Through The Fog

Jennifer HeadshotI don’t know about you, but I’m such a magnificent couch psychologist.  Have you seen Silver Linings Playbook? You know the scene where Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper are comparing their prescriptions? I totally got that scene.  I haven’t been on LOTS of psychosis meds, but I’ve been on a few. Once you get two chronically depressed people together, you can’t help but compare your meds and the side effects!  Not only that, but I’m super good at telling people how to deal with their problems. Seriously, after twenty years of therapy, I give great advice.  I just wish I could take my own!

The reason I mention this, is that my current therapist has said since day one, that I was on the wrong meds. Then she gave me a list of psychiatrists she recommended, several times.  Why didn’t I listen months ago? I have had the WORST six months of my entire life! And I dealt with it horribly, my emotions were scattered.  I can’t imagine the difference it would have made to be on the right meds.  I think we can all agree, that going through the death of two of your triplet grandchildren, your single 22-year old daughter being preggers with triplets, a son graduating a year early AND joining the Marine Corps, being in ER six times for health concerns, father is diagnosed with lung cancer, and twenty year marriage a bit on the rocks, well, that’s a lot of stress for anybody in a short amount of time.  Try doing it with untreated bipolar!  It’s hell!  Not just for me either.  Try being the child or spouse going through all that stress plus dealing with crazy mommy! Not fun!

Which is where my guilt comes in.  I have always known, since a young teen, that I was a bit different.  Then when I got older, I knew it was that I had depression.  I didn’t ever want my kids to grow up with an untreated disease.  So I’ve always made mental health a priority in my life.  But, now knowing what my disease really is and that its been treated improperly for so long, I feel like I failed.  Luckily for me though, today I went to therapy!  Where I was told to compare my parenting with a disease to how my mom did.  The difference is I’ve always tried to seek help.  I’ve always been open and honest about my depression and anxiety. As a result, I have three kids who know what the signs of mental issues look like, they are aware it runs in our family and that it’s nothing to be ashamed of.  They also know that they can count on me, because they know I’ll do whatever it takes to grow them happy, and that includes taking care of myself. So, guilt be gone!

On Tuesday, Dr. Sobel put me on Respridal. The first two days were pretty hard.  I can’t tell you how foggy I felt.  Almost like being underwater. Today, day three, is already much better. I don’t feel like I drank two bottles of NyQuil and I’ve slept two whole nights in a row! That’s super rare for me!  I’ve also gone down another 75mg of my Effexor, and those side effects haven’t been bad today either.  I should also mention that my thoughts weren’t racing as badly today. I mean, it’s still bad, and it drives me batty, but I can tell a difference today. I’ve managed to write on two different books in progress, which I haven’t been able to do for almost a year. Yay!

I’m truly hoping this blog series is helping someone else out there.  Med changes aren’t easy, bipolar isn’t easy.  Your basically taking drugs that effect the brain in both negative and positive ways.  It’s hard to navigate feelings, emotions as well as everyday life.  But, you’re not alone.  I’m going through it too, as are many others.  Your worth the fight to get a handle on your disease, and so are your loved ones. Blessed be!

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