The Sound of Silence

Do you know what depression or mental illness sound like? Can you hear depression in a friend’s voice? Do you recognize it in your significant other’s cry? And if you could hear mental illness, what exactly would it sound like? Mental illness has a few different sounds to me. It’s a whisper so quiet that only those paying full attention can hear. Even the ones who are paying attention sometimes miss the whisper, and it fades until it is unrecognizable. Mental illness can also be a yell. It can be a yell so loud that those around are frightened and try to avoid the sound as it pierces the sky.

Whenever I’m depressed, I go silent. My body aches, and I feel like I haven’t slept in far too long. Depression can be draining and so can mania. I once spent a whole year barely speaking to my friends, family and boyfriend at the time. It was easier to stare off into the distance and imagine I didn’t feel as bad as I did. It would be easier to not speak words than to simply say how I felt. Admitting I was depressed was easy. However, trying to find the courage, strength and energy to say any words was exhausting to even think about.

Important to note, I’m not the only one in my household that lives with depression. My mom also experiences depression. Since she is intimately familiar with depression, I asked her what she thought of this blog post, knowing that she’d be honest with me. With her permission, I’d like to share what she had to say:

“First, thank you Kim for asking me how I feel when I get depressed. No one really has ever asked me,  probably because I’ve never shared that I experience depression from time to time. I’ve only shared this with you and dad, and Paul and Katlin. When I think about how I feel, when depression descends for awhile, immediately a song comes to my mind. That song is “The Sound of Silence,” but it’s not the Simon & Garfunkel version that I’m talking about. It’s the remake that the rock band Disturbed did. When I hear the first 12 words,  I feel an eerie sense of familiarity. Those 12 words are painfully familiar to me. It sounds silly maybe. I can’t believe that words alone can have such an affect on me, but they do. If you decide to share my thoughts with anyone, don’t tell them the words. I’d like to invite them to listen to the song, especially those first 12 words. I think the words have a way of getting to the core of silence somehow. In silence, depression resides…”

Silence is not the only sign of mental illness. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) provides a helpful list of signs and symptoms. If you’d like to learn more, click here: Know the Warning Signs. I hope that you find this blog post to be helpful, if not for you, for someone you care about.

Until next time…

~ Kim (1 Daughter) and Stacy (1 Mom)


References

D. (2015, December 08). Retrieved April 20, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9Dg-g7t2l4

Help With Depression. (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2017, from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/depression

Know The Warning Signs. (n.d.). Retrieved April 19, 2017, from https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Know-the-Warning-Signs

Parekh, R., M.D., M.P.H. (2015, November). What Is Mental Illness? Retrieved April 19, 2017, from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/what-is-mental-illness

 

 

 

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Happiness | May I have this dance?

This is a previously published post form several years ago that I wanted to share again because I think it captures, beautifully, the essence of happiness. Happy Friday everyone!

I’ve been thinking about “happiness.” What is it really? Where might I find it?

It seems to escape me, especially lately. Interestingly enough, it found me just the other night! I was in the kitchen with Bill and unintentionally began to notice several sights and sounds…Kim smiling and laughing in the presence of her new boyfriend and Paul chuckling with Marissa as she sat at the table playing with her snack. At two and a half years old she is quite the comedian! She had two Puffy Cheetos sticking out of her mouth as she grinned from ear to ear! She giggled as the Cheetos twisted between her teeth, flipped up and tickled her nose. Her little face and fingers turned an orange tint the more she played with her food. The dog could be seen running around the dining room with her nose gliding across the floor as she sniffed out any dropped and forgotten morsels of food. And even though Katlin was at work she was in my thoughts at that very moment.

The radio could be heard playing in the distance.

Hit after hit played like Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain” and David Guetta’s “Without You.” All the while, Bill was busy making pizza…and I? Well…I started to dance! I encouraged Bill to dance by gently grasping his hand and pulling him near to me. He turned and looked at me with a smile that I hadn’t seen in a long time. The kids looked at us with surprise and beamed. Kim actually peeked out from behind her friends shoulder and asked, “Mom? Are you okay?” Then we all burst out laughing.

Later, when we found ourselves alone in a vacant house, Bill mentioned to me that he hadn’t seen me that happy in a long time.

