A New Normal

I have been relatively stable for almost six months now. For me, that’s huge. 

I still have small bouts of depression here and there or times where my anxiety spikes and my thoughts race, but so far it’s all been manageable. 

So, why then, do I feel so miserable? 

The problem with attaining stability after being unstable for so many years is that you are faced with many questions. 

What now? 

I had to quit my job as a newspaper reporter several years ago because of this illness. I want to go back to work, but my old job is no longer available. I am starting over. 

Now that I am stable, days at home by myself while the kids are at school drag on. What does one do when one is not fighting inner demons? 

Now that the weather is warming up, I’ll have more options and I’ve been searching the Want Ads. 

But, why do I feel so out of sorts? Why don’t I feel happier? 

One reason is because I don’t feel “normal.” I don’t feel MY “normal.” 

It may sound weird, but I miss my unstable self. 

I’m not talking about the euphoria of mania (everyone misses that a little bit) or the inability to get out of bed for days at a time (no one wants that). I’m talking about the in-between. I’m talking about being kind of up and kind of down and having “real” feelings. 

I’ve lowered my medication some (with doctor supervision), but I still feel some flatness. I can still laugh and I can still cry, but there’s not as much emotion to it as usual. 

Maybe I miss being out of control a little. I feel like that person was way more real than the person I am now. I don’t really know if I like the person I am now. 

My only hope is that it doesn’t stay this way forever. I know I’ll likely have to take medicine for the rest of my life, but my goal is to take the littlest amount possible. If I work on mindfulness, meditation and other skills I believe I can gain some control over this illness. I know I can’t fight severe mania with meditation, but maybe I can catch it and stop it before it gets to that point. 

Maybe someday I will feel like myself again, or at least get used to this new normal. 

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