Sunday, August 2, 2009

26 days manic.

If I were writing a book about the last 26 days of my life, it may be titled something like "26 days manic."
I'm on day 24 of the prednisone. I'm crashing as we speak.

For 24 days I have been in a manic phase that is almost indescribable to anyone who is not inside my own mind.
I have sang songs all day and all night; some have stayed since day one.
The same song. The same tune. The same lyrics.
Do you know what the feels like? You may not, but it is not unusual for me.

For 24 days I have had energy that has taken over my mind and body. I have gotten a lot accomplished but it is chemically induced which makes me positive that after the last pill is swimming in my stomach I will feel the after effects of exhaustion.

For 24 days I have thought clearly, made good financial decisions, organized, cleaned and organized some more. I am on a tapering dose of the medicine which means that I have gone from taking 6 pills for 5 days down to now taking only one pill a day for the next 2. Coming down from a dose like this, whether it is tapered or not, has caused me to feel dizzy, faint, jittery and anxious.
Like I need a fix.

Yesterday it happened. I dont know if it was the utter exhaustion from Nora's party and trying so desperately to have everything ready and perfect for the last week or if it truly is the dreaded fall of manic-ism, but either way all I know is that I crashed. All my energy that was bottled up inside of this mind left me and my body couldn't function. I laid on the floor while the kids played around me and rested my body. When the kids napped, I napped. When Daniel got home, I napped again. When we watched a movie, I felt my body thanking me for being still. Being quiet. My mind...was quiet. I thanked my mind.

If you are unfamiliar with the term "manic," let me best describe it to you as I know it.
MANIC: Of or pertaining to someone who exhibits mania or craziness; wicked; to exhibit great energy, as one who is in the manic phase of manic depression.

Since I was a teenager and started having all sorts of hormonal changes and mix ups in my body, I have experienced some sort of manic phase almost monthly. Sometimes it's one night. One long night of singing, sweating, racing thoughts and usually an utter craziness about me. I would sometimes write a letter to my mom explaining the need to be hospitalized if this ever happens to me again...knowing it will. I would put it on the kitchen table for her to find the next morning once I was finally asleep and resting so she would know not to wake me. I would go through the entire next day in a fog, reliving the nightmare of the night before.

Sometimes my mania last more than a night. A couple days before my period maybe. Or during. Sometimes it is a weekly episode. These are the types that I almost enjoy because much like my 26 day stretch, I get alot accomplished. It can be a high when used correctly in your own mind. Once you've figured out how to channel it all. Everyone around me may disagree, however, because I am not them and I do not have to deal with me. I am simply in my own mind enjoying the need to clean, organize, crunch numbers, paint, decorate, etc.
Nothing else seems to matter.

I'm writing all of this so that some of you can understand that you arent alone. I believe that Jesus would not have us to feel anxious. I believe that depression and bipolar disorder are tools that the enemy uses to distract us from the utter joy and freedom we can experience in the love of the Lord.
I am writing about this mania as if it is something I accept and have deemed it part of me. It is not. I embrace all of who I am, though, and for as long as I can remember, there have been phases to my body and mind.
Phases of chaos and critical thinking. Phases of singing and repetition. Phases of begging and pleading that God take the songs from my mind so that I can rest. Please, Lord, let me rest. And He does. Often times the songs that are so repetitive are old hymns or worship songs we've sung recently. As exhausting as it can be to hear them and sing them over and over, there is still a freedom in the word and I cling to that freedom as God brings them to my mind. And I thank Him for it.

I am no longer afraid of the part of me who experiences a little bit of craziness and mania. It's not that I have surrendered to the idea of always being this way, but rather embraced it as part of my womanhood. Talking with other women, and young girls has led me to believe that alot of it IS hormonal. I read a book once that explained that God made our hormones and our minds therefore we should learn to embrace each hormonal change or shift as part of us because it is. Inevitably, it is. We are not going to change the hormonal changes that we feel just because they scare us. Each phase that we go through hormonally...from starting our periods, to pregnancy and childbearing, to perimenopause to menopause brings on a new set of challenges and changes to our minds and bodies. I believe that none of it takes the Lord by surprise so we should trust in our body's ways of adjusting to those changes.

All of this said, I want to emphasize again that I do not believe or think that anyone should have to truly suffer with a disorder such as manic depression. It is a very serious disorder that has affected many people in my life and there is great help available if it something you struggle with. The Lord does not desire for us to have the mental struggle associated with this disorder. He desires for us to be clear minded and free of anxiety.

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusts in thee."
Isaiah 26:3

"Be anxious about nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6, 7

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
1 Peter 5:7

Day 24.
Coming down. Crashing. Relaxing. Resting. Peaceful.
Vowing to never take prednisone again.
Unless, of course, the house needs a new coat of paint. Then, we'll see what we can do;)

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