Friday, March 31, 2017

THE UPDATE



I can hardly believe that we're already almost done with three months of 2017. It seems like just yesterday it was New Years Eve and the idea of starting fresh was all anyone was talking about. Now that's died down and things have gone back to normal but I still haven't been writing on here. It's not because I don't have anything to say - I honestly just haven't had the time or energy to sit down and write about what has been going on. However, the other night a lovely friend stopped by my house with flowers and the loveliest of cards and as we sat talking for a couple of hours I realized just how much I've been keeping to myself lately. I have my family and a select few friends that I've let into my life on a daily basis but everyone else I've pushed away. I've let myself be isolated and stopped talking to anyone about what is going on and what I'm feeling. Now that I've had this realization I don't want to do it anymore. I need to share what's going on with me and be better about not isolating myself so much. So here I am taking the first step and writing about how I've been and where I'm at in my recovery process.

At the beginning of January I was admitted into an intensive outpatient program run through St. Luke's hospital. This turned out to actually be a partial hospitalization program which meant that I would spend five days a week 9am - 2pm at this treatment center for an unforeseen amount of time. For 6 weeks I faithfully attended treatment and I really liked it there. Don’t get me wrong it was a lot of hard work but I was learning a lot and seeing the benefits. During the time I was there my doctors were also messing with my meds and trying to stabilize me. This came with lots of bad side effects. I even ended up at the emergency room a few times because of it. My doctors and I finally came to the conclusion that I needed to be taken off of my main mood stabilizing medication (Lamictal) and put onto another (Lithium). Together we decided it would be safest if I checked into St. Luke’s hospital to do this. So March 2nd I checked in and I stayed at the hospital for 3 days in order to make the medication change. The experience was my no means horrible but it definitely is not something I’d want to ever do again. Since getting out I’ve still been trying to adjust to this new medication. The number one thing that it’s been doing to me is making me super sleepy. I can’t seem to wake up when I’m on it but with some recent adjustments I’m hopeful that maybe we’ve figured that out and things will get better.

I continue to remind myself that this is a journey, it’s not always going to be easy and it’s not always going to make sense, but it will be worth it. I’m still not 100% on board with this new medication, it does make me feel quite weird, but I’m hopeful that with time everything will straighten out. On Monday I start back up at the treatment center I was previously going to. It’s been nice to have a break but I have realized just how much being in treatment has helped me and I am very excited to go back and be able to learn even more. I also just want to say thank you. Thank you for your messages, letters, prayers, random visits and everything else you’ve done for me. It seems like whenever I have a rough day I receive a letter, text or something from someone that puts a smile on my face. You’ll never know how much the little things you’ve done have impacted me. I have felt and continue to feel your prayers on a daily basis. I could not do this without the support of everyone around me and I am eternally grateful for you all.

So that’s my update for now; this thing isn’t over yet - but I think we’re making progress.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016 - A YEAR IN REVIEW

Dear 2016,

As I ring in the new year alone to the sounds of fireworks outside I can't help but reflect on the year you've been and the things that you've taught me; the really important things you've made me understand. I've realized just how truly wonderful and amazingly supportive my family is. I've learned that the bond the four of us have is important - perhaps the most important thing in my life. Together the four of us can get through anything. It might be hard and we might struggle but eventually, if we stick together, we'll figure it out. You've also shown me just how awesome my extended family is. That my aunts and uncles and cousins impact so much of my life. They've each been there for me and probably without even realizing it. I love them for how understanding they are when I'm often distant. 2016, you taught me to cherish these people and never let them go. Family is everything, and I truly know that now.

2016, you taught me that relationships are hard. That they might not always be as strong as I'd like them to be. That they will fall and crumble if I don't take care of them. That taking care of them is hard work; really hard work. 2016, you showed me that sometimes relationships aren't meant to be. That even sometimes I might have to take a break from certain ones. I'm not always in control and I have to learn how to live with that. I learned that not everyone is going to stick around. Even people I thought would always be there for me. But those core group of people who do stay, they truly are pretty astounding people. Sometimes I'm even going to have people reject me because of my diagnosis. People who don't understand and don't want to associate with the 'crazy person' because it's not always a walk in the park. 2016, you taught me that even romantic relationships are hard - especially with the diagnosis. I've realized that sometimes people aren't going to want me because they are afraid of me in the future. Afraid of what I bring to the table; my instability, disorder, and all that comes with it. I learned what it's like to have my heart break because of yet another thing this disorder has impacted. It's been a really hard lesson to learn but maybe it's better to find it out now.

Oh and 2016, One of the best things you've taught me is to trust my instincts. Even if they might not be popular with those around me. You've shown me that I know me best; better than anyone else in fact. I learned that if I trust myself, with myself, then I always end up where I'm supposed to be. It's been hard to learn how to take care of me first, but I think I've gotten the hang of it. I've learned that it's okay not to be okay. That it's okay to say no to things. That you can't help/take care of others until you do so for yourself. 2016, you showed me just how strong I really am. How much I truly can endure. I never knew I could do something like this. I never in a million years thought I'd be able to handle a diagnosis like this. It comes with so many parts and so many trials. There are so many factors that are out of my control and that's frustrating. But despite all that, you've shown me that I'm so much stronger than I have ever known.

So 2016, despite ringing in the New Year alone - You will not defeat me. I am stronger than you. You've taught me a lot but I'm not sad to see you go. I've learned that I really am all I need, all I've ever needed. I know I'm strong enough to do it, even if sometimes I feel like I'm doing it alone. I will not let what happened this year get the best of me. Here's to 2017. The year I focus on what brings me happiness. The year I sever ties with negativity and the people who bring it. The year I learn invaluable information for my future.

The year I truly find myself.

Sincerely,

Mandi