Lately I have been sleeping a little later. For many months, starting when the depression came upon me back in November, I started waking up early every day. I would get up, wide awake, as early as 4:30 some days and other days more like 6:00. I never went to sleep any earlier, so I was getting less sleep overall and would often be fatigued during the day. I don’t normally deal with insomnia, so this was a little out of the ordinary for me. Usually, when I get depressed I sleep more, not less. For some reason, this time was different. I am getting back to my old pattern now, though, and feel more refreshed even now as I sit here and type this.
Mentally I have been doing okay. I haven’t been experiencing quite as much paranoia or intrusive thoughts. I haven’t felt like the government was invading my mind as much or that the snipers would shoot me. I think doing this blog is really helping me get out some anxiety and stress. It’s kind of like a confession and therapy mixed together. My mood has also been a little better, although the remnants of depression do seem to still be there sometimes. I am, overall, in a better place, though, and for that I am thankful. I am dealing with the less disabling things as they come and as always relying on the Lord for His strength to deal with it all. He never lets me down.
Recently I went to Texas Roadhouse with my family for my birthday dinner. It was a tough situation for me. When we got there it was extremely crowded and I don’t do well in crowds. There was a very long wait time for a table so we spent almost an hour standing in the waiting area watching people coming and going while we waited our turn. I felt overwhelmed but managed to hang in there. When we finally got to the table, the noise level in there was incredible. It was so loud. I couldn’t hear the conversation at the table and I could barely hear myself think. All this, the crowd, the long wait time and the extreme noise level added up to a difficult time for me. I persevered, though, and God got me through it. It was just nice to be out with my family.
Another thing I have been dealing with is car trouble. One day I was driving to an appointment and my car started running hot. I turned on the heater, as I’ve always heard you should do, and the temperature needle went down. I haven’t been driving my car since that day and I have to take it to the mechanic to get checked out. Hopefully it won’t be too expensive to fix, since I am on a fixed budget here. I always hate dealing with car trouble and mechanics, as most people probably do. It is a major source of stress for me and I try to limit the stress in my life, as it causes flare ups in other areas for me. Hopefully this will not be anything too bad and I will get through it with a minimum of discomfort.
I also recently saw my psychiatrist. She was pleased with my progress and seemed to think the new medication is working. I cannot take antidepressants very much because of the bipolar aspect of my condition. They tend to make me manic, as they do in many people like me. I had asked her why I wasn’t taking a mood stabilizer at the present time and she felt like putting me back on Lamictal was a good idea. It is a mood stabilizer that also helps with depression. It must be slowly increased in your system due to a possible side effect of a severe rash that can develop, but I have never had that side effect in the past, so I am a good candidate for taking it. I started at a low dose and, over the course of six weeks, I worked my way up to the full dose. It seems to have levelled me out and I am glad for that.
Spiritually I am doing well. I feel that I have never been closer to God in my life. I know that Scripture teaches that God is close to the broken-hearted and when we draw near to Him He draws near to us. In my years of dealing with schizoaffective disorder I have developed a relationship with Christ based on my weakness and His strength. That is the proper combination according to Scripture. In our weakness His strength is made perfect in us. I find myself depending on Him for everything and casting my cares and anxieties on Him, always finding peace and reassurance in Him and His word. I don’t feel that I am any more special than anybody else, but Christ makes me feel special. In all that I go through I have learned that His ways are at the same time mysterious and plainly obvious. We don’t always know the exact details of why things are going the way they are, but we know what the ultimate goal is of saving and sanctifying us through what we go through.
As I move forward in life, I don’t know what the day will hold. It could get better and better for me or it could all fall apart. Some would say that is not faith talking and I should be more positive. Maybe that’s true. I have experienced a lot of things, both good and bad, and know how life can turn on a dime. I have also experienced the power of God and His ability to work it all out for my good too many times to count. So I just leave it all to Him to work out and trust that He will continue to get me through it all. That is what has worked for me for years now. I have never regretted giving my life to Christ and have never looked back since that day. In Christ is where I want to be.