and the Oscar goes to…

♪ Don’t Worry..Be Happy… ♫

…Thank you! You like me, you really, really like me!

Ok. What-ever.

Apparently, I am an amazing actress. Yep. Me.

For the past year, my alter ego known as bi-polar disorder, has had me in the pits – or the downy- dumps as I call it. Actually, no, the downy- dumps is wrong. I have been out right depressed.  I have a personal “chart” that I use when the doc asks how my moods have been – 10 being manic for those of us with manic depressive disorder, and 0 being the absolute depths of dispair. Most people, “normal” people, they live at a say 8 or so on  the happy/sad meter…. no one is truly happy and in a good mood all of the time, so 8 to me, is the normal everyday person.  I have been at 2 for over a year, yet – has anyone known? Nope. Maybe my mom cause we are together 24/7, but she still doesn’t completely understand me and my manic depression.

So, that is why I get the Oscar. Did you know? I put on a happy face and pretend when others are around so that noone asks me what’s wrong. How do I explain? I have the same everyday stressers that everyone else has. My brain just refuses deal with them like a “normal person” .

Yes, I take meds for this. Almost two years ago, though, I changed to a different med as the one that I had been on had gotten to be very expensive.

The one I took for the last year was a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRIs). It is thought to work by increasing the amount of serotonin, a natural substance in the brain that helps maintain mental balance. I took this in addition to my stabilizer.

It just didn’t work and slowly I headed down the hill into the downy dumps (oh, and I put on a TON of weight- which doesn’t help btw.)  So, two weeks ago, I went back on the meds that had worked for so long. The old/new med is in a class of medications called selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). It works by increasing the amounts of serotonin AND norepinephrine, natural substances in the brain that help maintain mental balance. It increases TWO chemicals in the brain (which, lucky me, I seem to be lacking) instead of just the one.

Anyway, the point of this, is to let my family know what has gone on with me the past year or so.

I have slept. If I haven’t been at work I have been asleep. (I bet you didn’t think it was possible to sleep 12-18 hours a day, did you?) I spent Christmas at my in-laws asleep. I have spent last summer asleep. I have spent the sun-shiny part of this spring, asleep. I don’t clean the house. I don’t play with my dog. I sleep. Well, slept.  When you are asleep you don’t really think. One of my best friends has recently moved 20 minutes from me – and I am thrilled with this – however, I can not invite her over because my house is just unacceptable for guests.

Have you seen the commercials? I think the med is Abilify. It shows the woman walking down the sidewalk and every so often, the depression monster drags her down a hole. Well, I have lived in the hole the past year or so and every so often, the happy monster pulled me UP and OUT of the hole.

So, now, I am on my new/old med. It had worked for many years and I have learned a valuable lesson – if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it. I am coming up out of the hole. It is taking some work, but I am doing it.

So, LA..soon, I will invite you over. Hell, soon, I hope, my house will be acceptable to put on the market to downsize!  I am getting back on the treadmill. I am at least awake for most of the day and not counting the seconds till the next time I can close my eyes to sleep again.

I am going to finish this and head upstairs. Gotta get to cleaning. I want to have LA and the crew over for July 4! Gotta get busy – I have a year worth of mess to clean up in less than a month….


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