Choosing Wisely When You Have a Mental Illness


Two weeks ago my neurologist started me on a muscle relaxer for my migraines, and I haven’t been writing here about how it has been affecting me because I write in the mornings, and I’ve been too tired in the mornings to write.  So, that is how it has been affecting me.  I take it at night before bed, and I still feel exhausted come morning.

I am going to experiment with taking it earlier in the evening, like around 8pm rather than 10pm like I’ve been.  Also, since I have gone from taking 10mg of Adderall in the am and 10mg at noon to still 10mg in the am, but only 5mg at noon, I am going to add the 5mg I am not using at noon anymore to my morning routine to help fight off the fatigue from the muscle relaxers.  So, I will now be taking 15mg of Adderall in am and the regular 5mg at noon.

For the last two weeks, all I’ve felt like doing during the day is lying around in bed and sleeping.  It is not as bad on the weekends because my family is here.  I don’t feel depressed, just tired.

I feel tired from the medicine, tired from kid-stress, and tired from kid-activities, and tired from online shopping for myself and for Christmas presents.  I’ve been on my phone shopping so much that I am waking up at night with numb hands from carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms!

I started freaking out about the money I have been spending lately, and applied for a job at a retail store against my husband’s advice.  The manager called, and after talking to her, I decided I wouldn’t take the job because she needed someone to work more hours than I knew I could handle.

I stopped spending money on myself, even though it is very hard now that I have started.  I don’t even go on the app on my phone that I love to browse.

I am also saving money by switching to a new grocery store chain (Walmart.)  The reason I am switching is because I just found out they have a grocery pick up service.  This is an amazing, amazing service!

I order my groceries online, drive to the store, an app on my phone lets them know I am there, and they bring my groceries out to my car and load them in the trunk…for FREE!  (The service is free not the groceries ;))

My husband is really loving it because he does most of the shopping because I can’t handle it due to my anxiety.  Definitely check and see if they have it available in your area.

I take pictures for a hobby and I am good at it.  I could be a professional photographer.  People have told me so – even strangers have wanted me to take their pictures.  I’ve taken friends’ and family’s portraits rather than them going to a studio.  But, my social anxiety and fear of failing and the stress of dealing with potential customer problems keeps me from doing it professionally.

My husband said maybe when the kids are grown and I don’t have the stress of them and their activities going on that I will be able to handle the stresses of a job or of running my own photography business.  It’s not that I am unskilled or do not have talent.  It’s just that I am only capable of tolerating so much stress before a bipolar mood state is triggered.

I have to accept the reality of that fact no matter how much I dislike it.  I have to respect the limits my disorder places on my choices no matter how much I want to fight them.  It’s a matter of life or death.

I can choose to die by pushing myself too far past my stress threshold or I can choose to live healthily within the boundaries of my current capabilities.

At one point in my life, I ignored my limits and almost died because of it – overdose, hospital emergency room, inpatient stay, the whole bit.

Today, I choose the latter.  Today, I choose to live.

What do you choose?




One thought on “Choosing Wisely When You Have a Mental Illness

  1. Good job on knowing your limits. Sorry you can’t pursue a passion like photography, but hopefully that will change before too long. I choose today, sobriety, and recovery. If I was completely healed, I could say I choose myself, but I’m not yet. I’m getting there very slowly though.

    Liked by 1 person

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