You’ve probably noticed that I have been absent for a few days, and some days before that. Let me assure you that it’s not because I’m doing poorly. Just the opposite. I’ve been doing quite well, and am even getting into the holiday spirit, the true spirit of what Christmas and New Years represent.
I think since I post a lot about bipolar illness, that it should be known that people with bipolar disorder can and do have lasting periods of stability. People with bipolar disorder can be fully productive and be just like anyone else. I can say that having a serious chronic illness, one learns some things that those who’ve never been chronically ill may not have, though most people on this earth do have other types of challenges that teach some of the same things. Patience, tolerance, having hope when there seems to be no hope, need for restraint, pushing oneself when there is no motivation or strength to do so, gratitude, true appreciation for the little things in life, acceptance of a new situation, and facing fears are just some examples. Are there other important lessons you’ve learned in life because of significant challenges?
Feeling well does give me a lot of gratitude and appreciation. I no longer take that for granted. I especially realized that today during my psychiatrist appointment. He’s a great gentleman, whom I’ve adored and appreciated for 12 years now. Each time I’ve seen him, when we first sit down, he’s said “Soooo, how are you doing?” To that, many answers have been given, too often starting “Well, I feel this way…or that way…or this is bothering me…or doing REALLY great…not getting enough sleep…tired all of the time…struggling…” Instead, today, he abandoned that signature question and said “Cindy, so what is the report?”, to which I answered:
“Just the right amount of everything, no more, no less”
Those words made him smile, of course. I went on to tell him that I’m looking forward to 2018 and leaving the grief and challenges of 2017 behind. Not that I’m forgetting those that I loved that passed away this year, but will go on living the best way I can in their honor, and for myself and my family.
I didn’t expect my psychiatrist to make any changes to my medications today, but he surprised me. He said that as of January 1, 2018 I can reduce one medication a little bit. Starting tomorrow, I can half the small dose of another. This confidence in me and my wellness is extremely encouraging. I feel good that it is reasonable (not reckless) and is a great step forward in a literal, and figurative way.
I do plan to write at least one or two more posts before Christmas, and hope to come up with something interesting before New Years. In the meantime, I’m savoring every minute of the day.