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BFMH2014Hey, kids – it’s that time again!

“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”

So…

What to say? I’m feeling less crazy than ever, which is pretty awesome. It seems that a lot of my insanity was really “just” an endocrine disorder, which merely goes to show how incredibly complex our bodies are. Last year, I officially gave up the bipolar diagnosis, and Mr. Chickadee said, “I told you so” because he never really believed it anyway. Despite some tough times here and there, plus a nonstop battle with my health insurance company, I also graduated from DBT and lost over 30 pounds, so a lot of good stuff happened too. I started keeping a gratitude journal, which has helped me stay more focused on the many things I have to be thankful for — and there really are so many.

May the Saffron Finch of Sanity be with you in 2014.

May the Saffron Finch of Sanity be with you in 2014.

But the coming year is full of change and anxiety-inducing things like moving and starting a new job, except I don’t know which job or where we’ll be living in 6 months — just that everything we have come to call home is going to change. It’s scary and it’s really hard for me to handle this level of uncertainty, but I feel like I’m doing pretty well with it most of the time. I’m trying to make strategic choices from a long-term perspective and focus on being realistic about what I need to succeed, which might mean a lower-ranked, lower pressure job, and I’m certainly OK with that tradeoff.

I’m hoping that after interview season in January/February, I can start weaning off the Wellbutrin XL that I’ve been on since 2001. I worry that my long-term use of these meds might mean that my body can no longer produce the right chemicals properly by itself, but I have to try. If I don’t really need this $500+/month prescription, it would be great to get it out of my life and save it for the next time a serious depressive episode rolls around. Because I know that’s likely – my standing psychiatric diagnosis is, for now, Major Depressive Disorder, Recurrent.

I haven’t been depressed in awhile, though I still have bad patches of dysphoria in which it’s like someone flipped a switch in my head and turned off self-esteem, confidence, and general competence, while turning on doubt, obsessiveness, and pessimism. Happily, however, those episodes are now less severe, more predictable, and shorter. Apparently my body really does need the progesterone boost for my brain to keep working properly!

And now I’m going to do the best thing I can for my mental health – put myself to bed.

Aloha ‘oe, friends – but just for now!

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