Then & Now


Over the weekend I started my new dose of Lamictal…another 50mgs to try and put the brakes on my latest (and longest) high.

Last week I was reeling from it…dizzy from the frenzy.

This week I feel my mind turning around & going in the opposite direction…everything is slowing down.

My thoughts are still all over the place, but instead of shouting & screaming to be heard they mumble as they mill about…whispering their requests & anxieties from dark, shadowy corners they’ve been banished to.

Somewhere between the ups & downs of this disorder, there lies a middle ground called stability…a place where medication keeps everything from getting out of control. A place where the highs don’t send me skyrocketing into the stratosphere and the lows don’t entrench & isolate me in the darkness of depression.

I know recovery ( i.e. stability) is not a myth, some city of gold that’s only been talked about but never actually seen or experienced. It’s real. I’ve talked to people who live there, who have managed to build a healthy & stable life within the valleys of mental illness.

I hope I’m closer to residing there than I was a year ago. Last July I walked into the VA hospital crying and begging the social worker & intake psych to help me as Alex slept in my arms. Last July I wanted to die and knew I would if I didn’t get help that day. I was willing to take anything, do anything, just to make the chaos stop for 10 seconds. That’s all I wanted. A 10 second reprieve from a mind that was too scary and confusing. I just wanted to be able to breathe without feeling like I was suffocating. This July I no longer want to die and I can breathe at least 10 seconds longer, taking in bigger gulps of air & of life in the process. A year later I still have highs and lows but they cycle at a much slower pace than they used to. I no longer wonder how I’m going to feel from hour to hour. My focus is now on managing how I feel from day to day.

I know I still have a ways to go before I get there, to stability. But where I had no hope of it a year ago, I feel it now. I know it now. I can see it on the horizon, off in the distance, welcoming me like an old friend…waiting for me to come and make myself at home.

There are upcoming changes & transitions I’m worried about that may threaten my progress…and lots of good, exciting new things I’m looking forward to….so that’s why I’m more concerned about this impending low than I’d like to admit. I hate putting pressure on myself but I can’t help but feel as though everything over the next 4 weeks depends on how well I ride out this about face in mood.

I’m not really sure of where this post is going, and I feel like I’ve spewed enough disjointed thoughts so I’ll end it here with this:

I painted today….something I wasn’t doing a year ago. Crazy how much you change in a year, eh?

20120716-213523.jpg

20120716-213532.jpg

20120716-213543.jpg

20120716-213551.jpg

20120716-213605.jpg

20120716-213612.jpg

20120716-213620.jpg

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Then & Now

  1. Thank you for talking through the differences in the year you’ve had, and for providing hope and encouragement to others whose minds continue to frustrate them. You are incredibly strong, and I’m so grateful that you blog about what it’s really like in your mind. Thank you.

  2. You’re doing great. You hang in there like nobody else I know. I’m really happy you have painting to turn to. I lost all of my creativity while riding this bipolar train and I want it back, but not at the expense of the crazies taking over my head again. Seems there’s no middle ground in that.

  3. I see nothing but a beautiful woman who is walking through the cards life has dealt her with poise and grace. As always, thank you for your honesty. Also: that seems like SO MUCH PRESSURE for the next four weeks…sigh, you can do this and you will be OK. 🙂 Hugs from Austin! 🙂

  4. I felt my heart tighten as I read this post. Just a short time ago, this was my family – my husband in the ER begging for help. Me – pregnant with our third child and scared to death. Depression was not something I was familiar with and did not at all understand. But I came to be very familiar with it. And now, you’re right, it’s amazing what can happen in a year. Love your heart so much and praying for you during this transition.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s