I started my blog with the intent to share my life with others, which I have molded and mended into the life that I've always dreamed of, so that others could see that it is possible to get through this disease with hardwork, determination, and incentive...even when the motivation is so difficult to muster up. But now I look at the previous posts and realize I was being big-headed in thinking that I could actually help others to follow their dreams as well...when I can't even fully enjoy the fruits of my own labor.
My altered dosages were not successful in deterring this "crash". So today I am at home. I called in sick because, like yesterday, I could not get out of bed. Just the thought of seeing clients today had me shivering again. I have this phrase that I say to myself aloud over and over again in the mornings: "I can do this. I can do this. I can do this." When my husband, Bernie, hears me chanting those familiar words in front of the bathroom mirror, he knows what it means. Well, this morning, the chants didn't work.
An hour later, I finally got up from the bed to drop the kids to school and feed the dogs. Fortunately, my kids are old enough to dress and feed themselves. Then I laid back in bed in my emptiness. My house is a mess, errands yet to be run for days, and I spent more time on Facebook and blogs then I have with my chores. A few minutes later, a voice inside me said: "Get up and do something to stop this, would ya?" So here I am, up from the bed, blogging the emptiness away, typing away the confusion.
My bipolar disorder has progressed with age. Medication that worked wonderfully for years no longer has any positive effects. So I've spent that last couple of years searching frantically, alongside my pdoc, to find a new combo.
When I was younger, my episodes were mostly manic and had only a few depressive bouts lasting a few days maybe once or twice a year. My kids were younger, and I was in graduate school. My manic episodes were not as damaging. In fact, they were what helped me through school and raising babies and running a household all at the same time.
I was SUPERWOMAN...all the time. People would say to me: "Wow. How do you do it? How can you go to school with three babies?" And I would feel so good about myself. I'd say: "Determination and incentive to provide for my family."
Was it really determination and incentive? Or was it just mania? Or maybe a combo of both? I finished college at the top of my class. We bought our first house the next year. I did it. I actually did what I set out to do. Eight years later, I have the career that I wanted, a new house, great kids, a 15-year marriage. This is what I wanted. So why am I here in my bedroom and not at work? Why am I here? Am I really successful when I am a failure at handling the progression of this disease, which is now MUCH more debilitating than it was when I was younger???
Would I be able to do now what I did back then? Absolutely not. So I guess I'm thankful that my disorder has had a gradual progression. I've met many others who can't say that. I am now a rapid-cycling patient. My depressions are more frequent and last longer. My manias cause more collateral damage nowadays (I still love 'em anyways). And I am unpredicatable.
I love you mania, for helping me through college and helping me raise three wonderful and well-rounded children. Now please go away because I don't need you anymore.