Friday, December 4, 2009

Rachel's Story - Accepting the Diagnosis

Someone asked me this week how I originally accepted my diagnosis. On the one hand, I was very RELIEVED when I was diagnosed. I remember how good it felt to finally have an explanation for the way I felt. It took away some of the shame and embarrassment associated with the dark feelings I was experiencing because I finally had a name and a reason for what was going on inside of me. And perhaps most importantly, I realized that there were others who were going through the same thing. I WAS NOT ALONE.

On the other hand, I was (and still am, sometimes) ANGRY. Why me? All I could see were the ways in which my life would have to change. From now on, I would have to be more careful about my sleep, constantly watching my moods, taking meds, participating in group therapy, seeing doctors regularly, having regular blood work, etc. When my mood starts to slip, my psychologist encourages me to do my “homework” (work on thinking patterns) and sometimes I just get so tired of it, I’m desperate to be “normal”. All of the effort involved in keeping myself well seems totally overwhelming and, on the bad days, I resent it.

How do others feel?


Anonymous said...

I started reading this blog and the message of "you are not alone" is a great one for us all to remember. I read some of the firefighters story and he was also trying to get people to remember that we aren't alone and also his message of HOPE for everyone suffering with different mental health symptoms. It's a great message that you two are trying to get across to others. Inspiring!

Anonymous said...

Thank You Rachael for Your comments.

I am a Mother of a Man with Bipolar Disorder.
To me he is my Son,he is 25, diagnosed at 24 years.
He spent 1 month in hospital this summer for the first time.
He also has a Degree from Ottawa University & is presently trying to complete his Thesis from a University in Ireland.
I was at the Inservice You presented on Nov.29th & You are an inspiration!
It was very informative.
It must have been difficult ,but I personally say Thank You for Your words of encouragement.
He knows I was there & although he wasn`t ready to attend I know it made him feel good that I took the initiative to go & to educate myself regarding Bipolar Disorder.
It is treatable & although more has to be researched , it is people like yourself who help to make a difference.

I will pray for You & Thank you for Your Encouragement
Merry Christmas & May You have Health & Happiness in the New Year

Marian said...

I can really identify with the last two sentences of this blog. I often get tired of working so hard to be "normal". People who don't experience these dark days can not understand how much work it is just to get through the next hour let alone the next day or week.