I started DBT a little while back, (Dialectical Behavior Therapy, if you don’t know it look it up!) it has been this awesome new tool for me that uses both group and individual therapy to help you learn skill sets for all kinds of mental health stuff. BUT you can google that if you want to know more. Point being I have been seeing positive changes pretty quickly in this program and noticed a major milestone today!
2 1/2 weeks ago I dislocated my knee, which put a kink in all the forward progress I was making. Nothing feeds depression like isolation. So yesterday I was finally able to go back to my weekly therapy and group sessions, and today I am SORE. Which meant I was back in the recliner not able to help much, like with dinner or the 5 year old. Suddenly this evening I realized how 100% okay I was with this! I squealed and filled my husband in.
Here’s the thing, in the past if I have chosen to do something just for me/my health and it has gotten in the way of being able to care for my daughter or husband I have felt a lot of guilt. Somewhere along the way I subconsciously decided (all on my own) that their needs were above mine, at all times. Even when I could logic my way out of feeling guilty, my go to reaction was still this oppressive guilt!
So today was a proud moment when I realized I felt zero guilt for taking care of my needs first. (My husband was happy and proud of me too by the way). Bonus, it’s further proof that DBT is working and I am making positive deep down changes. Seriously, google that shit 🙂
So I tried to start this blog one year ago. I felt really good about my first post.
Then that voice in my head started speaking, the one I’m learning to tell to hush up and go back into its corner. It said, No one wants to hear your story. You can’t keep up with this. You aren’t a writer. You will abandon this eventually so just quit now. And I listened.
Then a couple days ago I commented on another blogger/author I follow (Jenny Lawson, check her out she’s awesome) and someone liked my previous post. The one I forgot about. So I reread it, and I really liked my previous post.
So here I am, ignoring the self-doubt ass of a voice in my head, trying again. Wish me luck!
I have bipolar disorder.
I am 30 years old, married, with one beautiful daughter who is four.
I was misdiagnosed with just depression at 16 and have been battling mental illness ever since.
I finally feel like I am getting the upper hand and I want to share this part of my journey with anyone it may help.
First let me say it took years of medication adjustments, doctor adjustments, and therapist adjustments for me to find the right mix to get where I am today. I am blessed to have a wonderful support team in my husband and mom. Also where I am today is far from perfect, but things are so much brighter looking.
Lately though I have been realizing that there is a step, that is all my own, that I have been missing. Things that I have to do for myself. The last piece of the puzzle for me is remembering or even discovering how to live my life now that my illness isn’t consuming it.
It’s harder than you would think. I’m learning daily how to recognize what helps my mood, what hurts it, and how much my illness is effecting my moods vs normal emotions. Part of the time I feel crazy and over analytical and other times I feel exhausted and indifferent. Sometimes though, I feel like my emotions are 100% in tune with the events of my life, happy, sad, or what have you. Those moments, even the sad ones are really something special. Actually sometimes the angry ones are my secret favorite. More about that later though.
I’m also working on realizing what I am capable of. I’ve needed a lot of help for a lot of years. Lately I have been trying to decide which things I actually need help with and when asking for help has just become a habit.
Mental illness is awful and hard and exhausting. But getting back into life outside of mental illness has been a whole new experience. Surprisingly equally hard and exhausting, but also slightly thrilling.