Catching up

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged. Maybe it’s because I’ve been busy or maybe it’s because I’ve been through hell and back. It’s probably the latter. I have been through a lot in the last 2 years and it has totally changed my life.

I was going through a bad depression and was diagnosed as Major Depressive Disorder. I wasn’t getting out of bed. My teeth weren’t being brushed, I wasn’t by showing but maybe once a week. I was in a bad place, crying without reason, like big fat cries because I felt it could not possibly get better.

I was seeing my psychiatrist every two weeks, sometimes weekly. I began telling him about how I would have moments where i had amazing amounts of energy, would clean the house from top to bottom, I’d talk too fast and spend too much money. I told my psychiatrist I thought I may have bipolar. It turns out I am. I was devastated about the diagnosis but felt relieved at the same time. Maybe I could finally get on the right medications and I can start to improve.

I had a lot of med changes during that time, trying to nail down what worked best for me. It took a long time to find the right medication for me, like over a year of medication changes, before I found the answer for me. All the while, I was feeling like shit and utterly hopeless. I ended up hospitalized twice that year due to suicidal ideation and hallucinations. I was so broken.

Along came a new psychiatrist who finally took what I said into account. Someone who understood me. I felt comfortable around her and we were finally getting somewhere with the right medication combination to level me out. I had heard of a drug called Vraylar on tv and thought maybe it could be an option for me. It is a medication for Bipolar 1, which is what I have, and it claimed to alleviate symptoms of both mania (my high energy, bad choices symptoms) and depression. I was so excited to go to the psychiatrist to ask about it.

My psychiatrist had never prescribed it because she didn’t know much about it but she was willing to study up on it and give me two weeks to give it a try. I filled the prescription that same day because I was so ready for a change. I needed things to get better or I’d be in the hospital again in no time. I took my first pill the following morning and I could swear I could feel the difference within a day or two. My mood has lightened up a tiny bit. It was going to take some time to fully work considering how deep I was down the rabbit hole. I had hope for the first time in years. I felt like I could actually get better and I held onto that on the bad days and held on even tighter during the good days.

Since I have moved to Tampa things have been getting even better. My home life has gotten better, I can enjoy my kids and my husband, I can get up in the morning and not feel so helpless. I used to wake up and lay in bed for hours before I had the courage to get up, if I had the courage at all.

Fast forward 9 months and I’m finally able to get out of bed, I can do house chores, and I’m back to cooking meals for my family. It may seem like these things are small but to me being able to care for my family is everything. It’s a huge victory for me.

I thought because I was feeling so good i could try to go back to work. I may have been a bit manic when I made that decision. I got a job as a travel nurse and was so excited to be making my own money. I love that my husband can provide for us and doesn’t need me to work but I really wanted to contribute more than a small disability check. In my first week on the new job I worked 50 hours. My body couldn’t stand it. I was not sleeping and I was on night shift so sleep was as important as ever. I became so overwhelmed and quickly realized I didn’t have the mental capacity to take care of my patients how I used to do. It was a brutal reality I had to face. I struggled with it for weeks but I cancelled my assignment and I feel like I finally have a clear head. I won’t be able to work in nursing anymore as much as that breaks my heart.

Now I am a SAHM, helping my boys with their schoolwork each day and it gives me a sense of purpose. It makes me feel better about not being able to work.

It’s December and I’m dealing with some seasonal depression. I’ve been sleeping a lot and haven’t done the best keeping the house clean. This time I noticed the decline early and have been working toward getting back on track. My psychiatrist added another medication to my regimen and she’s very hopeful this will give me the extra push to come out of this episode. As happy as I am with how far I’ve come, I still have a way to go and I’m ok with that. I’ve gotten better and know I can do it again. XX

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