Hello 2017, how are you?
It has been months since my last blog post, bonus points if you can guess why? Well, if you’ve read With Some Certainty before then you know that I often write about my personal experience with mental illness as well as its presence in my relationship. That ugly little demon of mine decided that blogging was not an option for a bit there but I’m clawing to make it part of my routine again.
So what’s been happening these last few months?
Well, I mostly have just been working… and working… and working. I’m a nanny for three families on a weekly basis and babysit for several more regularly. Since I wasn’t in the headspace to do much else, I took on a lot of extra hours. So that did allow me to be extra generous at Christmas time without making much of a difference in my bank account. So that was awesome!
The girlfriend and I are doing well. She’s proven herself time and time again to be more patient and loving than anyone could expect. I’m happy with my job(s), even if they are not life long careers. But I don’t want to falsely imply that I’ve been feeling like everything in my life is happy.
In fact, I’m so good at finding the silver lining and/or the bright side that I often find it impossible to talk to anyone about the dark stuff… But that’s a different conversation entirely.
After months and months of research and surveys and undue stress, I bit the bullet and saw a psychiatrist. And after about a fifteen minute assessment I heard the words I knew were true before I even picked up the phone to call, “It appears you may have Bipolar Disorder.”
As I said, this was really confirming a suspicion more than it was groundbreaking news for me. But still, hearing it from a medical professional shook my world more than I could have ever expected. In fact, it sent me on a spiral I’m just now (almost four months later) crawling my way out of of.
Let me just say this: do yourself a favor and stay away from the internet for a bit. Don’t google every possible sign and symptom and think you WebMD degree makes you the source of all knowledge that is mental illness. Talk to your doctors, not Siri.
I was prescribed a Mood Stabilizer and began taking it immediately, while slowly increasing my dose every two weeks. I started seeing the therapist referred to me, who specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
“a type of psychotherapy in which negative patterns of thought about the self
and the world are challenged in order to alter unwanted
behavior patterns or treat mood disorders such as depression.”
I’ll be real honest with you, I’m not in a great place with treatment at the moment. CBT is more difficult than therapy I have done in the past and easy to make excuses not to go to. I’m actually going this afternoon for the first time in a couple of months. I’m in the process of changing up my meds but that requires me to see a different doctor as well. Unfortunately, I no longer feel I can believe in the psychiatrist I was seeing as I was prescribed a possibly dangerous drug interaction.
But all is to say, it’s a battle but I’m still trying. And it has only been a few months since I even started doing anything about my mental illness at all so I can still feel pride about what I have accomplished.
I want to continue to create content for this site but for the time being I need to prioritize other things above blogging. So I will not be posting on a regular schedule or even necessarily useful content. I am going to give myself the space to spend the year doing whatever I want on WSC and let it be what it will. Though, I do hope that some of you will stick with me throughout the battle.
This is a new year and I have taken a deep breath and pulled up my bootstraps as so many others, too, feel the inspiration of 2017.
New Year Goals
I think resolutions sound a lot like a setup for failure. When I hear “New Years Resolution” my mind instantly bounces to a montage of a gym being packed January 1st and slowly clearing out to empty by February 1st. Was the incredibly vivid to anyone else?
Needless to say, I did not set any. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time I did. But when I really sit and think about it, I do have some goals I want to accomplish:
- Attend therapy regularly and on schedule for the entire year
- Follow my therapist’s advice and work for wellness
- Start a Bullet Journal
- Maintain a habit tracker in said journal
- Continue to save up money every month
- Move in with Allie
- Go back to school
I’m no doctor, but I think it is fair to say that if therapy is going to work I need to stick to a schedule with it and really listen to my therapist’s advice. I truly want to make 2017 a year where I place a lot of focus and effort on bettering my mental health.
Truthfully, even finding the time to sit on that tufted couch regularly can be a challenge in itself. Especially when I also have to see a psychiatrist once a month to deal with my medications. So I am giving myself kudos for going regularly and treating that as a goal. (Finding free time as an adult is a challenge, man!)
Some of the things I know I’ll have to be doing on a very regular (ideally daily but that is a stretch for me right now) basis to follow my therapist’s instructions are:
- Tracking feelings/emotions
- Staying active
But as the year progresses, I’m confident there will be plenty of things I have to do to work on my wellness. I am looking forward to a year of truly prioritizing my mental health and hopefully getting to a place where my coping mechanisms help me.
Something I have always found to be a comfort to me is maintaining a planner. I realize that most of what I do in a planner could just as easily be done on my phone with different apps and whatnot but I find putting pen to paper so much more satisfying.
However, since leaving college I have found it increasingly difficult to actually manage a planner on daily basis. Mostly because there are absolutely days where I have no use in looking into a planner. For instance, if i have the day off and I am mostly going to spend it lounging around the house watching HGTV with my girlfriend, then I probably don’t need a to-do list.
A few months back I started using a small notebook instead of a standard planner because I found that I was feeling crappy if I missed a day and saw a blank spot in a standard planner. Because that worked so much better for me, the next step that seemed logical to me was a bullet journal!Let me tell you, I’m already in love with the thing. It’s a blast! And one of my goals for the year is to keep that up (though I’m definitely getting myself peace with missing days here and there) and also to use a habit tracker in it to try and keep myself more accountable.
I thought it would be nice to come back to blogging in a more personal way. I can go back to more informative posts soon enough but right now – I needed to talk about my feelings a little! Because of that, I’m going to send out a monthly newsletter that is literally just me talking about me.
As I said, I am planning to go back to school soon. Between that and continuing to work full time, my time will be scarce. I do hope you stick around and check me out from time to time… I swear I’ll make it worth your while!