2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
The three days I spent in the hospital were a God send. The new anti-depressant I started several weeks ago threw me for a loop. The harder I tried to hold on the deeper I fell. As much as I pretended to have it all together, that I had hope, that things were getting better….
I wasn’t safe to be alone. My parents were at their wits end trying to help, and when I went to the doctor on Wednesday I wasn’t able to hide behind smiles…
So in to the hospital I went. You see all the commercials for anti-depressants and it talks about how it can increase certain feelings in children and teenagers…. Well, if you’re bipolar it can do the same thing!
Yeah, so I am bipolar. Found that out while at the hospital. I spent a lot of time with doctors, nurses, and mental health professionals who all came to the same conclusion. Especially considering my diagnosis of ADHD as a child.
Turns out that a lot of people my age who were diagnosed with ADHD as kids were really early on-set bipolar. The periods of hyperactivity were maniac periods… And since I have struggled with depression for as long as I can remember…. The result was logical.
This makes sense since behavior therapy and sticking to a schedule was always more effective for me than the ADHD meds. I actually spent 12 days in the hospital when I was 11 for almost exactly the same reasons I did this past week.
An inventory of my adult years led to a stunning conclusion… Every time I hit a maniac period in the past I’ve moved, quit my job, started school, ended/started relationships, invested in a new hobby… Another words I always ran away and lost myself in something so I didn’t have to address what was going on in my head.
This time I had no way to run. I can’t quit my job, I’m not ready to go to school, and the idea of a new hobby when I have so many already was overwhelming. I was sleeping for days at a time. Or staying up for 48 hours straight. It took hours to fall asleep, and I’d spend hours cleaning and then the next week the dishes would sit in the sink until the house stunk.
It was everything or nothing. I’d find the middle of the road for a little bit and revel in it. This pattern has been going on for most of my life but the past 6 weeks or so have been hellacious.
The anti-depressant intensified everything and I finally crashed. At first I was strung out about inpatient treatment. The staff at the hospital was amazing! Every day I was reassured about my confidentiality, I was able to skip the typical admitting process and was actually hidden on the patient census. The people who took care of me are people I have worked with and at first that terrified me.
It shouldn’t have. God went above and beyond. His timing is perfect. I was treated like a normal person who needed help. I didn’t get special treatment (still had to hand over my phone and anything dangerous to myself or others) from the staff who knew me, but they did talk to me like a colleague when they could.
It was nice because they know what sort of stress I am under at work and we addressed some of the best ways to handle that stress. I learned lots of different coping strategies and ways to identify triggers and when I am starting to swerve out of the lines.
I’m off the anti-depressant and on mood stabilizers. I took some heavy duty sleep aides for a few days too, but am off the benzodiazepines now. Hopefully I will be able to go off 2 out of my 3 mood stabilizers in the future. One of the good things that came out of inpatient treatment was a being able to take a closer look at my other medications.
It looks like I might be able to go off my blood pressure medication and metformin soon, if the mood stabilizers don’t cause anything to act up. Yay!
Back to resting in Christ… I am weak. Unbearably, hopelessly, desperately weak. There is a chance someone from work may find out about me being bipolar. That bothers me a little bit, but I am placing my trust in Him, because that is the only way I am strong.
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