I have to admit that I haven’t been genuinely happy for a few years. I think the stress that accompanies the mood disorder of a loved one had really taken its toll. The more unpredictable life became the more I retreated inwardly. I isolated myself for reasons I still don’t understand. I think that the night I have described was the night I let go of the stressful baggage I had been lugging around. As I let go of the needless weight of past life experiences…I felt lighter. I was able to embrace the moment and truly enjoy it. I was happy…

Remembering Our Mental Wellness

Tea Pot ImageHave you heard?

January is Mental Wellness Month! I can’t imagine a healthier way to begin the new year. And It’s important to remember that, even though the end of the month is near, awareness of our mental wellness doesn’t end January 31st, especially since it encompasses everything we do. We need to tend to our mental wellness throughout the year. To give us an idea just how encompassing our mental wellness is, let’s look at a definition of mental health. According to the World Health Organization, “Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community” (World Health Organization [WHO], 2014). As you can see, our mental wellness touches on every aspect of our lives.

How do I care for my mental wellness?

I don’t know about you, but for myself, since mental wellness is all encompassing, it can be easy to forget about my mental well-being. As a wife, mother, grandmother, etc., I find that the last thing I usually think about is my mental well-being despite the importance that I do. It’s hard enough to find time for myself let alone take the time to think about my mental health. However, I realize that if I’m going to continue to effectively care for my loved ones, and fulfill my responsibilities, then awareness and care of my mental wellness is a must. How do I care for my mental wellness? Below are a few examples:

  • I try and take a quick daily mental inventory: Each day, I try to intentionally spend a few moments taking note of what I’m thinking and how I’m feeling. Self awareness helps me adjust and make changes to whatever challenges lie ahead throughout the day.
  • I exercise: I’ve had a health issue so I’ve gotten away from my daily walks, but I’m starting my walks again.
  • I get plenty of sleep: This has taken persistence on my part. I live with chronic insomnia. It took me awhile, but I finally found the courage to talk to my doctor about it, and she’s been very helpful. We’ve finally found, after several trials of different medications, that Ambien helps. Reducing my caffeine intake helps as well.
  • I communicate with others: I talk to my spouse about how I’m feeling, especially if I’m not feeing well. I’ve discovered that talking to someone that you trust can help. It provides us an opportunity to problem solve together.

What do you do to care for and strengthen your mental wellness? If you’d like more ideas about how to care for your mental wellness, check out Mental Health America’s Ten Tools to help you feel stronger. I especially like #8 – Take care of your spirit.

Are we getting the message out?

As you can see, mental wellness is vitally important. Interestingly enough, in spite of how important tending to our mental wellness is, I wonder whether or not we are getting the message out to the public and to employers to name a few. I discovered something that surprised me. Last Friday, when I shared with my daughter Kim that it is Mental Wellness Month, she said, “Wait. Now what is it?” After I shared again with her what month it is, she said, “I didn’t know that!” Without knowing it, she brought up an extremely important point, and that is, even though there are those trying to bring about awareness pertaining to our mental wellness, it seems that many are not getting the message. To my surprise, when I did a Google search of the words “mental wellness,” none of the top mental health organizations that I’m familiar with like NAMI and DBSA came up. However, when I typed in the words “mental illness” several organizations came up such as NAMI, Mayo Clinic, Web MD and other organizations as well. This is interesting to me. Shouldn’t these prominent organizations come up when I type in “mental wellness?” I also discovered something else. Many of the sites that I looked at had outdated material as well. This is an interesting discovery and one that I thought that I’d share with you. For now, the focus of this blog post is mental wellness so I’ll revisit my findings another day. In the meantime, if you’d like to learn about the history of Mental Wellness Month and learn more about caring for your mental wellness, check out Sovereign Health‘s article  “January is Mental Wellness Month.” And if you haven’t thought about it before, I do hope that you tend to your mental wellness. May we all have a great and healthy week!

Growing stronger…


World Health Organization. (2014). Mental health-strengthening our response (Fact sheet No. 220). Retrieved from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs220/en/

Guest Blogger Kim King: A Story of Self Hate and Learning to Love Myself

DCF 1.0

“Kim! You are so beautiful!” said my mom, friends, family, and strangers. What no one knew, when they said this to me, was that it hurt to hear those words. Any type of compliment was so painful that it started getting difficult to hide. I smiled for pictures, and I tried to dress up as often as I could handle so I could “feel” pretty. That feeling didn’t come until 18 years later.

