Sunday, January 9, 2011

Picking Up the Pieces...Again

This is your warning...prepare to hear my truth as I have experienced.

Bipolar II: People with bipolar disorder II seldom experience full-fledged mania. Instead they experience periods of hypomania (elevated levels of energy and impulsiveness that are not as extreme as the symptoms of mania). These hypomanic periods alternate with episodes of major depression.

I've talked about the good things of having manic-depressive illness, but I've never spoken about the flip-side...what goes up must eventually come down. For me, when I come down, I hit rock bottom. As I have gotten older, the dark side of my life has become almost unbearable. I watch those commercials for depression and often make fun of them, but it's only because I can relate so well.

I think my depression slowly began in January of 2010. There was way too much drama in my life...with fights all around me. There was the school system, the base, the doctors all the while my husband was gone. The snowball effect had begun. Next came the readjust period...which I don 't handle change, of any sort, very well. Things finally hit their peak in June when I found out my long time Doctor, of 4 years, was relocating. Some may read this and think that's no big deal, but you have to remember a few things.

1. Change is not something I do well.

2. I have an illness that compounds #1

3. The length of time I had been seeing and trusting this Doctor. Trust is not something I easily hand out.

It was all too much. Another thing necessary to understand about bipolar is often a person needs to be on medication. There is little hope on going without. I have often heard it compared to diabetes. A person with diabetes would have to manage their illness for the remainder of their lives...which is also true for a person with bipolar. Starting in June there was a lot of "tweaking" done to medication which ultimately led brought me to knees. I felt that God had abandoned friends had deserted me...and Mike was the only one who loved me. Obviously, that was not true, but at this point I was seeing things as if I were looking through a kaleidoscope. Nothing was as it seemed. After months of trying to get things right, I ultimately began to feel somewhat like my old self again...striving for balance in my life. You may be wondering why I am airing my "dirty laundry." The best answer I can come up with is perhaps there is someone out there who can benefit from my struggles. Perhaps there is someone out there who needs to hear that it is possible to pick up the pieces ...again.

God, grant me serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference...
Just for today.


  1. Still praying for you Ashley! I miss you guys so much and think about you often. I hope you are doing some better now. Love ya!

  2. I am really proud of you and pray for you daily! I know that God is going to do amazing things in your life and yes GOd can and will pick up the pieces when our life falls apart. I love you girl!

  3. Thank you for being transparent, Ashley. I am praying for you as you live with bipolar and am encouraged by your honesty.

  4. Thank you for being so open and honest. I will pray for you .

  5. Ashley, I was so proud to hear this! I definitely understand the stigma that comes with a mental illness and am so glad you have decided to share your story! God is GREAT! I feel so lucky to know you!



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