Reflections & Hope

Today I'm just taking some time to reflect on myself.

I've always made decisions based on emotion. I'm very right brained, and feel things very strongly. I didn't realize it growing up, but at some point I developed anxiety and depression. Not the kind normal to adolescence, but the kind that doesn't go away.

These guys keep me going ♥

The more new experiences I encountered, and the more independent I became, the worse my anxiety and depression got. After each happy life milestone (marriage, birth of children, husband's new career, etc.) came waves of crippling fear and despair. About a year ago, I started having mood swings common to bipolar II disorder. After frequent visits to a counselor and psychiatrist and a year of evaluation, we still don't know for sure if what I have is bipolar disorder.

I still don't have a definite diagnosis for these seemingly random shifts in my mood and it makes life confusing and frustrating, but I still have a lot to be grateful for. Modern medicine is incredible. A year ago when my medication randomly stopped working, I was in a panic for months but through genetic testing and good old-fashioned trial and error, we found an even better medication for me. I still have ups and downs, but I'm far more balanced now than I've ever been. I've come a long way, and I want to document my progress so on a bad day I can refer back to this and remember that there is hope.

I'm glad I caught this precious moment of Rhett snuggling Kender when he was sick ♥

It's hard to feel the love of God while experiencing the sometimes-extreme lows of depression, but I know without a doubt that it's there. Everything that I've been through has made me stronger and more empathetic for others who may be struggling. These trials are hard, but I can't deny that I've become a better person because of them. I've developed greater patience & empathy, and I understand the importance of having hope.

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