Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Day 85: Safe and Sound

I had about 4 good days.  In a row.

It was magical.

Seriously can't explain how it felt.

Then yesterday hit like an express train.  It was a train wreck.  Baby B had just had a couple of off days in a row and yesterday put me way past my breaking point.  If I was a cursing woman, it would have sounded like a bunch of sailors were storming around my house.

As it was, I couldn't help but yelling a bit as HH and I drove to my therapy appointment.  Not necessarily at HH.  I just was so mad.

I have mixed feelings about how effective, or not that made our therapy appointment.  My therapist thought it was great timing.  At least I felt a little less stressed and angry when it was over.

HH and I came home and got the kids in bed and then just chilled with a movie.  I felt better.  Until I had a meltdown at bedtime, convinced that the next few days will be nightmares and I might not make it through.

Fortunately, HH just held me in bed until I fell asleep.  That always helps me feel safe and secure.

And I woke up this morning feeling a bit more optimistic about things.  A walk/jog (easing in slowly, even if it's tortuous) helped further that optimism.

Then, an interesting and helpful appointment with my psychiatrist.  We actually spent the vast majority of that appointment discussing Baby B, but that is part of a story that will most likely make its way into a future post all its own.  But, he also helped to reassure me that this new medication should help with the fallout from the stress of recent months that is most troubling to me lately.

I realize that last sentence was worded a little awkwardly.  I'm not changing it.

And then lunch with a friend who has been a lifesaver these past months, over and over again.

I'm going to pull through, folks.  I really think I will.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Day 84: These Posts Don't Write Themselves

I have sat down to write a post a few times since that last post.

But, I felt like I had nothing to write about.

Things here have been messy and ugly and I've been trying to pretend and force my way through it.  I have felt so confused, out of control, and helpless.  But, I'm so tired of explaining (and feeling like I'm complaining) to my caring friends and family.  So, I tried my hardest to keep it all under wraps.  That's a big part of why I haven't posted here either.  I'm just tired of being so messed up.

I think I mentioned that my new psychiatrist put me on a new medication.  And that I was feeling quite optimistic about it.  That optimism lasted about a day and then life got crazy and stressful and I couldn't ever get back on track.

And then I felt like my emotions spiraled completely out of control.  Last week, my therapist stopped me mid-appointment and asked, "Where are you (mood-wise) on a scale of 1-10?"  I said, "I can't really tell you."  He tried to clarify, "Usually, I can get a pretty good read on you from the moment you walk into my office.  I can see when you're doing pretty well, and I can tell when it's been a rough week.  But today, I'm having a very difficult time getting a read on you."  I nodded my head and repeated, "I can't really say myself.  I'm all over the place.  When I started driving here, I felt sick to my stomach because I didn't want to tell you some of the things that have been going on with me.  Then some good songs came on the radio and Darling A and I were rocking out and I was feeling great.  And now, I've shared with you all of those yucky things I didn't want to have to say, and I'm not feeling so great again."

And that kind of summed up my day.  Every day.  For a couple of weeks.

And I started to seriously wonder if I'm just on a slow train to Crazyville.  Which is not a pleasant subject to contemplate.

So, I've been scared, confused, angry, frustrated, and irritable.

Super fun for my family.

But, along the way I discovered (through help from the Holy Ghost) that my nurse practitioner had prescribed THREE medications and supplements that are actually known to increase manic episodes in people with bipolar.

That's really responsible medicine there, folks.

So, I went off of them.

And I think that may have been a big cause of the roller coaster ride.  But, it lasted a lot longer than I expected it to and I was afraid it was never going to end, hence the train ride concerns.  I even found myself wishing I could just go back to September.  Before my break down.  Before the hospital.  Before all of the interventions.

Because things were not great then, but at least I felt like my insanity was intact.  And I could have a good day here and there.  And I wasn't snapping at my family all the time.  Or hating myself.

But, I finally started to be able to work out again last week.  The mono seems to be improving bit by bit.  I can exercise and do some work around the house and as long as I get a nap in, I'm doing alright.  It is still a struggle to not feel like a lazy slob and freak out about getting out of shape, but it's a struggle that is (slowly) getting easier to fight.

I even had a small opportunity to help a friend out last Friday.  And it took me a couple of hours to make the connection, but that simple act of service really lifted my mood.  And I remembered how much serving used to really help me combat the depression.

Until I got sick mentally and physically and everyone said, "Stop.  You just need to take care of you."  Good advice, I know.  But, there is a reason we feel better when we help others.  Lots of reasons, really.  So, I need that too.

The good news is that my good mood has lasted since last Friday.  It even survived a truly horrendous morning today, full of ornery and misbehave children.  That hasn't happened in forever.  I'm a little nervous to be typing this, for fear that I will jinx it.

But, I'm really hoping (while trying to keep my expectations low) that this is a sign that all of that junk is out of my system and my new med is finally kicking in.

Whatever the cause, HH and I are just really grateful for today.  And yesterday.  And Saturday.  Good days had become like a distant memory.  Maybe that sounds a little melodramatic, but it really was beginning to feel like I'd never have a good day again.

