to function. I was scared to come home because of the stresses of life. But I was wrong. I feel so much better at home, like I can handle things now. I'm also beginning to feel more satisfaction in the things I do. Is everything perfect now? No, I still get anxious. But it's not nearly as bad. I'm excited for the future. I believe I am on the road to recovery.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
For the past year I have been struggling with anxiety and then depression reared it's ugly head and decided to join the party. I went to a mental hospital last year to get help. I spent 10 days there and then 3 weeks in outpatient therapy. The whole time I was thinking, all this therapy is nice, but the medication I'm taking will take it all away so I don't need to worry. Boy was I totally wrong! Does anybody else think like me? Take a pill and all your symptoms will magically be gone! Like there's some happy pill out there. I was told after I left the outpatient clinic to get a therapist. Well, I really didn't need one, my medicine was going to do the trick and I'm not so bad off. So six months pass and I am still suffering with anxiety off and on. Each time it would flare up, I run to the doctor asking for help. She just tweeks my Meds. Finally, she suggests I go see a physciatrist. So I go to him thinking he will have a magic pill for me. He diagnoses me with Bipolar 2. Ok, whatever, give me your magic pills! You know what, I started taking the new medications and immediately felt good! (Placebo effect? How does a medication that's suppose to take a few weeks to kick in make you feel so good right away?). I felt great for six weeks! Best I had in a while. It was great! Then my friend commits suicide. Holy cow! What?! He was suffering worse than I with PTSD, anxiety, and depression. This sends me into a troublesome depression. Am I next? Is this what's eventually in store for me? Why go on living then? Why even try? So what do I do? Run back to the doctor. He just prescribes me more pills. I look at him and ask, what am I suppose to do? I'm so depressed, what do I do now? He tells me to get a therapist. My bishop had given me the name of an LDS therapist several months back, you know when I didn't need one? Haha. So I call this lady up and get an appointment two days later. This began my journey of recovery. During the month of December, I tried Wellbutrin twice and was put on lithium. What the heck?! Worst side effects ever! Where is that magic pill?! Reality check: there is no magic pill. Medications may or may not help to stabilize your moods to a certain extent, but they don't cure or take things away. No matter what, I've learned that I have to accept what I have and do all I can to get myself better. It is the hardest thing I have ever done. I have wanted to die so many times in the past three months. I have wanted to go back to the mental hospital. All these things because I am seeking peace and relief. But do you know where that peace comes from? Acceptance. I am struggling with this. Like I said, hardest thing ever. But today I am feeling ok. Tomorrow I may be a mess again and have to start the whole acceptance process over. I cannot fear it, I cannot wish it away. Will I ever have a day where I will just need to drug myself up to get through it? Sure. But things will get better. I'm past the point of wanting to die, at least for now. I feel stronger. Maybe I'll regress, who knows. Why haven't I taken my life yet? Because I can't stand the thought of the hurt I would cause my family. I can't stand the thought of thinking I sold my birthright for a mess of pottage. Plus I realize that I am a daughter of a Heavenly King. He loves me more than I can imagine! I am of great worth and have a great purpose on this earth. Does this always make me feel better? No, but it helps to bring hope. I think this whole process is compare able to the grieving process. There's denial, there's the sadness and despair, there's the anger, and finally when I get to it, acceptance. I will have to deal with anxiety and depression (heck, maybe I really am bipolar too! Add that to the list.) for the rest of my life. I am going to have to accept this somehow. It's no different than accepting that you may have cancer or another chronic perhaps life threatening disease. It doesn't make it go away by accepting it. It just brings peace, and you can deal with things better. So when anxiety knocks at my door, I welcome her in. She's a girl. We are best friends. She likes movies. Depression isn't my best friend yet. Still working on that relationship. She's the one who will probably send me back to the mental hospital. But wait, if I try harder to let her be my friend, I could avoid going back forever.
Sunday, March 23, 2014
On March 14th, Dane had his cast removed. The bone is still healing, but strong enough to be walked on without support. It will be awhile before Dane walks normal. The muscle is very weak and he walks with a limp. But Dane is not in any pain and is in good spirits. He's got some nifty scars to brag about!