I‘m simply amazed at how far I have come since Christmas. I didn’t think the black clouds would ever lift, but I am living proof that things can turn around no matter how bleak they may seem. I’m not even 100 percent sure what entirely changed. I know I mentioned different supplements I was playing around with (which I added another one that I’ll mention later) but while those seemed to help a great deal, there is no cure-all pill for depression and bipolar disorder.
So, I know whatever changed also had to come within myself. Nothing spectacular and miraculous happened in my daily life that caused the clouds to lift. Everything around me has said the same. I am no longer scared to live. Being bipolar, I know that this won’t last forever. Life happens. Things happen to us situationally that can bring us down. But I am at my baseline, and I can’t remember the last time I have been there this long. I am just trying to enjoy and cherish this new found love for life while it’s here.
Christmas was a low point for me. I had it all planned out and I was going to end it (like I had mentioned in another post: Christmas, Best Friends, And Coping Mechanisms) I am so glad I didn’t. I am so glad that Jazmine distracted me with a simple text. That one thing was all I needed to rethink what I was about to do. I have never been glad that I chickened out before – I think this is the first time in my life. After that day, I knew I needed to start making changes. Honestly, if I would have been drinking that night… that text would not have distracted me. So, as much as some people don’t understand why I am actually kind of glad Mike stayed by his no-alcohol rule; this is the perfect example as to why. I am 100 percent certain I would not be here today because that is how f-ing low I was.
I still have moments where I might cry, but I am generally able to talk myself through my emotions and figure out why I am sad at that moment when before I would have just assumed it was my random bipolarness. So, now, I don’t cry for as long and it is not as bad. I still have some feelings of depression and sadness, but there are now usually reasons – although they may not be justifiable – that I started to feel low such as I got stuck inside my head, I am thinking about negative things, I am having a flashback to something that really traumatized or hurt me, or something bad actually did happen. The lows have not been as bad either, and they do not last as long.
The other day night, Mike said something to me (I can’t remember what it was) that would have triggered a major episode for me, and I was able to brush it off. Even today, I started kind of getting low and text Jazmine and started ranting about how she never initiates plans to hang out and that it’s always me and that I feel like I have to bribe her to hang out with me and a bunch of other stuff.
This is a cycle I have with her and it usually happens after we haven’t hung out for like a week or two (which I didn’t realize until she mentioned it to me)… I never knew why I did it. I would always feel bad because I know she is a busy, hardworking, mom of four children and I would literally start picking fights with her.
Until today, I had no idea why I did it. So I, again, broke it down inside my mind and realized I do it because of my abandonment issues and I worry that if she goes a while without hanging out with me that I feel like she’s going to leave me like everyone else does that I love. So, I admitted that to her once I realized it. And it makes perfect sense. She said she already knew that and that is why she deals with it and told me that it does hurt her feelings when I get like that, but that she is not going anywhere. (So Thanks, Jaz, I ♥ You!)
I have also, recently, got back into the swing of things with writing. I was really slacking, and it is very, very noticeable in varying ways. I would barely get myself to write, and now I don’t want to stop most of the time. Just yesterday, I managed to write an entire 20 entry article about kids in boarding schools and submitted it, I was able to pick four new articles and turn in 3 out of 4 outlines to my editor. In between all that, I even made it to an AA meeting with my friend/sponsor. I was highly motivated/borderline manic yesterday. Now, if only I could do that every day.
So, I had mentioned that I added another supplement – it’s called Kratom. It is like a miracle worker for me. It has helped improve my mood, sleep, things that only Mike would appreciate (Ha! :-D), I am not as fatigued all day anymore, it helps control my appetite, and any cravings I had for drugs and alcohol virtually disappeared. I even don’t need to take my one narcotic pain med anymore because it has also helped me manage some of my pain. Plus, it is 100 percent legal! And hopefully, it stays that way. At this point, I wouldn’t even care if it technically does none of those things and is just a placebo effect because either way… it helps me. 🙂
I really do feel like I am learning to love life for the first time. I pray that things continue to get better. I am almost too scared to hope because I don’t want to jinx it.
Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.