Once there are a couple of weeks of numbers on my paper chart, my husband enters them into Excel and creates a more formal chart to show the influx in my mood.
This first chart is the end of January and entire month of February. As you can see, my moods were crazy up and down (no pun intended). My cycles were extremely fast and intense, and I didn't really know how to cope.
This second chart is the month of March so far. The beginning of March was about the time that the increased dose of my medicine was supposed to start working. It didn't seem like it was doing much at the time, and I was so tired. But then, all of a sudden, it started helping! My daily recordings of 8 and -8 turned into 3 and -3. I could tell things were really beginning to improve, and I felt my mind and body beginning to heal from the last few months of awfulness.
Here are some of the things that are better and the same in these last couple of weeks.
- I am silly again. My goofy personality is back, and my husband and daughter can definitely tell. I laugh and joke with them again, and I do all the weird things I can to make my daughter laugh. This makes me so happy, especially when I see how happy it makes my family to have the real me back.
- The cycling has slowed down in a very wonderful way. Each cycle used to last anywhere from 4-7 days and now they last 10-12 days. This is great, because I don't feel so exhausted from the super rapid cycling.
- I don't struggle with sleep at all. In fact, the medications make me pretty sleepy, so I sleep all through the night and then some. :)
- The mania and depression is definitely not as intense, and I am able to work through it rather than have it take over my day.
- I have held a few babies and felt a little bit of warmth and love and even a desire to have another one sometime in the future. All of the warmth leaves immediately when I think about what it takes to care for a newborn, but at least it's a baby step in the right direction.
- I don't have a lot of motivation to do anything, and everything still seems pointless to me, but some days I get a surge of motivation, so that is nice. Better than nothing, right?
- This is terrible, but I honestly still have many moments where I get very overwhelmed and think that it would be better if I could just die, but I am trying to work through these daily thoughts. I think it's just going to take a lot of time and healing before this is better.
- I still struggle getting out of the house and doing things. I never feel like I want to go anywhere or be around anyone, but I push myself to do it anyway. I am awaiting the day when I do things because I want to do them, not just because I "have" to.
- I still do very little during the day, because I get overwhelmed quite easily. This is another thing that will simply take time to improve, because I am still fragile and broken, but I know it will get better someday.
Although this journey is far from being over, it is getting better. I feel some real hope again. I wish everything could be made better immediately and that my broken heart could be healed forever, but every day and every step in the right direction makes me thankful for progress and for the ability to see how far I've come, how much I've learned, and who I am becoming.