Stabilize

I sat in the waiting room clutching papers in my hand. For two weeks I had prepared to tell my doctor that I finally began seeing a therapist and that the diagnosis from her standpoint was leaning towards bipolar disorder. Awkwardly I gathered my things together once my name was called and followed the nurse for blood pressure and weight checks. Weighing in at 210 pounds threw me off guard at first, but I suppose that’s what happens when you stop drinking every day.

The nurse handed me the same GAD checklist that gets filled out each visit. I hadn’t seen my doctor in a little over a month so my numbers were up higher than in previous visits. As I would fill out “More than half the days”, I could feel that I was getting beside myself again. I should’ve been better than this. I should’ve been normal.

The doctor came in the room almost as quickly as the nurse left it. Before I could even allow the “hello” to escape her lips, the paperwork was extended in her direction and I told her I had gone to a therapist. “We think I may have bipolar disorder. I’m not throwing chairs or anything like that but after reading off the symptoms, a lot of things make a lot of sense. The high sex drive, the huge interest in hobbies only to drop them within a week or so, the days of not being able to make myself get off of the couch, my lack of focus and excess of indecision, it’s all here and then some.”, I said while pointing at the bipolar information sheet.

“Well I had my suspicions, but getting a second opinion from a therapist definitely solidifies a treatment option. Let’s try weaning off of one of your antidepressants and adding a mood stabilizer.”, she said.

I want to be clear by saying that I’m not glad that I am on another medication, but I am glad that I may be one step closer to finding a way to live life without my life getting in the way of… Well… My life. The problem I have with my mental health is that I wake up with either no motivation to get anything done, or so much motivation that I run errands and still not get anything done. I can have a great day until a derogatory comment is made to either me or a friend, and it sends my mood into a sullen, sarcastic, and depressing cloud for either hours or the rest of the day. I feel as though I have never had any control over my sensitivity or emotions, even as a child.

It has been four days since I have begun the process to stabilize. The new medicine I am trying is called Topiramate and if it’s anything like my Lexapro, it probably is something that will take time for my body to chemically register before a difference is noticed. Honestly, the biggest side effects I feel today are lethargy and extreme dizziness. It is as if I have hit the bottle hard enough to have woken up drunk and held onto it. This medicine is also used to treat seizures as well as migraines, so I feel that it plays with a different part of the mind than I am used to, so hopefully a change will come soon. According to other articles, it takes around five to six days for the side effects to dissipate.

This is only the beginning of this journey, and I write to keep you in the loop about this process in case any of you ever go through the same thing. If you feel as though you need help with mental health please reach out to someone. You are never alone. I am available for contact via social media if anyone ever needs an ear to listen. You can find my contact information as well as my other blog posts at www.outtodry.blog.

Take care everyone!

5 Ways to Keep Shining Your Light When the Odds are Against You

What dims your light? Is it not being supported by friends, family, or loved ones? Or is it taking two steps toward your dreams, only to be pushed ten steps back? When the odds stack up against you, do you keep pushing back or do you allow the metaphorical water to rise above your head and carry you away?

I get swept away daily, like a piece of timber caught up in a torrent. But with each storm, I’ve started to create my own sunshine; and it has made a world’s difference. It can for you, too.

  1. “Right now, it’s like this” – I first heard these words at a Wanderlustyoga event led by the mesmerizing Chelsey Korus. We were in a challenging pose, our muscles burning and screaming out in protest. And in the middle of stifled breaths and pissed off egos, she gently said – right now, it’s like this. This moment and this struggle feels crippling now, like you can’t go on, like you are fighting a ghost. Own the matter of fact that is this moment, because you cannot change it. And the longer you fight it to become something else, the more it will kick you down; until you learn that, right now, it’s like this. But it won’t always be. The pain and challenge and darkness will shift, change, and manifest into something else to show you that nothing is permanent, and you are far stronger than you think.
  2. Become your own advocate – Support will come in many ways: a hug, a handshake, a pat on the back, a gentle “I’m proud of you.” Until it runs out. Until your great feats are left waiting by the door with no one to notice. In these moments, it’s easy to discard our gifts and talents, and simply fall in line with mundane living and thinking. Don’t. Become your biggest supporter and your loudest cheerleader. Shine your light, even if you’re standing in the dark alone; because your purpose does not grow in the hands of the few who approve it or push it aside. It’s a part of you. Own it.
  3. Fake it ’till you make it – Negative thoughts will come after you like a rabid dog; that’s a fact. Some days, standing in your truth and moving toward your dreams will feel like a crippled crawl, and all you’ll want to do is quit. There is no secret affirmation or practice that will erase the negativity that stands behind every courageous push. That’s not how it works. You’ll feel like throwing in the towel more times than you can count, and believe me – the guilt behind those defeating thoughts is nauseating. Keep going. Through every punch and hit, grit your teeth and push on. Through the tears and the fear, slap on a smile and say – you hit like a bitch. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. You are the light. And nothing in your dreams will get easier. But if you keep going, you will get stronger than ANYTHING putting you down.
  4. Ten steps back is a chance to rest and go again – We keep expecting this hill of ours to end, until we hit a plateau and it’s a breezy walk to the finish. But I’ve learned that anything that gives us a purpose in life will be the hardest challenge we’ve yet to face. Thankfully, it will also be the worthiest challenge. Comedian Kevin Hart repeats this mantra before every show – everyone wants to be famous, but no one wants to put the work in. Whether or not you want to be famous or pleasantly known, you want something. In order to get it and keep having it in your life as a drive forward, you have to keep taking steps up. And when that challenge rears its head and knocks you down a peg, as it will, you have the option of quitting or pausing. In those moments of pause is where you have the gift of gaining perspective, inspiration, and re-focus of what you’re after. Take it. And then get up and continue, renewed.
  5. Remember why you started – Your light is what guides you to your Highest Good. It won’t be easy, it won’t be short, and it won’t be linear. But you started your journey for a reason, and you keep coming back to it, even when you’re worn, beat down, and alone. As you walk your path, remember why you started in the first place. Allow the purity of it to become your strength and courage, and repeat it to yourself when the darkness closes in or the steps become too steep. Push back against the negativity that looms overhead, with every intention and bough of faith; because this is your light, and you’re shining it like a star!

I’ve been on my path of writing and sharing my story for years. Some days, I want to burn every page I ever wrote in my journal. I believe in the odds stacked up against me because I believe I can overcome them. They are not my end – they’re simply my reminder. I am here to shine my light, in the cold and in the dark. And so are you.

Keep going.

 

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Celebrating the Small Things

So, I looking at blog today working on making some changes, and I saw that I had hit 50,000 views. Its been a little oversix months since I started The Bipolar Writer blog. I wanted to thank every one of you that view my blog everyday and leave such amazing  comments. I am nearing 4,000 fellow blogger followers and I am excited to which the small goal of 50,000 views.

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So thank you. Here is to another 50k in views.

J.E Skye

Photo Credit: unsplash-logoDakota Corbin