Abilifying January 4, 2017

pexels-photo-132927It got worse, but now it is starting to get better again (i hope). I’ve been having constant headaches 24/7, with only temporary relief from an essential oil blend (which I ran out of mid-month). Then there was my ever swelling body, four inches bigger in circumference from the last time I measured. Now, I think it was one of my meds. I didn’t realize it until  I was 20 pounds heavier, though. No matter what I did, exercise, manage portions — the weight just wouldn’t stop. Originally, my weight had finally rested at 150 and here I am today at just over 170. Which is unhealthily heavy for someone of my stature. All of my clothing is uncomfortably tight. I was incredibly frustrated.  Yesterday, I was scanning a bipolar forum where someone was asking about the side effects of Abilify. Almost everyone had gained 10-20lbs on it rapidly, some more. I know that I read the side effects before I started on the medication, but this one slipped my mind. I went back to read all the side effects and there it was: may cause headaches, weight gain….etc, etc.  And so I’m praying now, I’m praying that Abilify is the culprit and not something else. With my doctor’s permission, I am weaning myself off of it. I’m still exercising physically and in portion control. Ben got me a membership at a local gym with personal trainer. I’m apprehensive to do it. I set foot in a gym for the first time since I was a teenager. Revisiting my days of starvation emotionally. I cannot allow myself to slip into that again.  When I weigh this much, it is hard to restrain my old habits. The added anxiety of doing something newish, in front of other people, knowing I won’t be good at it (Thanks, HG muscle atrophy) — well, it is a lot and I’m trying very hard not to be worried about it. When you have an anxiety disorder the answer is not as easy as simply distracting yourself with bible verses or telling yourself no. An anxiety disorder is an entity all its own. You cannot control it, all you can do is fight how much control is has over you. Last night was the first night I didn’t take Abilify. I woke up this morning to traumatic nightmares from my past, panicked and close to tears. I am really hoping that was just a fluke. On the other hand, my headache is lessening.

I’m still looking for work, rather unsuccessfully: which is new and weird for me. I’ve only ever been not hired twice in my life. I’m not getting any call backs though, despite a gleaming resume and rave reviews from previous employers. All I can think is my limited availability is killing me. I am only really available 3 days a week, the rest of the time, I’m still a wife and mommy. I have debt from slipping into retail therapy. It is a real thing. I don’t even remember half the things I bought, but I have the credit card debt to prove that I was there. It makes me feel incredibly guilty. My husband works hard and now I have brought financial hardship on us. He is gracious and merciful, not angry with me. But we need to pay this off. He is applying to RN school this year and in order for it to work out, I need to repay what I owe.

The kids are back in school after their holiday breaks. I have renewed appreciation for the days all my children are at school. My house is quiet, I feel more relaxed. They are installing trim right now and I love how beautiful it looks. It is amazing what a difference the little things can make. My house looks more like a home and less like a trailer. It is very exciting.

I’m reading again, which has been good for my soul. Reading my Bible, reading fiction (East of Eden), and other non-fiction. I highly recommend Troubled Minds if you are trying to understand what it is like to live with mental health better and also what you can do to help those people. The beginning is really heartbreaking, but then the author brings us hope and answers. She offers the first steps to solving the problem. It was helpful.


Honestly, I can’t believe I’ve written this many words. My brain feels quieter and I feel accomplished for overcoming the medication induced writer’s block. I win! It may not be very well written or particularly interesting, but darn it, I wrote. And now I need to get back to life. Grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning. Finding work. You can pray for me. I’d like that. It helps to know I’m not alone.

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