Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"Arrange whatever pieces come your way." ~Virginia Wolfe
      

The routine I've been keeping since beginning treatment with Risperdal, was tested last week. Life ground to a halt until all that remained was sleep, angst filled sleep. I expected emotional fall out from the fight with mother; which there was. Anger and feelings of abandonment that had to be dealt  with. It is a source of sadness as we still haven't spoken, but I am doing okay. I was not expecting to end up back in bed over it; I'm a big girl after all. 

 This was something more than heart ache. I could tell it was coming on a couple weeks ago. Every three to six weeks I cycle through life with mixed states (a combination of mania and major depression) or life with major depression. In the grip of depression, I can't feel anything- anger nor joy, just an achy paralysis. 

I mentioned the new round of depression to my therapist and she took this information to my psychiatrist. She asked me to wait a few days to see if I got better or worse-maybe the depression wasn't cyclic. I called her back last Friday. Cried,  "Uncle." Dr. F suggested that I take a supplemental anti-depressant on top of the Cymbalta that I already take for depression. I started on the Welbutrin, yesterday.

I write out these rather boring details to illustrate how difficult managing mental illness can be, and to ruminate on my progress. I have had four changes in my medicine just since starting this blog in late August (I used to keep notes in my Tumblr account). On one hand, I am bummed about taking two more pills a day- eight all together. On the other hand, I am managing my bipolar symptoms.

All the work I am doing is paying off. Instead of floundering for weeks in a drawn out depression, I stayed connected with my body and listened carefully. I spoke up when my thoughts grew dark. As a side note, this is the reason I feel it is so important to use a therapist in conjunction with a psychiatrist. Together, the three of you will see patterns or spot weaknesses  in your overall treatment and can quickly make adjustments.

Approaching my illness in a way that emphasizes symptom management, not the unrealistic notion of  symptom eradication is having a very calming effect on me. It is freeing up space in my head that was absorbed in fighting reality and creating suffering for myself. I am the reed bending with the wind. I have wondered for so long how to make a life out of my pile of mess. Slowly, I am getting better and how I view my life is changing. I am seeing possibilities instead of obstacles. 

Thank-you for reading this and being part of my support network. I am still finding my footing in the blogging world and sometimes it is a hard project to believe in. 

Be Well,
~sm


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