Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Day 1

I guess I couldn't think of anything better to put in the title for today. But it might be confusing to readers. This is definitely not "Day 1" of my life as a person suffering from Bipolar Disorder. It's more like Day 4015 (no really...I added it up!).

I could share my entire 11-year history with BpD, but I don't really feel like dragging it all out and I'm sure it will come up sooner or later in this saga. What I plan to do is just start now...make this day one...and see how I do from now on. So...I guess a little introduction wouldn't be too horrible.

My name is Sarah. I am 23 years old, married, and living in Oklahoma. I am currently working full-time for the Residential Life Department at Oklahoma State University while my husband is finishing his degree in Secondary History Education. He is going to be student teaching this spring, then graduating in May. Once we get settled again, I will return to school to get my Masters in Accounting and sit for the CPA exam. We don't have any children and don't plan to have them until we're all settled financially. Until recently, I had a lot of problems with that decision. I've always wanted kids as soon as possible, but I'm slowly realizing that I am definitely not ready for that responsibility yet and I'd like to enjoy my freedom for a few more years. But..that's enough for now...except that I have struggled with BpD since age 12, diagnosed at 15, and been treated with meds and therapy since.

So, this last summer, I slowly slid into the longest depression I've had since before my first manic episode. I guess it just kept getting gradually worse and I wasn't paying attention. When my husband and boss finally convinced me that I was not myself, I went to my pdoc (psychiatrist) for help. Come to find out I had not worked one full week for three months. So, she added Wellbutrin to my regiment of medications. I guess I should let you know what meds I'm on. Here goes:

Lamictal (300mg/day)- mood stabilizer
Clonazepam (1-2mg/day)- anti-anxiety and sleep aid
Lexapro (20mg/day)- antidepressant
Wellbutrin (300mg/day)- antidepressant

Initially, she put me on only 150mg/day of Wellbutrin, but I just wasn't responding to it. I guess I've been feeling better since she upped it five days ago. It's hard to know though. That's where the meaning of the title of this entire blog comes from. I've recently had a lot of time to think, and the only way I can describe how I feel is that my body is fighting itself. It's like the logical, rational part of me (which btw is quite weak right now) is trying as hard as it can to defeat the depressed part of me. The fact that all of this is biological and has to do with chemicals firing off in my brain is difficult, because it is my brain that also gives me reason and basically every other thing I need to survive.

So, how do I feel? I'm not sure. I don't know if I feel better, happier...or if my brain is just playing a trick on me. I don't know if I'm naturally cycling to a happier mood or if it is just the medication boost. I don't know if my actions and behaviors are acceptable and rational yet.

So...basically...I would say that I am still being controlled by BpD, rather than the other way around. I have had times in my life when I was in control, and they were glorious times (I'm not talking about mania...I'm talking about balance). I know it is possible...but for how long...I don't know. It may just come down to my determination to continue maintainance treatment.

All I can do is just take it one day at a my counselor, Cindy, says "Just stay in the moment." Very difficult thing to do...but very applicable to my life.

Another day down, ??? days to go...

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