Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going

I know it’s been a few years since I have posted a blog, but please forgive me. And give me a chance to explain what’s been happening in life. I wholeheartedly plan to go back to posting on a regular basis. I also hope to add Instagram and TikTok as some outlets for mental health education and what it’s like living with it.

Mid-April 2019 became miserable. I have Bipolar Type 1. Which means I tend to go manic as opposed to having major depressive episodes. Well, that April I suffered from the worst depressive episode I’ve ever experienced. It started out mildly, but rapidly snowballed. My doctor was on an extended medical leave which left all decisions to be first made with my therapist. We decided it would be best to make an appointment with a nurse practitioner that I had seen before while my doctor was out of the office. With a few medication adjustments we were able to get things under control in a little under three weeks. I never want to feel that way again. I barely made it to NAMI and the barn- if at all. I could barely move. Sitting up took all the energy I could muster. I’d take a bath, but washing my hair was impossible. Eating was too much effort. I still remember the first thing I ate when feeling slightly like myself: rigatoni with pasta sauce from Save-a-Lot. It’s all I could handle making… but it tasted delicious after no appetite.

However, it didn’t stop at the depression. I started feeling better. The nurse practitioner still wanted me to make another appointment with her to be safe. I didn’t because I was convinced things were on the upswing. Well, they were. I went on a swing alright- right over the bar. I went from slightly hypomanic to a full-blown mania within a week and a half of feeling better. I called my therapist the moment noises started becoming an issue. I fought her about going for another appointment with the nurse practitioner. I know it sounds childish, but when manic I just want MY mental health team. Not some substitute. I finally agreed to the appointment because I felt miserable. My therapist called me the afternoon of it to make sure I was okay between it and our appointment the next day. The only reason I wasn’t hospitalized during this episode was because my therapist and I did her version of an IOP (intensive outpatient program). I was in her office twice a week and in the nurse practitioner’s office every other week. It was a fight with meds because nothing was working. The mania just didn’t respond to anything… for the second time. Noises hurt, I had a million things going on in my head, but they were a knot, I couldn’t eat, sleeping was a no go (I was sleeping on average of three hours every other day), and I was self-harming. I have never had a mania like this. As it was with the depression. My illness was definitely different this time around. I started to feel some sense of relief around the end of July.

My doctor came back; and I was one of the first patients in her office. We came up with a plan since things were changing. After the past three combined episodes, it was clear my manias were clearly not responding to medication adjustments. After she had me do my own research upon me asking about it, we decided that if it got to the point it was just at then I would get ECT (electro-convulsive therapy). Unfortunately my doctor had to take an unexpected medical retirement a few weeks later. Our plan has transferred to my new practitioner.

Skip to February 2020…

Upon my dad’s insistence, I checked myself into the hospital. The story of being in there will be another post. While I was in there, my dad and sisters discussed it and decided it was best for me to move. Their thinking was a different county where there is a mental health treatment organization. The change and how I have been doing will, again, be a different post. This one is just a quick catch up.

I’ve been in my new place since July 2020. Let me just say that moving during a pandemic was anything but fun.

I’ve been striving for mental wellness just as I always have. I’m constantly using the tools my therapist and I came up with; as well as lessons I have learned from her and my psychiatrist. I have my own apartment, got a new puppy, a part-time job, I’m volunteering… anyway, I’ll go into that later. Change, as much as I hate it, is sometimes a good thing.

The last thing I want to touch on is what I want to do with this blog. I plan to post once a week. I also want to take advantage of Instagram for mental health info, wellness, and resource info. And TikTok will be a format to tell my story on a different platform. If there is something you’re curious about, feel free to reach out! I will talk to you next week.

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