Amazing things are happening in my life, unexpected changes and joy creeping in around the edges. I am cautiously optimistic because I am bipolar and these things can bloom in my heart and be swept away in the next instant but I am feeling very hopeful, and positive.
After the 4th of July weekend when the family was all in I slipped into a place of sadness, not profound depression as has often been the case but a heart aching kind of place because it was so wonderful to have everyone here and then the out-of-towners left which is 2 of my 3 children and their families, and everyone here went back to their busy lives, and I felt at sea. But in the middle of all of this I started back into therapy which I have not been having for some time since my therapist retired and I was set up with a psychiatric nurse practitioner for visits for med checks and care and I hadn’t realized, first of all, that I badly needed to be in regular therapy again. But also there are many new therapies that are available now that weren’t when I was in the therapy I had been for most of 40 years with various therapists where you just went and sat and talked for an hour. Mind, that was good, it helped me a lot and I loved it, but after a fashion I wasn’t moving forward or changing, just holding on, talking, and being medicated.
I am going into my 3rd session this week past the first which was the intake session and I am utterly amazed at the therapies we will be using. “CBT” or Cognitive Behavior Therapy which my daughter who is a psychologist is very excited about because she felt it was exactly what I needed, but also another therapy called “SFBT” or Solution Focused Brief Therapy which sounds just amazing, wherein you don’t focus on the problem or the past but the future, what you want to achieve, and solutions are found to help you get there. Both of these therapies provide concrete tools that help make and sustain positive change. That’s a very brief explanation but they are amazing concepts and therapeutic modalities and I am very excited. I have gone from feeling like I just was as I was and at 61 there was nothing I could do but hold on and cope. Now I have hope for the future, that things can actually change. It is thrilling and doors are opening in my heart, mind, and soul that I never imagined were even there.
Too, with this new hope for my future, even gentle, subtle changes will be amazing, I have gotten the wherewithal to start eating well and taking care of myself and I am beginning to lose weight, have a little more energy, and begin to see beyond this world that I have felt locked into where numbness, paralysis, and sadness were what filled my days and life to the largest extent. It is amazing what losing just a few pounds but eating so much better does. I am not on a “diet,” but implementing food and lifestyle changes that are not extreme but different enough, better enough, to make a difference. Also I have been able to eliminate one medication and the new one I am on has me going to bed earlier and sleeping almost through the nights. It is utterly amazing what a difference these small changes have made.
Among the many changes that I hope to be able to make, changes that would so lift my spirits in the most life-affirming way, are tools that will help me work productively. I have written since I was 9 years old and for most of my adult life could easily finish a book a year, but in later years when meds have made me foggy — all meds are being cut back to manageable doses and one med working toward an as needed basis instead of daily or multiple times a day is giving me some of my life back — it has been hard for me to “complete tasks” and books come into my mind in a rush of bipolar excitement but peter out before getting very far. Now I am always going to be bipolar and these things will happen, but I can also develop habits and practices that can help me get more done and that is really the most important thing to me. It isn’t an ego thing it is about livelihood and income which has been and is still very scary for me. Over the next year, however, I hope to see positive changes along these lines and this would be positively life-changing for me. I’m not looking to set the world on fire, I’m looking to live a more productive, fulfilling life, as much as I am able with my limitations and 5 mental health diagnoses, but my life can be better, I just never knew it was possible or the way it might be achieved. Now I have a wonderful therapist and I have begun.
It is a truly amazing thing to go from having no hope, to finding out that there just might be ways to enhance and expand my life beyond what I have dared to dream possible. Shyly I am asking for your prayers and good thoughts for me as I begin this year long journey to a place where I might once again be able to re-enter life even in a small way beyond where I am now, and there is a possibility for me to even go beyond what I can begin to imagine.
For now, as I said, I am being cautiously optimistic, I have hope in my heart, a kind of hope I haven’t had for so many years I’ve lost track. I giggle a little now and then, and I smile more than I have for some time. Whatever may be possible I am ready and willing to do the work and see what may be. I have kept doors shut firmly for some time. Being able to crack them open and peek out at the beginning of this journey fills me with a kind of boundless happiness and hope. May it be so.
Warm Regards & Deepest Blessings To All…