Saturday, March 31, 2012

A reason to celebrate

I have a reason to celebrate.

For quite a while I had been wondering what would happen to my photography. My tremors were so bad I honestly thought I might have to give it up. But now that my psychiatrist is reducing my loxapine, the shaking is starting to be less of a problem.

The mornings are still quite bad, but later on in the day they are less so.

Wednesday I decided to photograph my friend's two-month-old baby. And - lo and behold - I got quite a few sharp ones! Thank you God!! Thank God for my new psychiatrist - someone I didn't altogether trust at first but who seems to know what he's doing after all.

I'm grateful. Now I need to line up some shoots.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dealing with the shame

I talked to someone this morning who recently received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. And, in talking to her, I was once more reminded of how ugly the stigma attached to mental illness is.

This person is afraid to tell anyone she knows, afraid they will think differently about her. She feels she needs to keep what she deals with a secret.

I feel so bad for her! Believing you have something to be ashamed of is terrible. And - as many have said - dealing with such shame can often be worse than the illness itself.

I just hope and pray that she will at some time have the courage to come out and be honest about the disorder she deals with. I pray that she will use it as an opportunity to educate the people she knows. To rid the world of stigma we need to educate people - tell them the truth about mental illness. With one in five people having a mental illness of some kind, it's important that the world be educated about it so that - hopefully - people will be in a better position to give support.

If only more people would speak out! It's starting to happen and that's good. But we need to make mental illness a part of everyday conversation, including - and especially - in church. It's so important to be able to openly tell your church family, without the need to feel ashamed.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Stable, but....

I'm delighted. I've stabilized well. No sign of depression or mania. I feel that I can work wholeheartedly again on my Living Room work.

But...and this is a big but...

My tremors are horrible. Jerky. Day before yesterday I dropped a glass in the bathroom sink when I was getting a drink of water. When I picked it up I dropped it again. I dropped dishes when I was filling the dishwasher. I can't hang onto the soap when I take a shower.

I've had to give up on writing in my journal but am now using a laptop. I can use it in my favourite posture, sitting in my leather chair with my feet up. I hit a lot of wrong keys, as I am writing this, but I'm always able to correct things.

Fortunately, the tremors ease up later in the day. The morning is when they're at their worst.

The frustrating thing is that my psychiatrist doesn't seem to be considering this a serious problem. He's blaming all kinds of things - other meds, my age - but not the lithium. Yet it's when I started taking the lithium that these severe tremors started.

I wish he would hear me. I wish he would treat me with more respect.

But we have Living Room today. Time to turn my thoughts to positive things. One of our talented members will be leading the meeting, using some songs she wrote. I'm looking forward to it.