Update: Physical and mental health

I’m sorry I haven’t kept this updated. It looks like it’s been a year or so now since I last posted. Blech!

I’ve had a lot of real life problems this past year. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis last fall, and I’ve been going through the medical merry-go-round to find something that works. On top of that, my husband and boyfriend were also diagnosed with autoimmune conditions. This year has been spent dealing with a lot of medical crap.

It’s not all bad, though. I started seeing a psych for my anxiety, but also because I wanted to bring up the question of bipolar. I’ve had the symptoms for, well, ages, but when I spoke to a psychiatrist about it before, I was told that it didn’t fit me because I don’t go out gambling, drinking, having wild promiscuous sex, doing drugs, etc, when I’m manic.

Well, no. I get hypomanic. The problem is, it presents more productively. I get lots of writing done. I stay up for 48hrs writing because the characters in my head won’t shut up and let me sleep until I write their stories. I get excited about projects, throw myself into them, and then as soon as the mania wears off, I crash, and then start the downward spiral into the depressive. This is not healthy, but my psych at the time apparently didn’t think it was anything to worry about; truthfully, I was also probably not forceful enough.

I saw a psych nurse practitioner that came highly recommended from my mother (who is a psych nurse of some 30+ years experience), and she had me diagnosed either bipolar II or cyclothymia the first visit. Cyclothymia is basically bipolar lite. I’m borderline between the two, but I’ll refer to it as bipolar II because more people are familiar with that.

So I got put on medication. Lamictal, if you’re curious. The first couple weeks were rough and I was cycling like nuts, but then it started working, and — wow.

If I had known how much the meds would help, I would have pushed a lot harder five years ago.

I started writing again. A new project. And I was afraid, because I loved this idea, but the past few years have taught me that I wouldn’t be able to stick with it. I’d get depressed and end up cycling through projects yet again. And I haven’t. I ended up picking up a project that is 2/3 finished but I am working on both of them as time allows.

Since May, I have written some 35,000 words, roughly. This is more than I think I wrote in all of 2010 and 2009. There are no words to convey my relief and my joy. I had thought I’d lost my writing. I truly had. I tried to write, and I would just cry, because I couldn’t… and this has given me back my words. It’s given me back my voice. I’m so happy and relieved and grateful, you cannot imagine.

I have myself back.

And that’s a beautiful, beautiful thing.