Illness is hard

I try to be positive on my site, but I’m going to vent for a moment.

I’m more stable now then I have been in many years. An accurate diagnosis can be a glorious thing. But, with that hunt for an accurate diagnosis came more medication changes and trials/ errors than I can even remember. Psych meds, more than half the time, cause weight gain. As someone with an eating disorder, it’s hard to accept the 90 pound weight gain in exchange for mental stability. I hate my body and everything about how I look. I avoid reunions and hanging out with friends because I’m so embarrassed of how I look. But, at the same time, I’m less of a burden on these people now that I’m mentally stable and not in and out of the psych ward every couple months.

I still have mood shifts, they just aren’t as frequent. Bipolar II is a wicked thing to have. I’m horribly depressed and unable to function some days, then the next thing you know I’m bouncing off the walls, on a cleaning and shopping spree and then comes the dreaded crash. It’s awful. I never know when I wake up (or even throughout the course of a single day) which mood will come next. I have a hard time planning events for too many days ahead because I never know what my mood will be. Will I be bedridden and paralyzed by fear and anxiety? Will I be manic? Will I be “normal”?

The depression brings such intense anxiety that I literally can’t function. I’ll spend all day in bed attempting to hide from my mind. (If only that worked!) My mind whirls relentlessly, convincing me that I’m worthless, a pain in the butt, better off dead, etc. It’s exhausting and, no doubt, frustrating to not only me, but all those who deal with me.

My latest medicine combo, along with twice monthly electroconvulsive therapy treatments, has me more stable than I have been in years and I’m grateful for it. But, medicine is not a cure. It simply helps to manage the conditions that are present. I’ll be on these meds the rest of my life. I’ll most likely have my brain zapped for many more years to come. All this to just survive.

I write, speak and do a lot to help spread awareness about these diseases that a lot of people think are made-up, not real or attention seeking. It has sort of turned into my life mission. I’m sure I will always struggle. It’s a terrible inconvenience, no doubt. I can admit that right now I’m struggling. I’m in the throws of an ugly depression and I’m just writing to vent about how much it sucks.

Hopefully one day I’ll see not only my own value, but also that maybe this life isn’t so bad after all. I’ve spent six years in search of an accurate diagnosis and I finally have one. I had spent a lifetime feeling anxious and depressed one minute and manic the next and so it’s nice to feel “better”, but it’s hard to grasp that, short of a divine intervention, “better” is my new normal… even if it sucks (albeit, sucks less than before).

Friends, be kind to one another. Show compassion and grace. Accept others for who they are.

Much Love,

~Lindsay