Sunday, August 4, 2019

A Constant Battle...

Hello followers of this blog!

It has been more than 6 months since my last posting. I shall not go into detail of why such a time lapse, just that I am back.

For some time, I've been considering a platform to chronical my mental health journey. Then after pondering it, I decided this blog would serve that purpose.

So, with the change of theme, comes a new blog name, 'Simply Alvin-My Mental Health Journey'. Plus, I have deleted 99% of the old post in order to conform to the mental health theme.

As before, there will probably we a lapse in postings. It all depends upon how I am feeling, and how comfortable I am posting about a certain topic. The posts will not be according to the timeline of my journey. Rather, what I feel I need to address.

The topic of this post, 'A Constant Battle...', deals with a current event in my mental health journey.

To give a little background information, I have suffered from mental health issues close to 30 years. I was institutionalized in a state hospital twice due to mental health and addiction problems. I cannot say how many times I have been on and off medications for my mental illness, mainly Bipolar 2 and Anxiety. But I can say that each time I tried to handle things on my own by stop taking my meds and self-medicating with alcohol, things just got progressively worse as time went on. And for brevity, I shall say that my last mental health relapse began the moment I stopped taking meds from the previous one.

As I said before, as time went on things would get worse. Alcohol consumption became my 'pacifer'. But, it has been within the past, I'll say 6 month, things started to come to a breaking point. I knew I had to see the doctor before things got 'ugly'. Thus, on July 8 of this year, I made a Doctor appointment and was seen that same day. I was asked all the routine things about my mental health, what my diagnosis had been at state hospital, how long the symptoms lasted, sleep patterns, alcohol consumption, were there any inclination of self-harm, etc. The norm when dealing with mental health issues.

That day I was prescribed medications for my bipolar and anxiety. I returned for a followup this last Thursday, and another anxiety med was added to the regimine.

Just like with most medications, it takes time for them to build up in a person's system. I have good days and bad days. That is the norm for mental illness. It is a constant battle to maintain some sense of normalcy. It all takes time, and, I am aware that I will be on medications for the rest of my earthly life. Doctor appointments and medication will be my 'lifeline'.

This past week, I was particularly struggling. Mood swings were bad, my anxiety was at a high level, with the presence of the all-might 'depression' on top of it. Plus thoughts of 'self-harm' kept plaguing my mind. I was not myself. Then come very early Saturday morning, I had a bad nightmare. Thank goodness my phone awoke me when it did, for when I awoke I was in terror and flinging my arms like I was fighting something away from me. I felt miserable most of the day. It wasn't until I decided to take my PRN anxiety med, & listen to some tunes, that I started to calm down.

Now the aforementioned is just a brief summary of my recent mental health episode. In an effort to help clear my mind, I wrote down some things about the episode, which I also entitled 'A Constant Battle..." I shall now share it with you.

In closing I would like to reiterate something, when a person is struggling with mental health issues it is a 'constant battle' to maintain some sense of normalcy. Plus, I urge anyone who is struggling, to reach out for help, Whether it be an MD, Psych, or a friend who will lend a listening ear, or in extreme cases, a mental health (suicide prevention) hotline. In my case with this last episode, it was people I only knew from social media who gave me encouragement to not give up. Whatever it takes, reach out. You are important. There Is Hope.

Till next time, I bid you Peace, Love, and Good Luck with your journey.