In 1st grade I hopped on the school bus with all the other kids and was wearing shorts on this particular day. When I sat down I looked down at my thighs and noticed they were bigger than the other girls’ thighs. That’s when the self-hate began, and it snowballed as I got older. My hair looked ugly to me no matter what so I always wanted it short. No matter what, I felt ugly. Nobody could change my mind or make me feel better.

Eventually, the self-hate turned into self-harm, and I was hurting myself physically so I could feel the pain on the outside that I’d been bottling up on the inside. My wrists and legs became covered with open wounds and scars from me cutting. One day I felt comfortable enough with one of my teachers in high school to share my cutting struggle. He walked me down to the guidance counselors office, and I went to that office almost every day after that. Although I felt pain it felt better knowing that someone else was aware of what I was going through and could talk to me about it.

The hatred towards myself continued after high school, and right after I started classes in college I dropped out and began partying a lot and got involved in a poisonous relationship. That relationship lasted 3 years, but the emotional abuse lasted longer. Because I had so much hate for myself I accepted and welcomed hate unknowingly from others. The energy I was putting off was coming back to me, and even friends started showing negativity towards me. I lost a lot of friends in those 3 years not realizing then that others were a reflection of me and since I hated myself others hated me too.

It all started to unfold the day I looked at my beautiful newborn daughter. The thought came to me, “What if she grows up to hate herself?”. My mind started to rewind, and thoughts came to me in pictures. In every instance of my life I have always been beautiful on the inside and out. When I smiled for those pictures I was hurting, but here I am today looking at them and realizing I love myself and always have. I’m still not 100% sure why I hated myself so much…maybe because I was bullied, or because of society’s standards, or maybe just maybe I was embarrassed to love myself because I didn’t know anyone that loved themselves. Whatever the reason was no longer gets to me. I have embraced me for who I am. My daughter helped me see myself as worthy, beautiful, strong. I am a reflection of her as she is of me.

So today, I want to share this story because if you or someone you know is hurting on the inside or out they need support. They need love. Loving yourself doesn’t happen overnight and is a different process for everyone. Just make sure you look in the mirror and are loving who you see. There’s beauty in everyone. Sometimes we have to show others the beauty they possess before we can see our own beauty. But there are also times when we need to seek out help from a counselor or therapist. There’s nothing wrong with seeking help and knowing you are worth it.

If you are looking for information about self-harm, please check out the Self-Harm guide on the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website.

If you are in crisis, you can text the Crisis Text Line by texting “Start” to 741-741. It’s free, 24/7  and confidential.

Aurora, Colorado Theater Shooting: The Million Dollar Question from a Family Affected by 1990 Wichita, Kansas Shooting Spree

Today the world learned that Aurora, Colorado shooting suspect James Holmes was formally charged with 24 counts of first-degree murder and 116 counts of attempted murder (Huffington Post, 2012).  We learned of this after he was charged.  The court hearing occurred behind closed doors.  As I watched the details unfold through the national news I found myself pondering the million dollar question.  Why did this horrific event happen in the first place?  And are we as a society really going to continue hiding from the world of mental illness?  Are we shielding or protecting ourselves and our loved ones from mental illness?  We can’t afford to continue to hide from the fact that 450 million people suffer from a mental illness around the world (WHO, 2010).

I’m on the fence today about whether or not it was the right thing to do to shield Holmes from the public.  I say this with the highest respect for the victims and their families.  However, the “closed doors” symbolize for me the continuation of not talking about mental illness.  Is it not okay for the public to “see” mental illness?  Are we protecting James Holmes?  I think that in order to stop horrific events like the Aurora theater shooting from happening we must talk about it.  We must see it.  We must learn from it.  It is time we get educated about mental illness including prevention and treatment.  We have to do something different because whatever we are doing now is clearly and sadly not working.  I know this at the most intimate level because my husband was a victim of the 1990 Wichita shooting spree that ultimately led to the death of one person.  The Wichita gunman had a bomb in his car that was later detonated.  Bill miraculously survived after being grazed by a bullet and being car chased by the gunman.  To learn more about the Wichita shooting spree you can click here: http://www.apnewsarchive.com/1990/Police-Seeking-Motive-in-Shooting-Spree-One-Victim-Dies/id-5718bdbba98c5dad0adf2de077a29152.

I pray that we can come together to find a solution.  It’s time.

