We’re only on day two of Blogvember and I’m already feeling lazy about posting. Not good! I guess I just haven’t developed the habit of writing daily yet. I’ll get there in time I suppose. Today I want to reflect a little on how I’ve been doing mental health wise since that has been a major theme in my life lately.
Right around the time I got my new diagnosis, and subsequent new treatment plan, last month, all I could think about was my mental illness: whether I’d ever be free of it, if I actually really had one or if I was just overly sensitive/moody, the social stigma surrounding being on medication for my mental health, and a whole host of other things related to the issue at hand. In the days leading up to going in to see my doctor for a med adjustment and oh-so-scary updated diagnosis, I found myself single-mindedly focused on being sick and being bitter that this is a cross I’ll have to carry for the rest of my life.
The ironic thing here is ever since I got back into therapy, started seeing my psychiatrist regularly, and had Lithium added to my drug cocktail, I’ve been happier and more stable than I ever was when my “depression [was] in remission” and I fought tooth and nail through everyday without the benefit of meds, doctors, or social support. Admitting that I wasn’t okay, opening up about how depressed I was, and forcing myself to keep up with treatment, even when I had brief periods of feeling well, has been the key to allowing me to have my life back. I’m proud of how hard I fought to survive while keeping everything bottled up for as long as I did, but I’m prouder that I admitted to myself when I couldn’t keep my head above water on my own anymore.
I am also grateful as fuck for the things and people in my life that have supported me in fighting this illness. Having excellent insurance to dampen the financial burden of continual doctor’s appointments, a job flexible enough to let me attend said appointments, and people close me to talk through things with have all been critical to my ability to get back into care and get re-diagnosed. Although there is no such thing as “out of the woods” for me, the past few weeks have been devoid of the two-ton crushing weight of depression in earnest for the first time in months. Even though it’s not realistic to think that I’ll be fine and dandy for ever, its glorious having this patch of hard-won happiness.
When it comes down to it, I’ll gladly wear the “Bipolar II” label (stigma and all), take four pills a day, keep seeing my therapist and psychiatrist, and get my Lithium levels checked every month if that’s what it takes to stay healthy. I have known the hell that is unmitigated depression. If I can make these inconsequential concessions to keep that pain at bay and keep that monster off my back, I’d be crazy not to…pun intended. =P