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.