To follow up from the last post I want to once again say that we are making February our "share your story month". Because of this it is probably appropriate that I continue to share my story in February not late January. After sharing my story last week I know many people are wondering where I am now, maybe not necessarily occupationally because you can follow that on our website, but emotionally.
So out of my commitment to be completely honest to my readers here is my story now, today, in all its emotionally exposed glory:
Yesterday I went to see my psychiatrist. I told him that I am feeling slightly moody and find myself creeping into these unintended, uncontrollable moments of frustration, hyperactivity, or utter exhaustion. We talked about the need to "tweak" my meds, and we talked about the likelihood of changing one out completely sometime in the near future.
Now, I have been stable for a long time, aside from a small yearly depression that comes around the anniversary of an overdose, a depression that lasted slightly longer this year, but was still completely manageable. I still consider myself stable. But I continue to have these little hiccups of symptoms. Moments where I would feel much better jumping on the bed for hours than I would trying to attempt even a partial night's sleep. Moments where I feel so exhausted after having lunch with someone that I come home and pass out in seconds. And worst of all, moments where I find myself furious over the thought of doing dishes (and I am not an angry person by any means).
I tend to freak out about such hiccups. I think, is it coming back?! Oh my god, what if I have mixed episodes again! I'll have to be locked up! All the work I'm doing will be ruined! And then I spin off into these worry tangents until I either hit a wall, cry hysterically, or slap some sense into myself and tell myself to knock it off! These are hiccups, nothing terrible is going to happen. I am not going to suddenly loose it with all the safety nets in place, and all the lessons I have learned.
And so I go through this, I have this constant conversation with myself every time a little bump comes about. But then my common sense kicks in and reminds me that:
1) every time I felt an episode coming in the past I told my doctors immediately
2) I have learned healthy, safe coping techniques if things do go wrong
3) I am aware of the most minute movements towards any episode
4) I have an amazing support network
When I go through these hiccups, these "tweaks" in my meds I am always scared to tell people. I travel the country telling people my story, telling them horrifying things but making them feel better by saying "but I'm stable now" at the end. And I am. Just maybe not perfect. And I fear telling people, "I'm great but I have been having issues with my meds", or "I'm wonderful, but have been having small worrisome mood swings lately", because I'm afraid they won't get it. I'm afraid they will still be afraid for me. So I often tell them I'm fine no matter what.
But that's not truly telling my story. That's not being authentically honest. So I have made a promise to myself, I will always tell people exactly how I really feel. And if they worry I will remind them of all the things I remind myself. I will tell them how I feel in order to show them that when you are bipolar you have small bumps sometimes, but they don't paralyze you. You have to keep going on with your life. And you can with all the safety nets in place.
So, here it is, here is me right now, at this moment:
I am Linea. I am bipolar and have been having small mood swings lately that are causing me to have to make small adjustments to my medications and it makes me anxious. However, I am completely fine. I am capable and happy doing all the work that I do because I know how to take care of myself. Things will not happen as they did in the past because I know how to handle my stress levels, how to keep myself from coping in unhealthy ways, and how to ask for help when I need it. I am stable. I have bumps. And it's okay.