Manic/Depressed/Joyful/At peace/Excited/Discouraged/hopeful/Fearful/angry/trusting/enduring/grace filled/
understanding/confused/lazy/patient/broken/set free/saved/treasured/sad/happy/tired/weary/joyful/angry/moved/loathing/apathetic/encouraging/encouraged/numb/longsuffering/patient/impatient/faithful/unfaithful/misunderstood/misunderstanding/thoughtful/thankful etc. etc.
I think things would be a bit easier if I could just accept where I'm at and not beat myself up over where I think I "should" be in my life and what I "should" be better at.
I have high standards of myself though people probably would be surprised by that by the look of my house. I have this perfectionism that says "If I can't do it right then I won't even try at all". It really makes no sense at all. By not trying I surely can't accomplish anything!
It's a bit dis hearting to realize that even on a great balance of medication I am still bipolar and I still rapid-cycle and I still have ups and downs.
The wonderful thing about that though is that God is faithful and I'm in a much better place than I have been for at least 9 years. And with rapid-cycling at least I can expect that the episodes won't last forever. ;)
I still spend so much time trying to "not be obsessed/manic or depressed". When I'm manic I hyper obsess about stupid things... a couple recent examples that I am embarrassed about (hence the reason I'm sharing them, to overcome my isolation and shame, to be real and to face my fear of what others may think about me). As I've been asking God to show me from His perspective I'm finding that Jesus thinks about me a lot differently than I think He does. I'm also trying to be more with others for myself, and also hoping that by God's grace I'll see His perspective and not even worry about others thoughts and maybe He can use this to help someone else and bring glory to Himself.
I had a week long obsession over "having to have" a nice purse. I spent a week in a constant search of the "perfect" Vera Bradley purse and wallet (Online). It was my Christmas present from Marc and my Mom. It's all I could think about. Then my purse came and it had a flaw so I had to send it back... and pick something else...another week of obsessing and waiting for it to arrive. OK over, I got that taken care of.... and then I balance out or I go into depression. There's no rhyme or reason that I can see. Sometimes it's buying things, or obsessing and hyper focusing, sometimes talking too fast, my mind racing, not sleeping and other times the mania is an irritated, anxious or angry state. At the end of a manic episode, when I come off of it I feel exhausted. It's like a letdown. Then I have to adjust my mind to normal thinking. Often after mania passes the darkness of depression comes in. It often cycles that way monthly too.
Then I'm OK and good, then it happens again. Sometimes I cycle through all 3 (manic, feeling steady/good, and depression) in one day. Not having control is really hard. It's frustrating. I like being in control and I certainly can't be with this. I know God isn't hindered in His love for me regardless of how I feel or what I do but I waffle back and forth to believe that. I also don't want to be a burden or bother to those around me so when I'm down I tend to pull into myself. Partly it's a coping mechanism, but I also feel like I am a burden (especially to Marc). I know when I have bad days I can see the fear he has and the way he and I both go into this "survival mode" of functioning as well as we can. I don't want to be there though. I want to enjoy life and God's goodness and not miss anymore of His grace. I am very grateful that God has healed a lot of the deeper and darker parts of this illness that I use to have with such intensity. I often can go through several weeks with no episodes, feeling great and able to see clearly. The above mentioned struggles are in no way as intense or frequent as they use to be.
Because I haven't found a way to be able to stop myself when I start into an episode I am avoiding some of the things that trigger highs or lows. I only shop at Kroger and Aldi's. I only buy the food. When we need other things Marc picks them up on his way home from work. We do Dave Ramsey envelopes and cash so that's incredibly helpful when I have the uncontrollable urge to shop. We have no credit cards anymore, again very helpful. When we used credit cards the mania was a lot harder to deal with. I do great with this when I'm doing OK... but when the "I want to shop" or the "I want to eat the house" feelings come I don't know how to combat them. One way I safe guard myself against the depression is to get A LOT of sleep. I've found that to be a huge trigger for depression. I'm trying to eat healthier, get exercise. I don't always do those things but I know they help. I'm asking Jesus to help me to stop and think about why I feel I need to "escape or comfort myself" with food or shopping... or how I can stop the episode before it's there but I honestly don't know how.
It's a painful realization that I often go to worldly things instead of the only ONE who can fill me.
Then on the flip side when I'm depressed I quickly go into this "just have to function" mode. I feel like just lifting my arm is work. Stupid I know.
The not knowing when and how I will be from day to day and the rapid-cycling is something that brings fear. This is where I know I need to stay present, in the now. I want to be present in the life God has given me. It's a beautiful grace filled life that I am grateful for. I'm seeing gifts that He gives me every day that I often miss. Praising Him has been soothing to my soul and brings my spirit up. I know there is power in praising and being thankful. I'm continuing to count my gifts.
I'm praying about a new counselor. I love the counselor I was seeing but it's not covered by insurance and we really can't afford it. I know my psychiatrist wants me to be doing psychotherapy in addition to medication for the best results.
I want to be real, even if that means I'm looked at as weak, lazy, loathing, not trusting God, not trying to overcome, and all those other things that we as Christians often feel free to judge. I am realizing we all have raw broken pain, and raw joyful healing! We need to be transparent so Jesus can use us. I'm just a broken vessel longing to be whole and useful Thank you Jesus that through you I am. Help me to stop resisting You.
Jesus over and over I'll keep surrendering to you, I'll keep listing my gratitude for Your gifts to me. Help me to press on and see Your precious hand in mine. You have already overcome the evil one and there will be a day that this will no longer be a part of me. Praise God!