Saturday, December 21, 2013

Learning To Cope

We all have coping mechanisms to help us through our every day lives and the trials and tribulations we encounter on the day to day.  Some of them are new, some of them are old but either way it works for you to help you maintain your cool and be a calm rational human being.  At least most of the time, we're all allowed to have our breakdowns from time to time. 

But you have to ask yourself, how often is too often to be having breakdowns? 

I've been asking myself that question a lot lately and there have been far too many "episodes" of me losing my cool and going into meltdown crazy mode these past few weeks for me to be happy about or even comfortable with. 

I've decided after much thought and wads of reflection that one or more of my medications is the cause of my angry outbursts, as the outbursts have been so much worse than before I started the two medications I'm speaking of, Lamictal and Prozac.  The outbursts just continued to escalate since starting them and I have slowly lost almost all control over my anger. 

This is a scary thing for me.  I have a very short temper to begin with, very short.  And when I lose my cool I lash out at the people I love.  

My husband and I have had two major arguments that involved talk of us splitting up for just a bit until I find myself again.  He told me he wants the woman he fell in love with back.  I broke down in tears when he said that, the look on his face, the tears in his eyes...I couldn't help it, I fell apart. 

I bawled my eyes out and lost control of all my emotions.  I was inconsolable and no matter how hard he tried to make me feel better, I just couldn't pull myself out of the depression that I was slammed into by my own hand.  He pinned me to the bed, hugging me tightly as I screamed and cried and let all of my stress, tension, depression, anxiety, everything out and he didn't leave me once.  He shushed me, yelled at me, tried to brush my hair with his hand to comfort me and nothing was working.  I was lost inside my head because my own husband, the man I have loved mind, body and soul, the man I swore to love, honor and protect during our hand fasting didn't know me anymore. 

And then he kissed me, oh so gently, with tears welling up in his eyes he said, "I love you and can't lose you.  You have to find yourself again" and somehow, through all of that roil of emotional turmoil I was billowing out those words found their way to my heart and I heard them.  They meant something.  They made sense. 

I don't honestly think I'd survive if my husband and my girls left me for a few weeks.  I think I'd lose my mind completely.  I need them, like I need my heart to beat.  I need their chaos, their love, their laughter.  I need them

As I sit here typing this whole ordeal out, tears are starting to well up in my own eyes.  I decided, after that whole fiasco, that I needed to do some reflection, look back and find out where I lost myself and what I could do to find "me" again. 

My conclusion?  After much deliberation on my part, I realized that all of this started after the birth of my second child.  I had been trying to convey to my psychiatrist that I thought I had PPD or postpartum depression.  Instead of treating it right then and there, he put me on yet another mood stabilizer, Lamictal.  Then when I went back to him and told him it wasn't working he just upped the dose.  And upped it, and upped it and upped it.  Still no change.  So I decided to go over his head and talk to his superior, another psychiatrist who is well known by many a physician in the area and highly recommended by many a patient. 

After talking with him, he put me on Prozac. I took the dose as I was told and did so for five weeks.  My rage just continued to get out of hand.  I tried to get in to see him but because of the holidays he has no openings until mid-January.

I'd had enough though.  I couldn't lose my husband, my girls, my life, myself anymore so I decided to start slowly dwindling down the dosage of my Lamictal and completely stop the Prozac (it was causing me massive migraines anyway). 

I also decided to start taking my Clonazepam, an anti-anxiety drug, much more often since I was barely taking it anyway.  I hate the way it makes me fuzzy but it keeps me calm, as it's supposed to.  It helps me learn how to better cope with my new life because let's face it, four major life changes in less than three years is a lot for one person to handle, one normal person, someone who doesn't have bipolar or another mental health disorder so you can imagine how hard it is on me, being bipolar and having PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), anxiety disorder and insomnia. 

I've been dealing with all of these things since I was thirteen years old.  And I won't lie to you, it's been rough.  And yet somehow, I've managed.  I've survived.  And I will continue to survive because honestly, there is no other option.  I have to survive...for my girls, my husband, my friends, for everyone. 

I am bipolar and I am a survivor.  

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