Compared to last time that I was having minor symptoms, about a year ago, I have not panicked. Rather I have calmly taken to upping my dose (according to my Dr’s advice) and trying to be active in regaining some balance. The first day it happened, I put everything down and went for a walk listening to my favourite podcast. (Unfortunately, they were talking about something rather sad, so that didn’t work out so well.) Last night, I went back into some skills learned in CBT and was challenging the thoughts I was having and trying to, as learned in DBT, focus on changing my mood by exposing myself to positive stimuli. My partner, as always, has been very supportive. He is always quick to ask what I need and is always very creative in ways to cheer me up! So, it’s been a bit up and down.
I have to say again how proud I am for not panicking! I think that doubled my symptoms last time because I was feeling like the inevitable was happening, where this time, saying calm really illustrated that I have gotten to the point that I do not feel that relapse is inevitable but rather something that can be prevented with effort. (Now I must put a caveat that of course some relapse and symptoms will occur even with tireless effort. I do not intend to support the idea that if we were all to just ‘pull up our bootstraps’ we could all ‘snap out of it’ and ‘get better’. Rather I point out my commitment to effort because at other stages of my illness I was utterly controlled by my illnesses and would feel completely defeated and at the mercy of my emotions. What my commitment to hard work, this time, really shows how my approach to my illness has changed, and I am very very proud of that!)
Now of course, I am getting a little nervous and concerned that once we get over there (we are leaving in just over a month) the sheer amount of change will be completely overwhelming and no amount of effort will help to prevent symptoms/relapse. Of course, it will be completely overwhelming, guaranteed! BUT, if I work with those thoughts now and come up with a plan(s) for what I will do when (not if) that happens, I can be active in my recovery.
Holy crap!!! I cant believe what recovery has done for my whole outlook on my illness! I have been symptom free (essentially) for 2 years (yay!!) and I feel completely different about my how I perceive my illness and life. I think I have written here before that I am NOT an optimist and am rather quite negative of a person. Was that a symptom? A learned response from experience?
Oh it feels amazing. Keep up the good work with your health! And while I HATE to say this phrase (Fuck I HATE this phrase), it does get better, and it feels sooo good.