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Kinda... actually happy?


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I'm feeling really happy lately, and I was wondering if anybody can relate.

 

Some background as to why feeling happy would be weird:

I have had Bipolar (potentially schizoaffective?) since adolescence, and have struggled with depression a lot in the past five years especially. I was unemployed for a while after college, and then could only get shitty jobs, but atleast had a very supportive fiancee. 

 

Last winter-into-spring said fiancee became progressively distant and emotionally abusive, eventually cheating on me. She wanted out of the relationship but couldn't just tell me, like a goddamn adult would, and so just pushed me until I left.

 

Then I got injured and couldn't work for a few weeks, and was broke, and was living with my parents.

 

Then my dad got laid off and my family's finances fell apart.

 

Then my grandmother, my father's mother, was diagnosed with bone cancer. I quit my job, which I actually liked and had friends at, to care for her, since the MDs said she would certainly go into remission but would need homecare. A week after I moved across the country to be with her, she died unexpectedly.

 

I ended up back home with my Dad, both depressed, moping around the house.

 

 

So I was either numb or miserable for months, but had the sense to see a psych doc. I had been all along, but I went on the state medicaid and had to switch, and the new MD tried to change things up a bit. I couldn't imagine much would change emotionally, but did want to loose weight, so asked to be switched off of Seroquel and on to something potentially weight neutral. I'm transitioning from seroquel to geodon, and my psych doc increased my lamictal hoping it would have an anti-depressant effect. So I'm on Lamictal, Klonipin for sleep and anxiety, and the on/off tapers of geodon and seroquel. 

 

And, despite the actual circumstances of my life not changing much, besides getting a seasonal retail job, I feel much MUCH happier. I'm not manic-y, but just content and even-keeled and relentlessly cheerful (even facing hoards of angry holiday shoppers on Black Friday). I feel like my life is going to change for the better, and that I'm getting my shit together, and that I am able to take control of my life and make positive things happen. I've had to take the klonopin for sleep and occasional anxiety, but otherwise have been very happy.

 

I have very complex feelings about this. Obviously I'm relieved and overjoyed. But knowing Bipolar I'm also suspicious. I know for sure I don't feel manic-y, it's one of the few things I'm pretty self-aware about, but the last week I've had two nights of bad sleep, which may or may not be the after effects of staying up and drinking at holiday parties. SO that makes me nervous. Also I have an odd, almost happy/sad feeling of mourning for myself. Like a realized that this is the first time since basically my late childhood when I've felt happy in a way that feels settled and safe, not jittery and precarious. Something that feels like actual happiness. And I'm realizing how fucked up and sad it is that I've gone for more than a decade being so deeply unwell and not even being able to understand the scope of it. It doesn't make me depressed, but it does make me feel sad for my younger self, and weirdly self-protective and self-empathetic in a way I haven't been able to be.. maybe ever? Not in the face of what used to be my constant self-loathing, which is also gone now. 

 

So, yeah, and I feel weird writing this. I'm worried it sounds like bragging, and it's not meant to be, I'm just hoping that sometimes positive things can be part of the discussion of MI too? Has anybody else had a turning point like this? DOes anybody else know what I mean about the happy-sad and the mourning? SHOULD I be worried? I'm being careful with myself, so I'm cautiously optimistic. 

 

Thoughts? Advice? Grunts of mutual understanding?

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I share your concern that these type of experiences are not frequently shared here.

 

My life has totally changed for the better since I've been on Latuda. I'm back at work, I'm happier, I have goals and ambition again. It's been amazing, and I feel so so lucky to have experienced this recovery, regardless of how long it lasts. I definitely have my moments where I check myself for signs of mania and worry about a relapse. I worry that every time I feel a rush of happiness that it might be my illness coming back at me. Every moment of malaise or ambivalence is followed by a brief panic that my depression might be resurfacing. 

 

I've been experience what I would call a near-full remission for about six months.

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