Every year when the weather starts to change my stomach drops. There’s usually a specific day I feel it, and that’s when I know fall is here. It’s right around the time it actually changes seasons and my body knows. I had that feeling towards the beginning of September when I noticed the days getting shorter, cloudier, and rainier again. It just happened. Boom! One day it’s 80 and sunny and I couldn’t be happier, the next the weather changes and so does my mood. And just like that, it’s Fall. The funny thing is, I love fall. I love the colors, the smells, all the flannel. But, sometimes it’s a reminder that winter is coming. I HATE winter. Or I should say, I don’t like cold weather and being stuck inside all the time. I deal with seasonal depression, in a big way, so knowing that’s coming gives me anxiety, too.
I was diagnosed with Bipolar II earlier this year by my psychiatrist (even though I feel like I have Borderline Personality Disorder, BPD) and was put on two new medications to help with my rapid mood swings. It’s difficult trying new medications because you don’t exactly know how they’re going to work specifically for YOU. While doctors know quite a bit, and wouldn’t purposely prescribe anything contradicting to your other medications, everybody’s chemical makeup is different and so is their reaction to the medication.
I’ve been on my two new medications for months now and I’ve noticed some changes. Some good, some bad. My anger has definitely subsided and I’m able to take a deep breath and reflect inward and explore my anger before it explodes. However, I’m also feeling….honestly I’m not sure what I’m feeling right now. Depressed. A lack of motivation. Like everything takes forever. Anxious about ALL THE THINGS. Realizing I have so much to do and so little time. It’s frustrating and feels like it’s taking over my life. These are all things I’ll need to share with my doctor and counselor so I can to try to even it out. I’m not exactly sure what “it” is, but I don’t like it.
What I described before are all red flags I need to be taking note of so I can explain to my doctor what’s going on. We can then remove, replace, or change the dosage of a medication and go from there. In the last few years I’ve heard about DNA testing that can be done to figure out which class of medications work best with your body and chemical makeup, which I’m deeply considering. Only bummer there is most insurances won’t cover testing like this, which is very expensive. When toying around with medications, there’s a lot of guess work. Like I stated before, not everyone reacts the same, and I’m one of those people. I have a strong reaction to meds, therefore, I usually take the lowest dose possible.
While all of this is good work and I’m keeping in close contact with my counselor and doctor, I end up feeling like a guinea pig. Sometimes I feel hopeless, like nothing will help. Other times I’m like, OMG this is great, I love the way this medication makes me feel. It’s one big guessing game and can leave me feeling frustrated, tired, and hopeless.
I want to feel invincible again. I want to feel motivated and happy. I want to feel secure and sure of myself. I want self-confidence and enjoyment. Right now I feel like I can’t enjoy much, and that’s extremely frustrating.
On top of all these red flags, I’ve also recently been feeling like a fraud. I feel like I’m running out of things to talk about on the blog, I feel like I’m not putting enough time or effort into the blog, I feel like Jamma is doing most of the work and I’m lacking so that gives me anxiety. I have medical and counseling bills that need to be paid and I keep forgetting to pay them. I have projects all over the house that are half finished, or shit piled up in places “until I can get to them.” Which I never do. There are hardly any groceries in the house and can’t think of any good meals to make besides Buddha Bowls, which is getting stale considering I make them at least once a week. I’m feeling very unmotivated and like my usual routine or the usual things that bring me pleasure no longer do. I preach on the blog all things health oriented, yet there are times I can hardly do those things for myself. I’m really down right now and feeling not myself. Again, all of these are red flags that I’m unbalanced. Because I can’t even do the things that would normally bring me joy, I have a feeling this is chemical, and not just emotional distress.
So what am I going to do about this? I’ve already talked to my counselor and we decided I’m going to call my doctor and let her know I need to reschedule and come in earlier for a med check and discuss all my symptoms. Because I’ve been on medication for most of my life, I know what I’m looking for when things seem “off” so I’ve made a list and will be presenting it to my doctor. We can work together as a team to figure this out. In the meantime, I just need to sit tight and work hard to keep my emotions even keeled. I need to read, pay my bills, clean the damn house, color, meditate, practice yoga, and most importantly RELAX. I refuse to give up, no matter how bad I feel. For me, giving up is not an option.
If you ever feel depressed, unmotivated, or just not yourself…please know you’re not alone. While I come off as a bubbly person, I struggle too. More than most people know. Through the blog and hard work, as a team, we can work together to find solutions for our health and emotional well being. Never give up. You’re worth it!
Keep on keeping on,