Growing stronger…

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Huffington Post. (2012, July 30). Huff crime: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/30/james-holmes-charges-aurora-shooting_n_1711638.html

World Health Organization. (2010, September). Mental health: strengthening our response.  Retrieved July 19, 2012, from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs220/en/index.html

Talking About Mental Illness: Mental Health Month Blog Party 2012

Stacy’s Flutterings blog is proud to be a participant in the 2012 American Psychological Association (APA) Mental Health Month Blog Party.

According to APA, “Congress designated May as Mental Health Month in 1949 to illustrate the importance of mental health issues to the overall health and well-being of American citizens.  On May 16, bloggers come together for a Mental Health Month Blog Party to educate the public about mental health, decrease stigma about mental illness, and discuss strategies for making lasting lifestyle and behavior changes that promote overall health and wellness” (n.d).

Since Stacy’s Flutterings blog exists in large part to help erase the stigma of mental illness I was thrilled to learn about the blog party.  However, and interestingly enough, as I type the words that you are reading I find myself wondering where to begin as I share our story.  Do I start with where we are at today or do I go back to the beginning?  I think I will start by telling you a little about my beautiful loved one.  I have a daughter who is 22 years old.  She has bipolar disorder.  When her illness unfolded during her high school years I found that I wasn’t equipped to deal with it, especially the subsequent suicide attempts.  I attribute that in large part to the fact that mental illness is not talked about.  I grew up with the notion that mental illness was something to be afraid of.  On the contrary, it is nothing to be afraid or ashamed of.  In fact, mental illness is just that.  It is an illness just like any other illness, and there are treatments available to help individuals find and maintain mental wellness and stability.  The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has a wealth of information available on their website regarding treatment and support.  They also have detailed information about a multitude of mental illnesses.  If you haven’t done so I encourage you to check them out!

I have decided to include in this post a re-post titled, “Spotlight on Erasing the Stigma ~ St. Louis MICDS Documentary: Living With Mental Illness.”  I think it provides healthy insight into how I cope with the mental illness of my loved one and how I work to erase the stigma as I support my loved one.

Sometimes, just like the transformation of a delicate, beautiful butterfly with iridescent colored wings, the very things that matter most to many of us like our family, our friends, change, acceptance and support take awhile to grow.  We plant the seed…we wait for it to take hold.  We nurture…we watch.  We tend to…we love.  We prompt…and we patiently wait and hold onto hope.  And then, just like the butterfly, the very thing we were growing slowly and miraculously unfolds.

Erasing the stigma is one such thing that is near and dear to my heart as it is to many others.  And it is slowly unfolding as people talk more about it, and it’s being erased one person at a time.  One step my family and I have taken to erase the stigma is that we talk openly about mental illness, the challenges we face and how we cope as a family of a loved one with bipolar disorder.  And our loved one also desires to talk about living with bipolar disorder, and with time and support I am sure she will become an advocate helping others who walk the same walk.

It’s not easy being an open book.  There is this overwhelming sense of vulnerability that I sometimes feel that accompanies being open about mental illness and it’s effects.  I also have a gnawing sense of guilt.  I call it mommy guilt.  My mommy guilt thermometer rises as I find myself asking the question, “How can I put my family on the front-line of something so vast?”  And then I remember why.  It is for the very ones I love and the immeasurable number of others who are affected by stigma.  After all, we can’t just put stigma aside and expect for it to fade away.  Like the documentary points out 1 in 6 Americans is experiencing a mental illness this year.  Furthermore, stigma about mental illness prevents half of those with mental illness from seeking treatment.

To that end, Kim and I accepted an invitation to participate in the MICDS documentary titled: Living with Mental Illness: People are More than Patients.  After weeks of preparation students’ Anna, Chris and Darryl’s Mental Illness Documentary is complete.  It includes a segment from a Charlie Sheen interview and interviews with Tom, Fran and Kevin Smith of the Karla Smith Foundation, advocate Ellen Rosenbaum, Arlen Chaleff, Vice President of NAMI St. Louis, myself and Kim singing since she wasn’t present.  She sings “Mercy on Me” by Christina Aguilera, and at one point viewers will hear Kim singing “Save Me from Myself” also by Christina Aguilera.  These particular recordings are from 2007.

