The Big Picture: At the doctor's office
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
What is up? Well here it is:
At that meeting I got weighed (whoopie!) and measured, had to fill out a questionnaire about my symptoms. This was like a check "yes" or "no" and listed symptoms for depression, anxiety, bipolar, manic, and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).
I went into the nurses office, I was so nervous, I don't know why, everyone there was so nice, what did I expect? But I was scared. She went over the list of symptoms with me and asked me some questions about "Why are you here today? and How can we help you?" So I explained what was going on, what had been going on, and I broke down and started crying. Embarrassed, yes slightly, but also relieved at the same time. I was diagnosed as having Bipolar-depression with anxiety.
Excuse me, what did you just say? Depression and anxiety I knew, I could handle those, I was ready to face them head on, but I was totally slapped in the face by the bipolar diagnoses. I was in shock.
I was given a list of meds to try and come back in a month, and oh yeah I needed to set up an appointment to see a therapist. Wow. Um, okay. But I was going with the flow because I knew I needed to, this was the only way I was going to keep from completely falling off the deep end.
I got in my car and drove home trying to process what just happened. Did she really say Bipolar?? I was so confused and my heart was aching. I got home and Jake was sitting on the couch. "So, how'd it go?" he asked "What did they say?" And I told him, and starting crying again. He just came over and hugged me and said "It'll be alright, we'll work through this."
Fast forward the beginning of March. I went back for my monthly med-check and got weighed. Again. We talked, I was prescribed more meds because I still wasn't sleeping normally, and I made an appointment to get seen by a therapist there. Her name is June.
I met with June and we talked about a lot of things. Most notably how would I know when I was ready to be "DONE" with therapy. I threw some things out there, and the words "normal, whatever that means" came out. She asked me to explain.
What is normal really? Well for me it's living a happier more fulfilled life, being able to function on a daily basis to do everyday mundane tasks that some people may take for granted, but that I have to make myself do. I must force myself to do these things or they just don't get done. It's like there's a switch in my head that makes me want to NOT do these things like dishes and laundry and taking a shower more than once a week, I can always find an excuse, always think of something else to be doing that is "more important" then my own hygiene. June asked "So, what's more important than taking a shower?" I laughed and said "well, when you put it that way it just sounds silly!" I want to be able to enjoy the everyday things in my life again. I don't feel "normal" without them.
Its hard to even write that, trust me, in no way am I proud of these things, but in order for me to be more "normal" I need to do these things and do them for the betterment of myself; not only mentally, but physically, emotionally, and even spiritually. All of these aspects of my life suffer if I allow myself to slack off because I just don't care, and trust me, I do mean all of them.
Because of this I now I have a visual reminder hanging on my bathroom mirror that says: "What is more important than taking a shower?" I can smile when I see it now, because it's a small reminder of everything else I want and need to do in and with my life.
I am setting goals. Small goals, attainable goals, things I can be proud of for myself to accomplish. I know I have to start somewhere. The meds are going good. I am feeling better but I still have my bad days. Today was one of those days, but now I am better able to tolerate things because I got pointed in the right direction. One step at a time.
In my daily devotional from Sunday it reads:
It will become more understandable as you head down the path he sets before you, but understanding is not a requirement for you to start down the path. Proverbs 4:18 says, "The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining brighter till the full light of day" (NIV). One day you will stand in the full light of eternity and view the big picture. You'll see God's purpose behind the path He specifically chose for you.
What do I do in the meantime? You do what Proverbs 3 says: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." What does He mean "don't lean on your own understanding"? You don't need to try to figure it out. In truth, you're not going to understand most of the things that happen in your life until you get to heaven.
Be patient. God knows what He's doing. God knows what's best for you. He can see the end result. You can't. All those problems, heartaches, difficulties and delays -- all the things that make you ask "why" -- one day it will all be clear in the light of God's love.
But for now, we're learning to trust God.