A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a med change. I promised you an update, so here it is: The beginning has been rough.
In this change, I had to completely stop taking the old medication before I could even begin taking the new one. What’s more, the new one has to be increased to full dose extremely slowly, taking a couple of months. The result of this is that I am very nearly off of my mood stabilizer. I still get some mood stabilization from another med that I take, but the mood stabilizer itself is at such a low dose, I can hardly tell.
Initially, I was a bit manic and said some nasty things to a friend. I then collapsed into a depression about my sins and found it hard to move out of bed at all. I also noted that my sleeping schedule actually stabilized, but it stabilized in reverse. I am awake at night and asleep during the day. I somehow managed to get to church and go to confession on Tuesday, and that helped greatly. My spiritual father gave me great advice on how to get through and for the first time in a week, I felt normal. I, of course, then went back into mania. There I’ve been, ever since, and I’m trying to get some normality back. This isn’t over. This doesn’t make the med change a bad idea yet. This means that these things are hard. If I’m lucky, this is the hard part in the process of finding more stability than I’ve had in years. I’m pushing through.
So how do I push through? I can’t just let myself be tossed like the surf of the sea in all this. If I were to do that, I could destroy a lot of things. No, I must fight for stability. One thing I’ve been doing is going for walks. I mentioned walking recently and my mania has helped me to do this more regularly. I’ve been getting a lot of exercise which helps calm me down.
Another strategy is using the mania for good things. Mania isn’t ideal, but it’s not all bad. I got around to paying some bills that I hadn’t been dealing with and that felt good. Due to clicking buttons in the wrong order, I got a $30 fee at my bank for over-payment coverage even though I had the money. Due to my manic energy, I felt up to calling the bank and asking for forgiveness on that fee, since I did actually have the money. They were nice and reversed the fee. That may not have happened were I not manic.
Prayer. Prayer is very necessary for all times, but especially times like these. I’ve taken time to step before my icon corner and pour my heart out to God. When I go on walks, I generally pray. Often, the Jesus Prayer fills my head while I’m walking and that can be a good thing. I’ve also begged God for holiness rather than comfort. That’s a very dangerous prayer, but produces amazing blessings.
These times can be very hard, but there are ways through them. When I was depressed and could hardly get out of bed, I still did get out of bed. I met my mother for lunch and I went to church. Those were both monumental tasks, but I did them. I knew that Church would bring me closer to the God Who saves, and it is indeed doing that.