I’m writing this today and feeling a little depressed. Not that overwhelming agony of depression, but that sort of wiggling little feeling in your gut that tells you something is wrong.
I partially know why I am depressed. This is the second day I have woken up with a migraine. Yesterday I missed church and moped around all day trying to get rid of it. I have some meds for headaches, Imitrex, but I hate to take it. It sort of gives me a panic attack. It makes my head feel really full and gives me a fast heartbeat. It’s my choice…pain or panic.
But I got desperate and did take an Imitrex. The pain did go away, but came back after the med wore off. And you can only take 1 in 24 hours. So there. Today is Advil only till 4.
I have a lot of headaches. I know the culprit is the Abilify. But I just can’t make it without it. Who would finish The Recovery Quilt if I am down in bed? And the Abilify is what gets my ass moving. If I tell my doc about the headaches, he’ll try to switch me off. I am caught in a hard place.
Worse than all this: I went in the other day for a routine blood test. I take cholesterol meds and they wanted to check my levels. So I get this call from the doc’s office asking me to come in. My sodium and calcium levels were WAY high.
This sounds dumb to me. How does your sodium level get too high? I don’t eat any more salt than your average person. But I guess your sodium level isn’t all about the salt you eat. It’s something to do with your body processing salt. Then there’s the calcium. I got on the internet, which was a big mistake. High calcium can mean just about anything. I got pretty nervous. I asked some friends to pray for me.
I have a lot of health anxiety. I have this fear of dying a long, painful death. I know I need to get over that. It’s really not my choice how I die, and I’ve seen my mom (who’s in hospice) get all the pain meds she wants.
So my husband and I dragged it on into the doctor expecting bad news. She announced both of these elevated blood levels were caused by my meds. I am being retested in three months. If they are still high, we will look for other psych meds. Apparently, you can’t run around with high sodium and calcium levels.
On a good note however, my triglycerides were lower, and my weight was down seven pounds.
And let’s talk about another great effect on the meds. Hunger. And weight gain.
You may remember I joined Overeater’s Anonymous. I call into the phone meetings and love it.
I thought it would be a bunch of people talking about how fat they are and how miserable, but it is actually the opposite. They are talking about being free of compulsive overeating and tuning into God and service for others. Frankly, this all sounds good to me. I hardly do service for others when I am depressed. It is all about ME, ME, ME!
I am losing weight since I have joined OA. Frankly, it’s because I have stopped sneaking food (for the most part.)
I have to tell you about a main part of the OA twelve steps. That would be Step 4.
Let me review the first three steps for you:
- We admitted we were powerless over food- that our lives had become unmanageable. (true enough).
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. (This seems fair reasonable, everybody can understand God the way they want.)
- (This is the kicker….) Make a searching and fearless inventory of ourselves.
My sponsor sent me some sheets of fill-in-the-blank spaces. I had to write about people I had harmed, who I resented, sex problems!!!!, and my fears.
You know, it was weird. When I broke it down, there were only about eight people in my life that I resented. (This includes people who are dead.) I had to write about my resentments and why I felt that way. As I thought about the whole thing, it WAS very cleansing. And I honestly realized, that all this resentment was not worth my time.
I had harmed a lot of people. But as I looked at that, I realized that almost without exception, those people had been harmed during a manic phase. If you took my mania out of my life, I was a pretty decent person. Which is sad, because I’ve thought of myself as a “bad” person who has done and said some awful things to people.
I threw the mania out of my inventory. (In my head, anyway…I actually left it on the paper.) If you’re bipolar, you know the mania is out of your control. So I just stopped blaming myself for all of that.
One thing about these papers is that I was honest. I wrote everything down I could remember. I had a week to do it, and I kept coming up with more. But it wasn’t all that much in the end.
My sex problems! weren’t that exciting. I talked to you all about my sex life a few posts back and that is about it.
My fears were fairly common I think: dying in an airplane crash, something happening to my children…that sort of thing.
My sponsor talked about all of this and I saw where I was bringing a lot of this on myself. God (or however you understand Him) had life under control and there wasn’t much point in worries, resentments, or how we had harmed people. (More on that later…)
The bottom line….does eating compulsively really solve any of these problems? Obviously not.
(Please remember this is MY description of OA. Someone else might have a very different take on things.)
So I have my migraine to keep me company. And my Abilify.
I have my quilting homework completed. Am excited about the class tomorrow night if I can get rid of this damned headache.
hugs to all….lily