The other day, my husband was talking to someone on the phone, and they asked how I am doing. He said, "Up and down, but overall pretty well." I had to laugh, because this is bipolar AKA up and down.
These last couple of weeks have been some pretty crazy ups and downs.
One day, I felt so much clarity and purpose to everything I am experiencing, and I felt like I could conquer anything.
The next day, I cried a good chunk of the day, and I didn't leave the house at all, because it seemed like nothing mattered.
The day after that, we did lots of things with friends, and I felt great.
Two days later, I called a friend sobbing from feeling so much pain and darkness.
That evening, I took my medication, had some pretty scary side effects from it that lasted into the night, and repeatedly told my husband that I wanted to die right then so I wouldn't have to go through that scary time. I might write more about this later, because it was quite the experience.
The rest of the week, I didn't leave the house, because I was so tired and unmotivated to do anything, and I hardly ate anything.
This last weekend, I felt really good and was even pretty productive.
Up and down, up and down, up and down. It doesn't cycle the way it used to. It just comes and goes like these waves that wash over me unpredictably. Right now, I feel really good, like the sun is literally and figuratively shining in my life, and things are improving. But tomorrow might be a different story if I start to feel darkness then.
I'm learning to love and cherish my days of light, knowing that they might not last long. I use those days to play with my daughter and enjoy spending time with her, catch up on chores around the house, serve wherever possible, and find special ways to show my husband that I love and appreciate him. When the darkness comes, I am learning to slow down, wait patiently for it to pass, and to hold on with faith and trust that this really is for my good.
Most of all, I'm learning that we can't know true joy without knowing deep sorrow. I can honestly say that my life is much more filled with joy now than it ever has been, and I believe that is because of becoming closely acquainted with sorrow. So maybe these ups and downs are more of a blessing than a curse after all.
P.S. I finally took the time on one of my good days to email the CEO of the hospital where I was admitted to the psychiatric unit to give my thoughts and feelings about how to make it a better experience for those admitted as patients. It helps that the CEO is also my stake president. He called me and said that he is going to pass this information along to the head of the behavioral health department and to expect a call from that department. I really hope that this can help make the experience easier and less traumatic for someone in the future! I'm so thankful that the things I have experienced can be used to bless others.