Its been a little over a year since I last blogged... WOW, I'm speechless as I marvel at all God has done in the last year.
When I last blogged I was dangling in a deep depression, I wasn't fully immersed, I was holding on by threads, but my feet were hanging and I felt my grip slipping away.
A couple weeks after this last blog entry I went back to my psychiatrist because the depression was overcoming me. I remember it well. Side effects from the slew of meds I was on were overcoming me. I couldn't spell anymore, I saw doubles of things, my vision was distorted, my muscles ached, my memory evaded me and I wasn't able to focus or think on things well. I was having full blown anxiety attacks that would make me feel like I couldn't get a deep breath. I would try and my chest would tighten and my muscles in my chest, shoulders. and neck would tense up. I was physically sore from the attacks. I was miserable and discouraged, and quite honestly hopeless feeling. Marc called my Dr. on a Friday, I talked with him and we made an appointment for the following Tuesday. In the meantime God reminded me that I had read and heard that depression can be greatly helped with diet change. I started reading more and researching.
My biggest fear was that my Dr. would increase or add another medication to my already huge stash of meds. (Over 20 pills a day, 7 heavy bipolar medications).And as I feared he put me on an anti-psychotic med for the depression. When I went home that night I looked up the side effects... Ticks, sometimes permanent.... that was the first thing that caught my eye...
Marc and I talked and decided that the medicine wasn't worth the side effects for sure. Thank God. On Monday I had decided cold turkey to Only eat whole foods. No processed foods, no additives, no preservatives.... I read that caffeine can greatly affect bipolar so I dropped my 1-2 cups of coffee a day, Sugar plays a big part in encouraging depressive feelings so I dropped all sugar and artificial sugar as well, and I quit eating any white flours, only whole grains. I told my Dr. and he said it couldn't hurt but I know he didn't expect that it would really make that much of a difference.
Within a week or 2 I felt so incredibly different it was crazy. Within 3 weeks the depression had drastically lifted. The anxiety that had become a daily battle was completely gone.
It is incredible the difference whole clean foods have made in my life and in my mental health. I also was able to drop one of my medications right away, and a lot of the side effects subsided due to that. About 6 months later I went to a Medical Doctor who treats naturally with natural supplements. Over the next 5 months my Doctor slowly weaned me off my medications onto natural supplements. The side effects are COMPLETELY gone, and I have overall for the most part done very very well. I now take one half of a pill, an anti-depressant, a very small dose, compared to 7 medicines at VERY VERY high doses. The supplements are very expensive but also very worth it. That's why I started sewing and selling stuff... to pay for them. God has provided.
Looking back, I know I needed the medication. I know my bipolar was so severe when diagnosed that I needed the heavy dosages and the medication was completely God's provision for me. I feel like I needed the meds to get me balanced enough... and as sick as I was I wasn't ready to try eating differently or anything else. Seeing how much healthy food changed my depression, Marc and I were able to consider a natural approach being a possibility, otherwise I don't think we would have in our wildest dreams considered it even for a second. I'm grateful for the people and information God has put in my path to help me come to this place.
I still struggle with depression sometimes, I'm very susceptible, and it's an on going battle but I am so much healthier than I have been in over 12 years and I am grateful for all God has done and is doing in me. I'm learning that I have a choice in so much of all this. I have to make choices all the time towards health and moving forward rather than embracing the depressive thoughts and allowing them to overwhelm me. God is doing so so much lately.... I'll be blogging soon more about some of the awesome things He's doing in my life. God is faithful and His grace is sufficient, for even me!!