So, I'm happy for this moment.  Regardless of what the next moment may bring.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Day 83: Let Me 'Splain

No, there is too much.  Let me sum up.  Buttercup is marry Humperdink in a little less than half an hour.  So, all we have to do is get in, break up the wedding, steal the princess, make our escape... after I  kill Count Rugen.

Oh, wait.  Wrong sum up.

Okay, so Sunday the kids had a recital.  I had documentary issues, so nothing here, by way of visual fun.  But Sweet P and Little M did great.  And we had a house full of friends and family to support them.  And it made me really happy and grateful.  For the kids' hours of practicing and the audience.  And my own hours of practice.

Just being honest.

Monday we had a sort of awesome Family Home Evening.  That happens about once a millennium.  So, this was exciting.  It was the lesson that was supposed to happen last week.  But, remember, I was at Urgent Care.  I'd had the kids read this article, after a discussion earlier regarding people who choose to leave the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, even after once having a testimony.  I wanted them to know how they can avoid this and maintain their testimonies of Jesus Christ.  So, I told them to read and star sections they liked and circle words and parts they didn't understand.  It was definitely a longer lesson than usual, but it went so well because the kids already knew what I was talking about and we had a really great discussion.

Tuesday--I can't really remember.  I'm pretty sure I took a couple naps while my mom took care of everything and everyone.  Oh, and I took a quick trip to Target pharmacy for a refill and to grab a couple essentials before the snow storm.

Wednesday was a snow day.  I'm so grateful this happened while Grandma was here.  It was so much fun for all of them.  I, was at a doctor's office.  And then the Target pharmacy for a new prescription.  Only they didn't have it on hand.  It would come in the next day.  But, the good news is the doctor is a new psychiatrist.  And he is the exact opposite of every other psychiatrist I've ever been to.  I had two questions I wanted answered.  He answered them both with far more thoroughness than I expected.  Or even hoped for.  Maybe this is a tad excessive, but he made me feel like I'm kind of a normal person.  A normal for for a person with mental illness.  And he provided a bit of hope.  Always appreciated.

Thursday--More naps.  And another trip to Target pharmacy.  Yeah.  For real.

Friday--Started with a trip to Target pharmacy.  Stay tuned for the rest.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Day 82: Mono y Mono

Don't worry.  I know I spelled that wrong.  I did it on purpose.

Because I think I'm so clever.

And because I now have a legitimate excuse as to why I always feel too tired to write a new post.

I have mono.

As in mononucleosis.

And, apparently, I've had it since probably November.  And, since I'm full of awesome issues, I have some lovely complications and will probably still be suffering the consequences until sometime in April.

So, that's pretty awesome.

And then, just to make things more awesome, my back started hurting.

And just kept getting worse and worse and worse and worse.

And worse.

So, we wound up at Urgent Care Monday night, and then when the stuff they gave me there had no effect and I was still getting worse, the ER Tuesday morning.

Even more awesome.

And it turns out I have...


Back pain!

Yeah.  That's it.  Just really bad back pain.  I felt the need to tell everyone at the hospital that I work out all the time and I'm actually in really good shape, even though, at the time, I was moving like a geriatric patient.  None of them cared.

But, it made me feel better.

Maybe you've heard--I have issues.

Anyway, it's taken me about 4 days to write this post between pain and fatigue and life.  Which is probably a good thing because when I initially started it, I was not in a good place.  I've been so frustrated and anxious and angry and despondent.  Having to seriously curtail my workout routine since December has been difficult enough on my psyche.  But now, barely being able to sit up, let alone move, is incredibly frustrating.  And has caused me so much anxiety.

But, I can see quite clearly that there is purpose in this.  And I'm trying to cling to that.  I know it will help me make changes and break addictions that need to be broken.  If I let it.  And I know that having to lay down pretty much all the time will help me recover from the mono quicker.

And my mama is here right now, so she and HH are taking care of pretty much everything, so I actually can do that.

Yesterday, I was reading a talk given by President Thomas S. Monson last October, I Will Not Fail Thee, nor Forsake Thee, where I came across this quote (I know I've already shared it with some of you):

"Our Heavenly Father, who gives us so much to delight in, also knows that we learn and grow and become stronger as we face and survive the trials through which we must pass. We know that there are times when we will experience heartbreaking sorrow, when we will grieve, and when we may be tested to our limits. However, such difficulties allow us to change for the better, to rebuild our lives in the way our Heavenly Father teaches us, and to become something different from what we were—better than we were, more understanding than we were, more empathetic than we were, with stronger testimonies than we had before."

And this is what I am trying to keep at the forefront of my consciousness.  To remember that there is purpose in all trials.  And that maybe the strengths I will gain from this experience will far surpass the weakening of my physical strength.

Okay, I know it's certain and not "maybe", but I'm still working on making myself believe that.  Because one thing I've learned over and over in the past year and a half is that there is a big difference between knowing and believing.  Knowing is nice, but believing is what causes me to make changes in my life.