Ok. Deep breath. My Angel Doc requested to see me in a follow up appointment one week later. Since I was functioning halfway normally once again he basically interviewed me and ordered lot's of medical tests to be run. He could tell I was desperately depressed. I did not know this myself at the time, I thought I was just really sick. Does sickness precede depression or vice versa? The old chicken and egg question. It is such a downward spiral.
He found out what I had been doing prior to my move and tried to piece together the events that may have led me to my current condition.
What I did not mention before is that during my year in Mississippi I was working 17+ hours a day creating pottery. Sometimes I would work for a few days straight without eating or sleeping. I look back on that year and cannot believe the amount of work I produced, it is ludicrous in retrospect. I was also teaching pottery at a local art gallery as well as offering free pottery classes to young people in the "adolescent offenders program". I participated in several large pottery shows that year both in and out of the art gallery. My work was even published in "Southern Lady" magazine.
Anyhow, apparently I was in a manic state that entire year. My doc mentioned "Bipolar II" and referred me to a psychiatrist and a psychologist both of which concurred with the diagnosis. I even started counseling therapy and was put on medications. But this road to getting "better?" was a rough start since we only lived in Florida this go around for seven months. It was not enough time to build a rapport with a counselor nor to really find medications that worked, and I am the worst at taking meds. But anyhow that is another tangent that we will leave alone.
It has been six years since that diagnosis and I still struggle with it. I know for sure that I suffer from severe depression and have done since age 10 (at least that was the first time I wrote in my diary that I wanted to die). But bipolar II?? What is that?
This is what I currently understand about my diagnosis. I do not have the polar extreme of mania that people associate with "bipolar", but rather I am often in a "mixed state" of being extremely driven + depression all wrapped up in one pretty little package of misery. It is not a fun way to be.
I am a woman of faith and have been since I was in first grade when the local "Good News" club gave me a bible and taught me about Jesus. I also had a wonderful Great Aunt who often took care of me during these formative years when my own single mother was off partying doing drugs and/or in jail. This same Aunt was also a Christian and an educator and she was responsible for teaching me to read at the age of three and recommended that I start first grade when I was only five years old. I also believe she was the one who put me in the "Good News" club. She is a wonderful woman who helped me get a "good start" in spite of my circumstances.
I had to add this last paragraph to explain that no amount of praying, pleading or begging God to relieve my pain worked. And believe me when I say I prayed, begged and pleaded like there was no tomorrow. In fact for a couple of years there I really thought that God had abandoned me. I suppose that praying for God to change my brain would be akin to praying for a missing arm or leg to grow back. When you look at it that way it is kind of silly.
I recognize now that I am who I am and God made me this way for a reason. I am on a journey to accept and love myself. Just as we all are.
To round off this portion of the story it took a couple years of extreme stress coupled with physical illness to literally bring me to my knees. I felt like a broken person. There was always a heaviness in my chest like an elephant was sitting on me. I always had a lump in my throat as if I were constantly choking back tears. And little did I know that it would take years to make my way back to a point in my life where I could wake up in the morning and look forward to the day.
"For as soon as I wake there's a pain I can't shake in my heart".
I'll take a break here. There is still a lot more to this story. These "snippets" take a few days to write and are emotionally exhausting. But this process is cathartic and therefore healing so I shall continue.