Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The night before (179.6)

I sometimes listen to online sermons by John Ortberg from Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in California (the church has a podcast on iTunes or you can download sermons from the church's website).  Rev. Ortberg wrote one of the best books on faith that I've ever read--Faith and Doubt--which I received a couple years ago from Debby, who graciously mailed it to me when I was going through a tough time.

Yesterday I listened to a sermon from last year, 6/14/2010.  It's on daily prayer and living each moment with Christ. 

Rev. Ortberg points out something I hadn't thought of before, although it's not new news to those of the Jewish faith.  God's days start in the evenings.  Genesis 1:5 says "and there was evening and there was morning--the first day." *

With that idea in mind, I started TODAY last night at 9:00 p.m.  I knew I wanted to get up and run this morning with my friend Dedra at 5:15 a.m.  There was no way that was going to happen if I followed my usual behavior of staying up until 11 pm or later. 

So as the kids were getting ready for bed, I took my sleep meds at 9 pm and got on my PJs.  (I usually take my sleep meds at 10 or 10:30.)  I got the kiddos settled and the dog's needs taken care of.  I left the kitchen a bit messy and laundry unfinished, and I got in my bed at 9:30.  I set my alarms on my phone and iPod Touch, read a few pages in my book, and before 10 pm I was asleep.

My phone alarm went off at 4:55 am. I got right up; no need for the two back up alarms on my iPod.  I got my workout clothes out, found my running shoes, got dressed, grabbed a banana and water bottle and a Red Bull (I know, I know, it's crack and I can't give it up), and I was out the door to drive to Dedra's house at 5:10. 

I was wide awake and not tired at all. The morning was beautiful--cool air, not humid, the sky already well lit from the rising sun.

Dedra and I walked and jogged for 48 minutes, 3.2 miles.  She's a talker, which I'm not since I've always been a solitary runner, but we struck a nice balance.   We are about the same height and weight, so it wasn't difficult to keep up with each other's pace.  She's been doing more walking and jogging than I have lately, so I determined when we stopped to walk.  I did fairly well--.25 miles jogging at a time, at 11 - 12 min/mile (while jogging; our average was obviously slower than that). 

We plan on getting together again on Friday morning.  I'm under no delusion I'm suddenly "a morning person."  But at least I learned a good lesson.  If I start my day the night before, I can do a reasonable job of pretending to be one.

I talked a lot with Mark last night.  I finally just gave him my post about last week's therapy session so he could read it.  When he got home from work, I asked if he'd had a chance to read it yet.  He came over and gave me a big hug, which made me cry.

I talked with him about how I need to get on new medication, but I'm concerned I won't be diagnosed properly because so few psychiatrists know about or recognize "bipolar spectrum disorder."  If that's even what I have.  I don't know.  I just know I'm not "simply depressed" and I don't just have OCD.   I don't care WHAT it is or what I have.  I just want to be treated with medication properly.

I found a website by a physician that talks about a lot of what my issues are; I have not had a manic episode, but I have several "soft bipolarity" symptoms from his list, including: *When I started Wellbutrin in 2008, I felt high for about 3 or 4 weeks.  I remember thinking it was the best I'd ever felt, EVER.  It didn't last, but I realize now that it was not a normal response. *I had severe post partum after having Sophie.  *SSRI's lose their effectiveness for me after a couple of years.  I've been on four different SSRI's; none of them worked 100% successfully.  *Major depression episodes have been brief, but I've had quite a few of them and they started early in my 20s.  *When I am depressed, my symptoms are "aytpical"--low energy, need lots of sleep, highly reactive to others' responses, appetite is increased (carbohydrate craving & night eating included).  *My dad was never diagnosed with bipolar disorder (he was depressed, and started Prozac soon after it became available), but he certainly had episodes that could have been considered hypo-manic, so there could be an inherited element there. 

I know enough from being on and off SSRI's since I was 26 years old and about how I feel currently, to know that I am not plain old vanilla depressed.  From what I've read on the website, SSRI's (especially long-term use) can sometimes make bipolar & OCD worse.

I know the OCD is real; heck, I'm obsessing about whether or not someone will diagnose me correctly, and fixating on trying to diagnose myself because I don't trust that "they" will get it right.  Today I'm trying to take a step back, say some prayers, and live like a person of faith should live--with faith, instead of fear and doubt. 

*During the sermon, Ortberg instructs us on how to live life with Christ at many milestones during our day, like getting ready in the morning and eating breakfast and driving in the car and being at work.  He starts with bedtime, and said that when your head hits the pillow, pray:
"Thank you that I'm alive today. I didn't have to be.  Help me to let my burdens go.  Help me to let go of my worries, unanswered questions, pressures, concerns.  Remind me that the outcomes of my life are not meant for me to carry around on my shoulders.  Help me to let go. Help me to receive the benefit of wisdom that Proverbs 3:24 promises: 'When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.'  For you are at my side, and you are with me."


Vickie said...

I have never heard anyone refer to bedtime as the start to the next day - but truly IT IS. That bedtime ritual has a lot to do with how the next day goes.

debby said...

Yep, I've said that for years. When did John Ortberg steal that from me LOL.

Thanks for the reminder to listen to him. I'm going to check that sermon out.

I want to say one thing about diagnosing yourself. When I was in nursing school, and especially the psych section, our teacher explained that we would read lists of symptoms and think for sure that we had that disease.

We all are somewhere on the spectrum from normal to abnormal. You just want to be the best you that you can be. I think it is absolutely amazing that you had the childhood that you had and you function as well as you do now. And of course, being a BIG fan of sleep AND prayer, I think you have taken a big step towards having a better life right now.