Adjusting to Changes

So much going on, so much on my mind.

I’ve been put on a different medication to treat my bipolar.   It’s a new one, called Latuda.  Overall I think I like it.  I no longer feel anxious all the time, which is such an odd feeling.  I can see stressful situations from a healthier, more balanced viewpoint.  The consequences of even the smallest of failings used to seem too devastating to contemplate.  Now, I just shrug and say “Meh.”  And…everything turns out fine!  Freaking out about things didn’t make me a better student, just an anxious one.  I’m still getting things done without getting an ulcer in the process.  Nice.

Of course, that’s anxiety, not bipolar.  It’s just a nice side benefit that my anxiety levels have dropped.  The main improvement is that I no longer live in a constant state of depression.  I have energy and motivation.  I’m finally finishing projects begun years ago but left incomplete because, in my depression, I only had so much energy to give to life.  Now, slowly but surely, I’m reclaiming my space and doing those things I’ve long wanted to do.  I’m also beginning to go to bed a little earlier, but that shift is still a work-in-progress.  I’m working on it, though.

I’m also much more social.  I accept most invitations to do things now.  Before, I struggled to be around people.  My mother told me that it’s nice, seeing this side of me she hasn’t seen since I was younger, before my mental illness took its toll.  I’m having fun again.

But there’s a down side.  Because, in case you didn’t know, there’s always a downside to every medication.  I have trouble focusing now.  It makes it difficult to do my homework.  The lack of anxiety means that when I get a case of “I don’t wannas,” it’s harder to make myself do it.  I still get it done, but it tends to trigger irritability when I have to force myself.  Writing papers is much more challenging because it requires a high degree of focus.  Still, I’m getting by I think.  I’ve found that I do better at certain times of day, and if I can settle in to work then, I’m good.  I have to stay on top of it.

There are other things on my mind.  Things like my fears for my baby sister.  I’m almost positive she’s using heroin again since our grandmother’s illness and subsequent death.  I keep reaching out, letting her know I’m here if she needs me.  But I think she’s avoiding me.  She knows I know.  There’s nothing else I can do but try to keep the line of communication open.  But in the wake of Hoffman’s death (and Twister is on TV right now- his face appeared even as I wrote his name), I’m feeling more weighed down by fear and sadness for her.

On the flip side, I’ll be celebrating 17 years sober in a couple of weeks.  Hard to believe.  I’m so grateful for the life I have, and all of my friends and family.  You all enrich my life in immeasurable ways.  Thank-you.

This entry was posted in College Life, Home Improvement, On Being an Alcoholic, On Being Bipolar, Random Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Adjusting to Changes

  1. Leah says:

    And you enrich ours so very much! I have been watching and waiting for postings and am happy to read this mostly good news one. What other projects are vying for your attention, other than tiling? :)

    As for the lack of focus…I think that might just be a human trait. :) I feel like I haven’t been able to focus on much for the past 6 months now and that it just keeps getting worse myself! Do you think it’s a matter of how interesting your course work is as well? It’s hard to buckle down, especially when there are so many fun distractions, like the Olympics…

    That is really scary about your sister. I will keep her in my thoughts and hope that she has the strength to pull herself out of it. And I hope she will let you in to help her.

    17 years sober!!! What a feat, what an accomplishment! How good for your soul! I am so, so proud of you and all the courage you have possessed to create a better life for yourself. And there in turn you have been able to help uplift so many others. Thank goodness for you, dear Aravis.

  2. Aravis says:

    Thank goodness for you, too, Leah. *hug*

    Regarding focus, it’s something I’ve always been good at. If anything, I tend to be hyper-focused. It’s helped me a lot during school, and in my acting days. Not being able to stay with anything for long unless it really grabs me is… strange. It’s an adjustment. When something does grab me, though, I’m still able to give it my attention. It’s just not as effortless in general as it used to be.

    I’m not tiling, I’ve been plastering. I have to finish sanding. Then I can prime and paint the ceiling and walls in the living room. I’ve already ordered a new area rug, have rearranged the furniture, etc. I have to finish the kitchen walls and ceiling, but will be tackling that a little differently. Thankfully it’s a much smaller room than the living room! I want to sand and refinish the wood floors. Really I’d like to replace them altogether, but I don’t have the money. The floors are at the bottom of the list, though. I want to paint the walls and ceilings in the hallways and bedrooms first. Lots to do!

    Thanks for keeping my sister in your thoughts. She’s become an alcoholic, too. When she’s not drugging, she’s drinking. It’s more acceptable in her mind. She’s asked to come to a couple of meetings with me in the past, and knows that she’s always welcome. It’s her path, though, and I have to let her find her way. So hard. But I have to have faith that she’ll make it when she’s ready.

  3. Leah says:

    Sorry, my bad re: tiling! Sounds like some solid winter projects. :)

    Kinda funny how, when not focusing one one things leads to productivity with another…

  4. Aravis says:

    I know, right? I periodically stop, take stock of what I’m feeling in a moment, and go with it. I’ve been so productive! :D

Comments are closed.