Thursday, June 26, 2008

Facing the Music

Well this post was intended to be all about the craziness of trying to pack a family 4 for a small vacation. But I find myself compelled to write about something far more serious. A confession of sorts. I have committed to being open and honest in this blog, perhaps as much for myself as for others. To portray who I really am and the struggles I really deal with. Lately my struggles have been up and down and all around and are a jumbled mess of thoughts, feelings, worries, happiness, shame and insecurity. A thought has been nagging at me for a long time, months, maybe even years....a thought I never wanted to address because I suppose it felt like some kind of admission of failure or defeat. I recently posted this blog about wondering if I had ADD

And it wasn't until The Flying Circus Mommy over at commented that she suffered similar symptoms and is bi-polar, that I had to face some facts. See I have feared for several years that I may suffer from this. People who see me on a regular basis often comment on my energy, enthusiasm, talkativeness, and creativity.(I get called 'perky' a lot! LOL) What they don't see are the impulses that I struggle with, the racing thoughts, the over stimulation, the ideas that are constantly bombarding my head and the adrenaline that just won't go away. What they also rarely see are the lows....the times I can't get out of bed and won't speak to anyone. The times when I can't even bring myself to shower and I refuse to answer the phone. I have ridden this roller coaster for so long I have become accustomed to it...until recently. I don't know if it is age, hormones or my brain just finally waving the white flag, but I am reaching the end of my rope. It is clear that I am not well. I function well, hold down several jobs and have a tremendous passion for life. But I also deal with the nagging inner voice that is telling me something isn't right inside. The energy I can't get rid of, the times I can't muster a single bit of energy...the times I have to force myself with everything I have to pretend that I am feeling normal and put on the happy face.

Depression medication has helped tremendously with the lows. But the highs, the 'manic' symptoms that I have always had have been extremely exaggerated lately. I changed medications about 6 months ago. For a while I was thrilled to be so "UP" all the was great. It's a fantastic feeling to feel "Wonderful" and "Able to conquer the world", I have been able to accomplish a million things at once and find myself obsessed with devouring knowledge constantly. (I know that doesn't sound like a bad thing, but it's not be a student and be obsessed with a topic and feel compelled to need to know every single detail about it before I am satisfied and move onto another new obsession.) I am all over the map...all the time. I am coming the realization that perhaps too much of a good thing is hurting me terribly. I won't discuss all of my symptoms here out of respect for my family, but I think it's time I realized that all the relationship problems in my life cannot all be blamed on other people. I am starting to look in the rear view mirror and see that everyone I love is having a hard time keeping up.

I haven't had this discussion with my husband yet. I think it already freaks him out to have a wife with depression and anxiety issues anyway. Mental illness is not something that is openly discussed in these rural areas. It's still the dirty little secret. But my mother suffered terribly from schizoaffective disorder, and I vowed when she died I was going to break that cycle with myself and my own children. I don't want to suffer in silence for fear of embarrassing my family or myself. I am not ashamed. I understand that somethings are beyond my control.

I have huge fears about talking to my doctor about this though. I dread the medication roller coaster of trying to find the "right fit." I've been through this with a friend who suffers from bipolar disorder. She has been instrumental today in helping me come to terms with the fact that this may be a possibility for me, I am glad I found it in me to confess my fears to her. I also dread having the actual "diagnosis" that will follow me forever and be listed on my health insurance etc....but I know I am just going to have stop worrying about those things if I want to get better.

We are leaving for vacation tomorrow so a Dr. visit is going to have to wait until next week, but I am making the appointment today. Now. Before I chicken out. I think I posted this blog to force me to be accountable for my actions and to hopefully serve as a first step in getting better. Maybe I helped somebody else out there who is reading this....I know I am helping myself.


The Flying Circus Mom said...

God bless you, you are taking the first step to getting better. I didn't discover I was bi-polar until after the birth of my first child, and I still struggle...I have made some HUGE mistakes in my life due to the craziness and being off my medicine. Hang in there, and please know if you need someone to talk to about how you are feeling, please don't hesistate to contact me...I am thankful that by sharing a bit of my story that I was able to help you. That is why I share so openly in the hopes that I can help someone else. Have a great vacation and just enjoy and relax!

The Pastoral Princess said...

Thank you. You have no idea how much your small comment has made a BIG impact!

Mum-me said...

I hope you have a great weekend and do get a chance to relax.You are very brave to ake that Dr's appointment and find out what's going on with you. I always say that 'knowing' is much better than not knowing what's up. Good luck!

BoufMom9 said...

Oh wow! I feel so bad that I didn't read this before you left for your vacation.
PLEASE don't beat yourself up. If you are bipolar, it's not as big of a deal as you think. There are so many wonderful functional people who are bipolar and the key is accepting it and etting properally medicated.
I think it's a HUGE step that you are looking so closely at yourself and are willing to see a doctor.
PLEASE feel free to discuss it and know that you will have support here.
Many blessings & hope you have a lovely vacation.

Shannon said...

Sorry I missed you before you left! There is really nothing to confess. We are all people, as I've said before, and we all have strengths and weaknesses. you are brave and bold to share yourself so openly. I wish I could, but I just don't have your courage! Hang in there. And I'm glad for you that you made that appointment. Let us all know how things go. I'm sure it will be a process, not just a simple answer - it almost never is!

3rd... said...

hi princess, i read this post just now and feel very bad for not reading it before..
what a major life change for you, i can just imagine the fears and worries you have about how everything will change from now on

but I am sure you will feel it has been for the better once you take the step to address this

there is a lot of courage and power in you, you will overcome this

my prayers are with you