This Is My Life

I don’t know if I was just blind or if I have been away too long, there seem to be SO MANY NEW FEATURES ON WORDPRESS!!! Perhaps it’s because I generally type my thoughts in my phone’s notes apps BUT I need to know have bloggers always been able to justify their paragraphs on wordpress?! When I started my blog in 2015 I was so annoyed at the font alignment. Literally, anything that is not justified hurts me heart. The fact I can now justify and so much more makes me want to go through all my older posts and work some justified magic!

That being said, I have about 6 different drafts started and saved for my blog, and alas not a single one has been finished or posted… obviously, as you may have noticed the radio silence on my end. Oopsie.

This image gives me all the feels as it is literally my life. Bipolar has always required a diligent effort to keep myself and emotions relatively in check. However, as I continue my journey of decreasing my medication the effort is ginormous. I forgot how extreme, extreme can be without medication.

The last time I was off medication was…… when I wasn’t diagnosed. Literally, since my diagnosis I have been medicated (fairly heavily) and as an FYI, I was diagnosed in 2013. The nerves are real as I have not and still don’t completely know what to anticipate when I am medication free. I currently have 2 more to go, but I will be real with you because that is what this blog is about -sharing my experiences good or bad living with bipolar.

Initially, as I came off my main mood stabilizer (Latuda) I thought things were going great. My husband and I were optimistically happy as there didn’t seem to be too drastic of changes….. this is where the switch from the meme comes in. I have been living a pretty low-key, low-stress life, working from home because of covid. I was unfortunately a tad more low BUT not terrible, just not as passionate (okay… maybe a little terrible, as literally all interests and pursuits have ceased) BUT my friends, this low is not what I am going to focus on and I was still functioning and working everyday with the ability to smile and laugh sincerely (I learned the term of high-functioning depression and it’s safe to say that was my type of depression).

I want to direct your attention to recently when I had exposure to what I will call “stress”. Would a typical person react the way I reacted…. you be the judge. To begin with this initial exposure I was keeping it together as it evolved over the course of the week I was putting on a brave face, however, a time came and it’s fair to say I broke. I was hysterical essentially, crying mixed in with hyperventilating and whenever I talked my stutter would manifest and I would cry more (this carried on over an extended period of time). The day after this happened reaction came to fruition, I was mentally and emotionally drained and physically weak. I again stuttered with most conversation and avoided talking on the phone or to anyone. When I attempted to move I would vibrate to the point where I felt like I would convulse…. the next day I couldn’t really even walk. Literally, I would basically collapse every time I tried to walk (I would hold on to walls and counters and furniture… my husband kindly carried me at one point) and of course I was still crying. I had to remove myself from contacting the individual that I was really worked up over, just so I could get a grip without working myself up again.

It was a lot.

My husband was concerned for good reason and kept suggesting we go to the hospital, which was not an option I wanted to explore.

I have since managed to get a grip and put myself together. I’ve calmed down and I am no longer seeing black. I have regained full capacity to walk and move and I am not stuttering. (for anyone that has not read my earlier posts, my stutter manifested when I was 19. I had never stuttered a day in my life prior to that age…I had what we could call a “mental breakdown” following what I didn’t realize was a severe hypo-manic bipolar episode and BOOM I stuttered for 2 weeks straight non-stop and after it went away it now manifests when I am emotionally distraught)

So at the end of that episode, it’s fair to say I terrified my husband. Oopsie again. He had never seen me in that state and had only heard stories from my family and me about my life prior to my diagnosis and early years of getting medical help. Let’s just say not all the stories are sunshine and roses.

I made sure that I sat down with my husband to talk heart to heart once I was emotionally stable. It was and will always be so important to me that I listen to my husbands thoughts and feelings about how my diagnosis impacts him. I never want him to bottle it all up or not feel confident or comfortable enough to talk to me about his feeling – like I said it was a lot and the poor guy had never experienced anything on that level before. It was a lot to take in for anyone, with experience or no experience of earlier episodes. My husband and parents had suggested the hospital on different occasions… however, I’m not gonna lie the psych ward is not my ideal choice. So, with the prospect of being taken to the hospital I worked really hard to have low stimulus and just collect myself and get my footing again.

I think its fair to say that I am a little more “more” sensitive to my feelings right now (do you smell a fire burning or is it just me??). I am more emotional and find myself crying more, yet not always for a bad reason. Sometimes, I cry merely because I am so happy or grateful. This type of crying isn’t unheard of for me BUT it is becoming a wee bit more frequent and is triggered easier. Again, my husband is scratching his head a bit more as I wasn’t as candid with my emotions before – I was but not at this level (I don’t think this level was even accessible when I was medicated on such a fluid level).

It’s funny, as I came off medication I was initially trying to resist any change to my emotional and mental state telling myself, if I willed myself to be okay – I’d be okay. HELLLOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!??!! If I was going to be “stable” off medication, I wouldn’t need to take it in the first place (DUH). Thereby we could draw the conclusion that I would not have bipolar. Sometimes my logic cracks me up. Needless to say, I’ve since shown myself a bit more compassion for being a bit more up and down as I get off my medication.

Do I still feel like me? Yes, definitely. In a way there are certain attributes and characteristics that are re-manifesting and I ain’t mad about it. Some of me is peeking through a bit more vibrantly and I feel like I am on the up literally. My mind is keeping me awake at night even with the sleeping medication that I still take. So much to think about, I literally have posts topics pop in my head every day multiple times a day it is just a matter of writing them out and not putting myself down with my writing ability.

I have some plans in motion.

Also, I will be doing an update on my Bipolar Gains segment. I am excited with where I’m headed in terms of my physical health. Eating overhaul is an understatement!

I will end my post here, I am alive and doing well considering my last escapade. I am hopeful. I will talk about what “a” psychiatrist and I talked about in terms of my potential pregnancy and medication in another post (will I be completely med free throughout my hopeful pregnancy?? Read more to find out). I honestly have found very little in terms blogs with women sharing their journeys of becoming pregnant or being pregnant with bipolar. I will share away and if you do have experience or tips, please share I always enjoy hearing people’s journeys and insights.

This is an exciting and challenging stage in my life BUT with that all being said – it remains undisputed, this is the happiest and most alive I’ve ever felt (putting my inevitable drawn out low aside). Even with the lows I still find myself able to smile with my husband. He told me that one of the ways he knows when I am low because I am not as talkative and then on the flip when I am hypo-manic I don’t stop talking and I talk a mile a minute (he has literally fallen asleep as I’ve blabbed on and on in the middle of the night… and he is the lightest sleeper I know!).

I am also debating about posting a certain post I wrote a while ago. If it comes to fruition, you will know without a doubt why I debated posting it. To post or not to post – that is the question.

Also, on another note I am optimistic – I met a new counselor this past weekend. Her name is Anne and we jived very well in our first session (I really liked her energy and communication skills), she is suggesting we meet every 2 weeks and the idea of having therapy so frequently and regularly brings me a lot of excitement and peace (the clinic that she works out of has an objective of ensuring mental health is available and affordable for all, so I am happy to announce I will not be breaking the bank to be getting the assistance that helps me be the best version of me on a regular and consistent basis).

Thanks for sticking with me and joining me on my journey!

– Steph

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