So today marks the sixth day in a row that my mood has been level. That may not seem like much, but for me it’s monumental. I don’t want to jinx anything but I can honestly say that this is the longest period of “normality” that I’ve experienced in 8 months.
It could be that my medication is finally kicking in, but I think it’s more the result of a holistic effort on my part. That’s right – effort – it takes hard work for me to get to this point. I have no doubt that the meds played their vital role. They got me to a place where I could do more than just hold on as my mood ricocheted from insanely high to horribly low, but they are only one piece of the puzzle.
The other piece is practicing all round self care, which is more than just face masks, motivational quotes and taking time to relax (although those things do have their place). In reality it’s something that requires discipline and consistency, and takes some time to master.
In addition to tracking my mood daily I have also been meticulous in monitoring everything from my eating habits, how much water and caffeine I drink every day, how much time I spend exercising and meditating, and how many hours of sleep I get a night. I’ve found that the commitment to doing this actually pushes me to want to improve my health. I’ve had help of course, from two handy little apps – Headspace and Pacifica. What a time to be alive ey?
Apart from that I’ve been training myself to stick to a relatively stable routine and to have some much needed self compassion – both of which I’ve found incredibly difficult throughout life. I am learning to accept that I’m not perfect, and that I don’t have to be.
I must also mention how much this blog has helped me. I have always been an avid writer, keeping journals from a young age, but this is the first time that I have actually put my writing out there in any “official” way. The process is cathartic. Not only is writing about my experiences a useful therapeutic tool, but it’s allowed me to feel heard and to connect with like-minded individuals.
Lastly, it must be said that I wouldn’t be where I am today without my support system. Although I am far from home I have a few invaluable friends and family members that I do my best to stay in contact with, and they help more than they know. My boyfriend has been an unshakable rock, who has stuck with me through some of the most challenging times of my life. His unwavering love, patience and constant, calming presence have helped me weather the storms in my head.
I don’t want to get too ahead of myself here. I won’t go so far as to label what I’m experiencing, physically and mentally, as remission (although I can hold on to hope). I do feel calmer than I have in a long time though, and for that I am so thankful.