highest highs and lowest lows

Its been a while, friends.

To share or not to share, that is the question.

Oh she who claims to be an open book must share.

After Evelyn was born and all of her heart stuff happened, my anxiety was pretty much through the roof.  I tried out a few antidepressants and settled on Paxil with a side  of Ativan for those moments of extreme fear.

I’d always resisted medication or even acknowledging that I had any sort of problem with anxiety or depression.  Not to sound like a pharmaceutical commercial but Paxil changed my life.  And with the exception of my pregnancy with Maxine, I’ve been on it since and never looked back.

Until.  A couple of months ago.

I started feeling down–super blue.  I just wanted to sleep which is not really like me.  Even though I have also always been given to periods of little sleep where I stay up till all hours researching, cleaning, writing, and otherwise solving the world’s problems.

I decided that I needed to adjust my medication.  So I called and learned that my doctor retired.  I made an appointment with an FNP.

She took hold of the sleeplessness and began interviewing me in earnest.  Long story short–I ended up with a diagnosis of Bipolar II and a prescription for Lithium.

I don’t think her diagnosis was wrong.  In fact, I’ve been told by several partners that I have “the highest highs and lowest lows.”

But Lithium and I did not hit it off.  At all.

Not even taking into account the number it did on my digestive system.

It made me IRRITABLE.  I knew it was not working for me because I felt really irritable with Evie and Maxine.  And it took everything I had not to be snappy.

My FNP, probably correctly, said that the “highs” I experience put me at risk for a crash.

But I learned, while on Lithium, that I don’t want to rid myself of my highs.  I am highly productive during my highs.  I am on top of the world during my highs.  I LIKE my highs.  I don’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water.

So, my highs stay.  And I will deal with my lows as they come….because they are fairly infrequent and have never gotten to the point that I can’t get out of bed or function.  I just would rather be snuggling and sleeping.  And when I’m not on Lithium, I never feel super irritable with the kids.

I can’t live with that irritability.  I just can’t.

So there you have it.  I’ve been on a mental health journey.  And I’m glad to be back.