I think it may be safe to exhale.
It’s mid-November and all hades has not broken loose in my usually fragile mind. I think I have seasonal affective disorder, or am at least affected by the diminished amount of light in the fall and winter. It makes me a little kooky. This is the first year in…18 years I can remember making it through the fall without any ill effects.
There are some possibilities:
- I’ve been taking a vitamin D supplement twice a day. This could have helped. I’ve never tried it before.
- My pdoc has me on a good regimen of drugs, but I’ve been on these before during the fall and they seemed to help that season too, though I do remember going a little nuts on a guy at the Verizon store.
- My kids are more self-sufficient, despite having Sarah still being small. The boys can do a lot for themselves and I am not *as* overwhelmed. Though my breakdowns were worse when I was alone, and the stability of family life seemed to quell things somewhat, so I am not sure how much this really counts, though it is greatly appreciated!
My biggest theory though, is what happened earlier this year at CC. The last week we met in the 2011 – 2012 school year, the ladies, lead by my friend Laurie who knew I was having a horrible time with mania, laid hands on me and prayed. I’ve had people do this before at PLCC, but it was for other prayer requests for family I believe, or before I had surgery, not necessarily for my state-of-mind. I came through surgery fine, as did my relatives for the record
After they prayed I had one episode of depression a few months later. It was a bad one, and I hadn’t had depression like that in years, maybe ever. But once it cleared, it’s been smooth sailing at least from my perspective. I know I have hard days, but it’s from circumstantial stressors (I think some folks are too eager to chalk EVERYTHING up to my illness and that’s just not the case – everyone can have bad days, that doesn’t make it fall under “bipolar syndrome”). In other words, I think it worked despite the one episode of depression. Maybe it just needed to come out. Maybe it was a foreboding – it was the last time I saw my dad before he went into the hospital the last time. I remember he said to me, “Girl, you don’t look so good.” How ironic.
Even through my dad’s death, which has devastated me, I have not faltered, Dave hasn’t found me helpless in a pool of vodka-induced sick in the floor, or confined to my room for days on end. I hope reading these things does not offend my Christian friends. I am just being honest about my past struggles and how I would have dealt with things. I am free of them now and I praise God for that.
While I’m talking about my dad, I know a lot of folks know we had a tempestuous relationship. It was difficult – I won’t lie. But it reminds me so much of my relationship with Rhys, the child I probably understand and identify with the most closely. I can read his mood when no one else can and usually know how to deal with it, because he’s literally a small me – but we also butt heads because of this! My dad and I were so much alike it made it hard to get along. I am loathe to admit this because that means I have a temper and a short fuse and while I don’t jump up and down when I am mad (and I’m not sure he did, but in my mind he did like Yosemite Sam) Rhys does, and it reminds me of my dad. And me. So there’s three of us, all acting afool when we are mad, unable to control our emotions.
I have no doubt my dad loved me, despite fights we had all through my teen years and even into my adult years because I fight with Rhys daily but I’d lay down in front of a herd of elephants in an instant if it would spare his life. I am sure my dad would have done the same. I really think my dad wanted to be more affectionate with me, but his family really wasn’t so he didn’t know how to be (hence, his misplaced games of “Do you know how to hang a hog?”) but being a woman, it comes more naturally to me and Rhys and I snuggle and share “nose kisses” and make up after we have a row. It would have been weird to do this with my dad, so I just have to know that grabbing me by the ankle, or calling me “Skin” or telling me his aunts used to say he had “turd eyes” just like I do was his way of sharing those intimate make-up moments with me.
And I know he loved me because in his later years he always made a point to tell me. I won’t deny it was awkward. I am not good at saying “I love you” to my parents, though I want to be. We didn’t do it growing up, I don’t know why. I say it to my kids all the time, we just made it habit. My parents didn’t have to say it for me to know it, and overused, it seems trite, but I wanted to make it something natural in our house, so Dave and I tell the kids multiple times a day and we find that they’ll come up to us randomly and tell us they love us as well.
Well, the point of this entry was that A: I have not fallen to pieces like everyone was expecting (hooray!) and I think B: I believe God greatly relieved me of my mental issues via the laying of hands by my CC friends. And C: I didn’t fall apart despite going through yet another emotionally wrenching death late summer.
I was thinking about how I really do feel “propped up” and comforted about my dad’s death. I don’t feel hopeless, though I do feel sad, obviously. I don’t generally burst into tears though I do offer wan smiles and tear-filled eyes often at good memories or things that remind me of him. When the Bible promises that God will carry you, it is the Truth. Yet another promise fulfilled.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. – 2 Corinthians 1:3 -4