Mental Health Awareness
I have not felt much like writing lately. Those of you who follow my blog may have noticed I am not posting nearly as much as I used to. That is okay. I suppose in life there are all kinds of things that ebb and flow, including writing. The thing is, I do not really feel like writing lately. Writing has always been a source of pleasure, but lately it feels more like drudgery. It is no fun when something you have enjoyed so much over the years becomes more of a chore than anything, so I guess I have avoided writing lately.
But it is mental health awareness month, and I do have a mental illness, namely bipolar. Most importantly, I did start this blog with the intention of helping others who struggle with a mental illness. So, I guess it is time to dust off the old computer and type some sort of update.
So, how am I doing? Well, I am happy to report that the best word I can use to describe my mood these days is amazing. Simply put, amazing. About a year ago now, things shifted in my life. I had heard that bipolar becomes less of a burden the older you get, and that may be true, but I think that what I have experienced is more of a release than anything. Something, that for 47 years of my life had such a firm hold on me, finally let go. And I cannot explain why.
Without going too deep into the details, last spring, I had a premonition that the end of my life was near. In fact, I was convinced that God had sent me a sign that my life was coming to a close. I cannot begin to describe how that made me feel. I was sad to be leaving my family behind, but not this world. This world wears me out and, sometimes, I just long for my home. Long story short, I did not, in fact, die. I am still here. But while I did not get to go home, I do feel like bipolar let me go. There is no other way to describe it. It is like that monster that I dealt with on a daily basis, simply let go.My husband and I talked about it later. He said, maybe some part of me did die last spring. He might just be on to something.
I am so grateful to report that after years of struggling with deep depression and crippling anxiety, I have found a freedom that eluded me for most of my life. I am so deeply grateful to be free of a burden that made me feel like I was endlessly pulling a ball and chain around with me wherever I went. I have described what bipolar is like in a post called The Colors of My World. Because it is extremely difficult to describe what it is like to live with a mental illness that poem was the best I could manage.
But my life is not that way these days. In fact, I have been able to go down on all my psych meds. This summer I am going to attempt to go off my anti-depressant, something that makes me tear up just to think about.
So how am I? Grateful. No other words can describe it. Truly grateful. Really, there is nothing more to write. Except this . . . I hope that those of you who are not doing so great will reach out and get help. There is always hope. Hope is a good thing – a thing that does not disappoint. Hope is what got me through. Hope saved me.
And for the rest of you? Those who have never struggled in the grip of anxiety, depression, mania or any other mental illness, I hope you realize how fortunate you are. More than that, I hope you practice tenderness towards those who suffer silently. (Basically, that means practice tenderness towards all people because you never know what people are struggling with internally.)
So, for now, that is all. I may write again soon, I may not. I am just going to enjoy this season of my life and stop worrying about when I will feel like writing again. There is a season for everything. I think my season is to rest and rejuvenate. Till next time . . . whenever that might be.
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