They did an excellent job of capturing the humanness of mental illness through the lens of families affected by mental illness and suicide and those who have and still struggle with emotional disorders.  They also did a beautiful job of showcasing the strengths and potential of someone with a mental illness.  Ellen Fein Rosenbaum is a past honoree of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans annual award along with honorees such as John F. Kennedy, Elvis and Bill Clinton.  Arlen Chaleff, Vice President of NAMI St. Louis, was one of four chosen for the St. Louis 2009 Women of Achievement Award.  And then…there is Kim.  She was our song bird, and as I mentioned in the interview, she seems to have lost her voice for now, but we have hope that she will regain balance and pursue her interests once again.  Just like the butterfly…it may take some time.  We tend to…we love.  We prompt…and we patiently wait and hold onto hope…

Sadly, Kim was not present for the interview as she had hoped she would be.  She didn’t make it home the night before.  When morning made it’s grand arrival and I wandered into Kim’s room I discovered her bed was empty.  In that moment I thought about calling Anna and canceling my part of the interview.  Then I thought…wait a minute…this is “our normal” so why not do the interview after all.  When Anna and her classmates arrived for the interview excited to meet Kim I gave them the news.  I felt like we had let them down.  However, it became a teachable moment.  I shared with them that she sometimes self medicates and that that was what probably happened.  I also shared that we actually live each day not knowing what’s to come.  With that we did the interview.  I wish Kim would have been there.  She did show up later that day and thankfully she was safe.

We tend to…we love.  We prompt…and we patiently wait and hold onto hope…

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And if you haven’t visited my blog before I invite you to stay awhile and learn more about our story and how we strive to support one another as we walk this walk together.  You can access previous posts by using the “archive” link near the top of the blog and to the right.  You can search for posts by month.  Thank you for visiting, and may we all continue to talk and learn as much as we can about mental illness and wellness and how best to support our loves ones as well as ourselves.

Growing stronger…

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American Psychological Association: Your Mind Your Body. Accessed on May 15, 2012 at http://www.yourmindyourbody.org/mental-health-month-blog-day/

Tagxedo – Butterfly image created at http://www.tagxedo.com/

Wednesday Wanderings [3]…

Welcome to Wednesday Wanderings.  It’s that time of week again!  This week I am going to refrain from sharing my thoughts about the quote below and instead let it resonate with you and unfold as it is supposed to.   May you have a wonderful and peaceful rest of the week.

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”  Norman Vincent Peale

Growing stronger…

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Approximately 20.9 million American adults, or about 9.5 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year, have a mood disorder.1  (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2008)

Coping with Stress by Gliding on Neutrality

It seems that with the insurmountable life stressors that are bombarding me lately I would grow frazzled and lose my mental footing on life.  Surprisingly, it is quite the opposite.  Instead of blindly teetering on the edge of loose and crumbly negativity I maintain my composure by choosing mental flexibility and allowing myself to move along the treacherous whitecaps of stress as if I were gliding on a smooth, glassy reflection of a river… a river I like to call neutrality.

I could go on and on…explaining the different stressors in my life from the minuteness of running late to a doctor’s appointment yesterday to the immense stress from coping with the mental illness of a loved one.  But I won’t…

I want to focus on that very moment when life seems to kick us another curve ball called stress.  What do we do?  How do we handle it?  Where do we go?  I used to react physically, mentally and emotionally.  At times I would run from stress by literally walking away.  At other times I would cope with stress through denial.  And at other times I would breakdown emotionally.  Depending on the stressor at the time I reacted with equal intensity like an opera singer…sometimes timidly like the musical notation pp Pianissimo …sometimes my stress level and reaction would crescendo like the musical notation ff Fortissimo.  Not today…

Today, I react very differently.  The stress of yesterday, today and tomorrow gracefully lifts and is carried away as I cope with whatever comes my way.  How did I get here?  It wasn’t easy – that’s for sure.  I just decided that in the midst of the stress storm I would not take part in equal reaction.  I used to almost feed the storm with my negative reactions.  Now when I am presented with any kind of stress I remain calm and neutral.  I’m not relenting believe me!  You see the stress storm can no longer build in intensity and rain its darkness on me leaving me powerless.  I do at times vent.  I do at times cry.  But now I am stronger knowing that I have control over the stressors of my life.  I can’t stop them, but I sure can mentally glide along the smooth, glassy reflection of neutrality and face them…the insurmountable becomes possible.

