Riding the Wave ... And the Trough

I am mentally ill, diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I, OCD, ADHD, PTSD and a vitamin B12 deficiency (a key element in brain development). For over 12 years, I took anywhere from 5-8 psychotropic meds each day, and have been recently giving myself a monthly injection of B12.

In January 2012 I was hospitalized for depression, and management of my currrent med cocktail. Immediately all but two of my meds were discontinued and, after a few weeks of adjustment, and some near hospitalizations, things seem to be going much better.

I have been on permanent disability since January 2010, and am adjusting to life on a very limited income.

My prayer is that in walking with me during the ups and downs of Bipolar Disorder, you might find solace, and benefit through my experiences.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Just Another Day (or week) in Winston's World

This has been a emotionally-trying week week, being Christmas and all that goes with it. For most people, Christmas brings back memories of family, caroling, eating and exchanging gifts. To me, however, the most I remember about Christmas is getting sick. For my first 16 Christmas' I was sick to my stomach from Christmas Eve through Christmas day. Many times on Christmas morning I would lay on the couch and throw up in a bucket while we opened our gifts. Whee!

You think I would grow out of this "sickening" practice, and I have for the most part. However, I can still feel the stomach roll when I get closer to the day. But stomach ache has been taken over by "head" ache; you know, the bipolar type. Christmas makes me nervous. No, scratch that. All of the hype surrounding Christmas makes me nervous. There are expectations to attend, expectations to host, expectations to send cards, expectations to buy, expectations to give thanks and expectations to be happy and joyful.

Each year I find it harder and harder to meet those expectations. Undoubtedly most others will tell you that you don't have to do anything, that they have no expectations of you, but it's not entirely true. Some do say it with full sincerity, while some say it just to be nice. So one means it and one doesn't. How can you tell them apart. You usually can't, so you're right back to having to pleasse them all.

Not to mention the crowds of people. I've never been one for large crowds, or actually for any size crowd at all. People think that is ridiculous, since I am a pastor. However, as a pastor, I am outside the crowd talking to them. I am in control. So maybe it isn't so much the crowds as it is not being in control of my situation. A small crowd (gathering of family or friends) should be alright, right? It is this crowd that I fear most, since this crowd will have the most expectations. For a larger crowd, there are no expectations, save those of decency and respect. In a larger crowd, my main problem is the noise. For some reason, my brain tries to hear and understand every conversation. I can't stand this. So, I don't like crowds.

I am scheduled for surgery this coming Saturday (12/27). I have had Regenerative Disk and Joint Disease for years, and I have to get both my great (big) toe joints fused. (I will do the left foot in a few months) It is outpatient surgery, and it's minimally invasive, but is difficult to heal and, so I've been told, quite painful.

I guess I'll go down like a good, old, used car; engine keeps running even after the fenders and doors fall off, and the transmission fails. My old, diseased brain brain will be chugging along, telling me to do stupid things, trip and fall a lot, mumble when I should speak and speak when I shouldn't.

And the hits just keep on comin'!

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