I feel that I am now ready to share about what has been going on in my neck of the woods. It's time to put it out there in order to heal and to maybe make some connections with others that are experiencing similar struggles. I do believe that we all struggle with something and yet feel that we are all alone. We are not alone.
After an eight day hospitalization, I was diagnosed with Bipolar I disorder. The hospitalization came about after four nights of little sleep and two seizure like episodes that had me on top of the world. I was HAPPY! Picture Will Ferrell in the movie ELF when he arrives in NYC for the first time. My point of view of the world was one of change and my filter was way off. I was going to fix all the global problems and I thought I was someone of grand significance.
What started it all was husband and I went to see a marriage counselor and the first visit sparked something in my brain to trigger it to fire just a bit differently. My husband and I didn't even really say anything at that meeting, the counselor just simply told me that I needed to 'FEEL'. Feel?! What do you mean? I am strong, feelings are a sign of weakness. Those that know me would probably agree that I don't show emotion. Oh - but I am still full of emotion. Lots and lots of emotions and because for so many years I have been unable to show or speak them - they have been bottled up inside and are now ready to blow. I was on a mission to show happiness and to help other seek happiness as well.
I had been taking care of myself (body) with exercise and diet. My mind was constantly being challenged with opportunities, but my spiritual side of my self had been in a gray spot. I grew up in an ultra religious home early on and went to school at a Christian school, until 4th grade. Church and God were something that I learned right along with walking and talking.
So what do you suppose was the first thing I discarded when I felt it safe to do so?! You got it. I was not raised in the right church environment for me. But it was my experience. I learned from it and continue to learn from it. I've gone back to church a few times and haven't felt the right place yet. I would rather go to the mountains and look at the beauty that surrounds us. That to me is God showing his beauty and grace. Until I was put in the hospital.
Now I look at everything as having a purpose. God is in control and is guiding my life and the lives of those around me. We are all on our own journey and are all able and capable of making choices that will change directions, but God is ultimately in control.
I have good days and I have bad days. The bad days are mostly self inflicted as I am still learning how to retrain my brain and when I say bad - I don't mean horrible - just days that I am thinking more than I should. My short-term memory is horrible. My long-term memory isn't much better. My thoughts still travel way out into left field and I have nights where I am unable to sleep. I struggle with my patience level, which isn't good when I need to have extreme patience with three small kids. My husband is now needing to the work of two during this time of recovery and he deserves more credit than anyone. But all in all we are doing well. I am surrounded by a huge network of friends that are looking out for me and my family. I AM BLESSED!
My goal each moment of the day is to remain PRESENT, to LISTEN and to ask myself - What do I FEEL right now?
So with that, I leave you as I feel I need to turn my attention back to my household and the two non-napping children that I have been ignoring while I type this. Please keep me in your thoughts as I attempt the 31st Annual Seattle to Portland Bike Ride (200 miles in 2 days) this coming Saturday. I've found it necessary to back off on my weekly training schedule and focus on recovery. I have still been biking, but the longest ride I've completed for quite some time is a 40 miler a few weeks back.
I have felt that I needed to get that off my back in order to move forward with the adventures to come!
Taking a leap of faith,