I'm sitting here, trying to think of a clever title for this post, and like with everything it seems lately, I just can't find the will to put forth the effort.
My brain is jumping around, and I'm trying to find a good starting point to branch off on. I have a million thoughts running around in this mind of mine, and I can't seem to find one to truly grasp and run with. I can't say my brain has felt quite this chaotic since starting on Lithium a few months ago.
Ahhh, Lithium. I guess we can start there. I was recently diagnosed with Rapid Cycling Bipolar II Disorder. Long story short, I cycle through happier than normal moods and depressive moods faster than most people, and the depressive moods can have a large impact on my personal relationships, overall productivity, and sense of worth. There is no cure for bipolar disorder, just treatment and maintenance. I was prescribed Lithium, a drug commonly used to treat my disorder. It's actually a naturally occurring salt, and it used to be sold on store selves until people started to overdose on it. You see, since it's a salt, you have to make sure you're staying hydrated while taking it, and you also have to use regular table salt on your food because your body can confuse Lithium for the regular stuff, hoard it, and cause you to overdose on it that way. No low salt diet for this gal! Lithium is supposed to help me stay more level, "normal" if you will, and for the most part it works... but not always.
I've been feeling pretty okay on Lithium. I'm on a fairly low dose, BARELY in the therapeutic range that medical professionals claim you should be in, but if I take any more than what I am currently on, I am no better than a zombie. I can fake my way through a work day, but once I get home the exhaustion overcomes me and I could pass out on the living room floor while my three year old, two year old, and 10 month old crawl over my snoring body. Not feeling like a steaming pile of shit is great, but not at the cost of being unable to function and care for my kids, so low dose it is. And it works. Until my period starts.
I haven't been taking Lithium very long, just for a few months, but long enough to notice that once my period roles around, I might as well not even be taking the Lithium, and I become very stressed and depressed. Lithium can't seem to combat the hormones my body releases during my period, and I'm left feeling so low I don't even want to get out of my bed. I simply want to pull the covers over me and pretend the world does not exist, and sleep for days because if I'm asleep, I don't have to deal with anything, anyone, or myself. I become easily irritable, get angry at the drop of a hat (and know I'm being unfair in my anger which causes me to feel like a horrible person, which in turn makes me angrier), dwell on every little thing in my life that I feel is unfair, and overall hate who I am and wonder why anyone puts up with me and wouldn't blame them for leaving me. It's got me wondering if maybe my psychiatrist doesn't need to also put me on another medication, or if we need to experiment with me upping my Lithium levels during my period. Because this person I am right now? She needs to go.
I have a lot of stressors in my life, I do. I don't think anyone can deny that. I have a LOT on my plate on the daily. Not only am I raising three very young boys of my own, I'm also raising two teenagers part of the time and coordinating between two households, trying to maintain the peace and get everyone to co-parent without undermining either house, plus working full-time, trying to avoid falling into crippling debt, keep my household from falling down around my ears, and do all the other million and one things that come with being an adult, a wife, and a mother. I need to be able to manage my stress, not have my stress manage me, which means I need treatments that work.
I also think I need to find more time to write. It's so incredibly hard to find the time without having to sacrifice something somewhere else, but I enjoy it. It makes me feel better. It helps reduce some of the chaos in my mind because I don't have all the words racing around up there looking for somewhere to go, constantly shouting at me until I acknowledge them. That may not make sense to a lot of you, but it will make perfect sense to some of you.
I feel a bit better having gotten this down. Thanks for reading.