Today I had my first “at home” productive day in probably 2 months. Which is why I finally feel I can write again. Since my last post I have tried finding inspiration and time but I would come up with writer’s block or be too tired to write. The thing is, between general life and life with a mental illness, I kind of got off track. I have tried writing thousands of times to explain the radio silence and could not do it. I literally have 22.5 started posts in a file on my computer. But finally, here is my explanation and what is going on. Hopefully after getting this out and getting through this I will be able to get back to writing the things people are interested in on this blog, after all I have 22 blog topics started, Ha!
This all started the end of September when I noticed my medication combination wasn’t working quite like my medical team wanted it to and Bella was working over time. Then work picked up ant med changes started at the same time and slowly things just slipped away. It’s really interesting how much my creativity and energy and drive is related to my MI. It’s like I must have this perfect balance, if the meds are working too well I am in over drive and think I can do everything all the time. When the medication isn’t working getting me out of bed in the morning is a struggle.
When they start a medication change they try simple steps first, like increasing or decreasing the dose of a medication you are currently on. If that doesn’t work they have to look in to changing medications completely. That sounds simple enough but because of the way psyche medications work, you can’t just go off a medication cold turkey and switch on to a new one. Doing that can have horrible complications and the end result is not good. Because of the medication I was on is very difficult to get off of we have to taper it. Basically, for 1 month I take a lower dose while taking a small dose of the new medication. Then we flip-flop it and then I go off and completely on to the new medication. From there we tinker to make sure the dose is correct. All in all it could take months for the change to be finished and that is only if I work well with this new medication. It is a very long and complicated process that results in mood swings, loss of energy, and other things you don’t want to put up with when trying to have a full-time adult life.
I don’t have a great track record of med adjustments. Mainly because in the past I wasn’t honest with my doctors about what was working and what wasn’t. Also, in the past I wasn’t open and honest with those around me. I think I had two medication changes in college that my family didn’t really know about and I don’t think most of my friends knew I was on medication and if they did we certainly didn’t talk about it. But this time everything is different.
Now that I have found a medical team that works for me, I know that as soon as something seems wrong, I have to call and talk to them. Some times they tell me that it is normal and sometimes they say okay lets change this. The second reason this is going so much better is the support system I have. Now that I am so open with what is going on, I don’t feel as bad calling my mom and crying because of something stupid that seems like a big deal because my meds aren’t working. I can text my dad just to know I have someone who will always meet me somewhere or give me a hug if I need it and my brother and sister in-law usually have a picture of a smiling baby when I ask. On top of having a great family, I have a really great guy in my life that has listened to multiple meltdowns, freak-outs, “Great Ideas” and crazy spastic moments and he is still there after. Then there is also my friends who are beyond amazing because they have listened to rants, invited me places and not given me a hard time when I just can’t leave the house and coming over when they don’t want to cancel said plans.
As much as everyone in my life has been there, there is one furry four-legged creature that has been there through it all. I swear Bella deserves a spa day, a room full of monkeys and nylabones and her own yard to chase squirrels in all day. This dog has changed my treatment in ways that are hard to explain. When I couldn’t and wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning Bella was there. Trust me when I say it is very difficult to stay in bed when Bella decides its time to go to work. When I get off schedule or stuck in an obsessive mood, Bella brings me out of it and makes sure we get to where we need to or makes me sit down and stop. Not to mention when I go full on freak out and she lies on top of me or rests her head on me for deep pressure therapy. Her tasks are such an amazing help.
In the end, I look at how difficult this is and should be and yet how easy it really is going for me. I think the moral of the story is this, Mental illnesses are awful and sometimes finding the correct treatment can be a long journey but by being open and honest the help from those around you can make the difference of surviving it or barely making it. If you know someone with an MI make sure they know they can go to you in times of need. Going through this fight alone is horrible but having a team on your side can make a huge difference. If you are struggling, reach out. Sometimes people can really surprise you and will be there when you need them. After all that’s what family and friends are for right? Keep fighting.