Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Race

Every couple of months, I indulge myself with time off from my scheduled hectic life. I call it my downtime. I try to limit this time to two days because I have found that in the past, this time of inactivity can be guilt invoking and lead to a type of induced depression. This time, however, has been a delicious exception.

For the last couple of days, I have allowed this time to be a healing experience. It is especially significant for me because I planned to use this time to initiate my freedom from the drug Lithium.

I became a Christian in 1991, baptized into Christ's body. Since then Jesus has been changing me, not miraculously, but by the natural progression of living and facing life with God's goodness. Through the power of faith, I have overcome an eating disorder. Now, I am ready to face another mental illness, Bipolar Disorder or Manic/Depression.

I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 1988. I had been taking lithium ever since. I had not experienced any further mania but I continued to struggle with depression and anxiety over the years.
Do not think that I decided to go off the Lithium impulsively as I was content to remain on it for the rest of my life.

I met a someone who was to become a major influence in my life. He believed after our many conversations that I would one day be able to stop taking the medication. He repeatedly told me that nothing was the matter with my thinking.
I tentatively came to believe that this would be possible some day.

In 2001, I attended a seminar given through work by a Canadian Olympian,
Silken Laumann. She was a rower and was training for the 1992 Olympics when she was in a rowing accident that ripped her muscles apart. Through the medical skill of others and her own determination and self-discipline, she endured 5 operations on her ravaged leg. She managed to still compete in the Olympics which was only 11 weeks from the time of her accident. She won bronze.

After her motivational speech, I made my way up to her and told her that I had Bipolar Disorder. She asked me, "Do you think you can overcome it?" I looked steadfastedly back into her eyes, and said, "Yes!" She could see in my eyes that I meant it.
Now, 6 years later, I am ready to face this challenge.

Yesterday evening as I was wondering how to spend some more of my precious downtime hours, I came across the tv movie of her life that I taped several years ago. It seemed a fitting time to watch it.

God is my Rock.

I don't know if I will win bronze or gold in this race against my mental illness, but this is my moment to give it all I got...

9 comments:

FRIDAY'S CHILD said...

Hi! It's been quite some time I visited and I really am very sorry to hear about this.
You don't have to wonder whether you will the race coz I'm sure you will. You are a very strong willed person and a God fearing and loving at that so you will win.

David said...

hello Carol, its a big step, but you will know if this is right for you. I am glad to hear you have strong support. God bless and work his will in you, during this season.

Sugarloaf Mountain is ever changed for having been part of the FFMB

Aurora Antonovic said...

You must keep us posted on this, Carol.

rdl said...

Carol, I hear what you are saying but I am a little worried. I also take exception with thinking that mental illness is different than any other illness. If you were a diabetic - i wouldn't want you to stop taking yr. medicine. I just hope that you are talking to yr. doctor about this. Just be careful.
As she heads to the kitchen to take her prozac.

Carol said...

I will definitely keep you posted. Thanks. I just got back from seeing my therapist. He is aware of this,both he and the supporting psychiatrist are in favor of this move. My therapist is even expressing doubts that I ever was Bipolar! [?]
Any problems and I will be back on meds probably.
Thanks for being a part of my support group!
Love ya...

donna said...

I have visited you from Andrew's on occasion. You do not know me, but I fervently pray God's hand of protection and His healing over you...please know I am an available prayer partner/warrior in any time of need.

Donna

Kai C. said...

i think you can overcome it. you are strong! i have faih in you..

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

I agree with Donna

Sarah Beth said...

That is an amazing story. No matter what happens, you sound like a gold medalist to me.