Growing stronger…

Growing Stronger Through Awareness

What does a mom do when night falls with darkened skies comfortably blanketed by grand, glittery stars and she can’t seem to catch any z’s?  This mom decided to do a little research.  I came across an informative and helpful caregiver guide from the University of Melbourne and Orygen Youth Health titled “A Guide for Caregivers of People with Bipolar Disorder.”  I just had to share.  It is too good not to!

I appreciate the disclosure on page 2 that states that the guide is not a replacement for medical advice.  And the authors recommend that the person with the mood disorder and/or the caregiver discuss treatment with their clinician.  This is excellent advice, and I am passing that on here.

I like the aesthetics of the guide because intertwined with the information is artwork created by persons with mental health problems and caregivers as well. Works of art like “Hues of Mania” by Natasha Simon and “Melancholy” by Edvard Munch capture with wonder and beauty the intensity and depth of which moods can be experienced with varying shades of color.  The viewer is offered the unique and privileged opportunity of a glimpse into the thoughts of another.

I think what drew me in were the brief, specific pieces of information.  The topics covered are vast from the definition of bipolar disorder to dealing with stigma, discrimination and disclosure.  Also, based on the reference list, the information compiled comes from sound, scientific based research.

The section titled “Causes and Triggers of Bipolar Episodes” was particularly interesting to me.  Regardless of education and therapy, I experience guilt as a mom wondering what I did to cause the mood disorder of my loved one.  It is helpful to relearn that the bipolar disorder of my loved one has to do with a  combination of biological factors, personal stressors as well as environmental stressors.  For now, the mommy guilt thermometer registers a low reading. However, I can’t help but wonder if there was something that I did or could have done different because I am mom…

And a side-note: I did manage to catch those z’s, and I slept rather well!

Growing stronger through support, awareness, education, understanding, open minds, open hearts…

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The University of Melbourne & Orygen Youth Health. (n.d.).  A guide for caregivers of people with bipolar disorder. Retrieved from http://bipolarcaregivers.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/guide-for-caregivers.pdf

Scene 1, Take 2…Medication

It seems that with the bipolar disorder of our loved one we deal with one challenge, and then with the snap of the fingers like a movie director clapboard clapping shut another challenge presents itself.  It’s like a movie director saying, “Okay…cut… cut…scene 1…take 2!”  We scurry around and make adjustments.   We get into place by facing the newest challenge and readjust.  The stage appears calm and all clear.  Then just like that the movie director yells, “Okay…cut…for the next scene you are faced with medication adjustment.  Okay folks…listen up…scene 1…take 3!  Take your places please!”

Here I sit spinning and twisting my words as if I was at a spinning wheel.  Somehow as I spin, twist and draw out each word I find that I cope with something that is not easy to talk about.  This time I’m talking about the challenges of medication.

I like using a movie scene analogy because it seems as if things come up with little or no warning.  It’s like the director saying, “Okay…we got what we wanted for that scene so we are moving on people!”  However, unlike actors we are not awarded the luxury of time to prepare for the next scene.  I do try though.  I educate myself.  I research. I peruse articles, I read books about bipolar disorder, and I talk to others going through similar experiences.  And yet…I find that I am not all that prepared for the challenges as they pop up.

I feel so naïve.  By now I should know that there will be times that Kim’s meds will need adjusted.  I wasn’t prepared for the next adjustment though.  As Kim works at finding a balance I got used to the routine.  Due to circumstances I still dispense her meds so weekly she brings it to my attention that it’s time for a refill.  We do this week after week and month after month.  Then a negative side effect decided to rear its ugly head.  This time it was severe tremors.  And with that the medications had to be adjusted.  Thank goodness many side effects can be reversed!  With a deep sigh of relief I have hope that the newest side effect will fully reverse.  I also have trepidation regarding the newest medication.  With the newest medication addition and the deletion of the other many factors come into play such as changes in sleep patterns.  The one medication helped with sleep.  With that one gone sleep now seems out of reach for her.  Now…a new medication is added to help with sleep.  It’s a constant balancing act.

I find a new air of alertness as I realize that I must keep myself attuned to the fact that things could change and probably will.  I have such a hard time with change, but I understand I must be open to it.  I am learning that change is good even in regards to medication!  We must be persistent in finding the right balance and stay attuned to the possibility that things can change.  It’s interesting that it is through medication adjustments that I am learning that change can  actually be good!