A lot has changed since the last time I wrote. Last time, I shared how things were getting better, how I was feeling some light and motivation back in my life. Unfortunately, soon after I shared that post, the darkness returned with a full vengeance, and along with it came the devastation of wishing that the light could stay in my life just a little bit longer. It may have felt so devastating, because it came back as depression first, but I seriously felt defeated.
And on top of the darkness came some changes in my life that brought more sadness and heaviness and fear than I thought I could bear. I literally felt like I was crumbling, and everything was so overwhelming that I didn't know how I would go on. But after praying A LOT, talking to my husband, talking to a few close friends, crying several times a day for days, and having some special experiences, peace has returned to my life, and I know that everything will be okay. (I'll share more about this later.)
On Monday, I had a doctor's appointment, and I switched medications. I am no longer on the lithium or the zoloft, and I am now taking latuda. It didn't seem that the lithium or zoloft were doing much to help, and I kept getting UTIs since I started the lithium too, so I was glad to switch. We'll see how this new medication works with my brain and my body. I'm hoping it will work well and quickly!
Although things have been somewhat difficult in the last few weeks, I have been able to find JOY through so many different things:
- The weather has been warm some days, and the trees are blossoming. Not only does this kind of weather lift my spirits, it also brings me the joy of taking pictures :) Because who wouldn't find joy in taking pictures of pretty flowers?!
- I got to watch General Conference with my family, which brought me so much peace and direction into my life.
- Having bipolar disorder means that my moods cycle. Since I have rapid cycling, they cycle rapidly (bet you couldn't have guessed that...) This brings me so much joy though in knowing that my current mood will not last forever. Although the alternative isn't usually very pleasant either, at least the awful feelings I have one day will pass soon. I know that, and I can count on it every time. It's such a huge blessing to me.
- My husband was able to go to my appointment with me, even though it wasn't a very convenient time for him with his job. It was so nice having him there and feeling his support and love.
- I've really enjoyed crocheting again. It's so nice to have a hobby that I want to do and doesn't just feel like a chore.
- I have also enjoyed planning a trip for this summer. It has given me something to look forward to and to feel excited about. And now I'm just praying that I will feel good during that time.
- People have been submitting more beautiful stories that have propelled me forward, inspired me, and proven to me time and time again that finding joy is possible in any circumstance.
I'm sure there are more things that have brought me joy, but these are just the ones I can think of right now. Finding joy through my experiences has taught me that this life is a beautiful gift, including the difficult times of struggle that allow us to see our blessings in a new light and with more gratitude. Without the darkness, my blessings wouldn't shine like they do right now. And that is really what brings me JOY!