Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Break in the Clouds

If you have been following my blog you might know that I have been in a huge struggle with my medicine not working and having to change my Psychiatrist.   Well I am happy to report that after one week of treatment with the new medicine that I am doing quite well and very stable.  This past week has truly been a blessing in my life.  My new Psychiatrist took me off of Paxil and Topomax and prescribed Wellbutrin SR 150 mg for my anti-depressant and 50 mg of Lamictal as my mood stablizer for the first week.  Tomorrow he is increasing my Wellbutrin SR to 150 mg twice a day and then after another week I will be on 100 mg of Lamictal.  He is being very cautious to start me with smaller doses to see how I react and to see if there are any side effects.  I am glad that he is prescribing lower does and it gives me more confidence in him.   Building trust with new Psychiatrist will take a lot longer but at least I feel confident in his knowledge of the illness and the medication. 

Well after the first week I am happy to report that I am feeling so much better with very low side effects.  I  almost feel as good as I did the year before my first attack at 16.  This is something I have never been able to achieve since my treatment.  I know it's early but at least thus far I feel more balanced then in many long years,  I have been in this seat before a few times but I have never felt this good.  I would get stable on my medicine and then the medicine for whatever reason would quit working.   So while I feel stable and happier than I have been in years, I look around the corner to see if mania is coming or more episodes of depression mixed with suicidal feelings.  I am trying to stay optimistic about my new treatment but I guess there is still a part of me that is finding it hard to believe that I feel so good at the moment.   I know only time will tell and I wonder if I will be writing my next blog article about how my treatment did not work or only worked for a few weeks. 

It's funny because I am so happy I keep asking everyone in my support team if I seem manic or even hypo manic.  Everyone that has been with me and around my illness for years just states no you are not manic and tell me I just seem happy and balanced.  I guess the sheer fact that I am asking others if I seem manic then I am not.   When I have been in manic states in the past I have no clue that I am and no one can tell me otherwise.  My social anxiety even seems better this week.  Yesterday I got outside into my own car and drove myself alone to my optometrist office.   I actually went to an appointment without someone on my support team driving me or sitting in the office to be there if I had a panic attack.  I know to most people this seems so basic and an everyday occurrence but for me it was a huge break through.  I even went home last week to my parents home because my father was having surgery to help my mom and I did fine being around people I did not know all week.  So all of these steps are huge and I could not be prouder of myself and thankful for the treatment plan working. 

Something really neat also happened while I was at home.  It was just my Mom and I riding back in the car and she looked over with tears in her eyes and said "you know, I could be planning your funeral this week but instead you really helped me with your father through his after care."  I know my Mom and Dad have always been there for me no matter what and supported me through tough times but it was nice for someone to say you are needed here and for me to believe it and feel worthy and useful.  For the first time in a long time I am not waking up to the thoughts of " I just don't want to be here and I wished I could die.  Instead I have been going to bed early and getting a full eight hours of sleep and then wake up feeling fresh and energized.  So for now I am enjoying a break in the clouds and I can finally feel the sunshine on my face.  I hope my stability continues but only time will tell what is next on my journey with bipolar disorder. 

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