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Mood Swings, Strength and Weakness!
Strength or weakness is a function of how we feel. Our feelings can determine how motivated or demotivated we are. If we do not bring our ‘feelings’ under the control, we can ruin our lives with hasty decisions made from unchecked feelings.
As I write this, its 3:10 am on a Monday morning. The previous week had been coloured with a feeling of weakness, fatigue, pain in my joints, headaches and I felt unmotivated to carry out simple home chores. By Friday of the same week, I made up my mind to go to the hospital for a medical review. I did a few tests, and was given medication for malaria fever. Interestingly, over, the years, I have found out that in dealing with malaria fever, I get to deal with depression. I have observed this in several scenarios so when the feeling of despondency set in with a weakness I could not understand; I kept saying a simple prayer:
“Lord, I receive your strength with thanksgiving. Your strength is made perfect in my weakness because, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.
I started the Malaria medication on Friday Morning when I returned from the hospital. I put off my phones and work tools. I slept. I rested. When I picked my children from School, I explained to them that mum needed to rest, and somehow, they permitted me to rest some more by not making me to raise my voice unnecessarily.
By Saturday Morning, when my son woke me up at about 7: 45 am to say, mummy, I’m hungry! I motioned to him to go to daddy. In my sleepy state, I could hear my Precious Ruby saying to him, ‘mummy needs to rest, come let’s go to the kitchen and make you something to eat’.
By Sunday Morning, I still felt tired; I noticed that the ripening boil behind my right ear felt bigger when I touched it. I spent Sunday at home. I got an inspiration for mother’s day and shared it with one of my ‘motherhood’ photos.
By evening, my Precious Ruby encouraged me to accompany him to an evening love fest organized by his service unit in Church. I was glad I attended. Apart from the food, I enjoyed the question and answer time, the jokes and the walk outside. By the time I got home, I felt so good. Yes, ‘Feelings’ again.
So, what caused the difference in how I felt down and how I felt so good now?
I felt so good that I began to sing with gratitude in my heart. I was able take the clothes out of the washing machine, I washed one of the bathing rooms, Bathed my children and dressed them up, I guess I felt happy also because, there was no need to prepare dinner because we had so much to eat at the love fest! LOL!!! But really, I felt good. This feeling of goodness came with strength to do the little things that mattered that I mentioned above. As little as they sound to you, being able to do them is a sign of victory over a possible depressive phase. Writing about it now makes this victory even better. I am grateful to God, because He heard my prayer and made a way for me stay emotionally stable over the weekend regardless of my ‘feelings’.
The essence of this post is to make you recognize that,
1. Even though the mood swing that accompany a bipolar disorder diagnosis can show up without prior notice, understanding yourself and knowing your triggers can help you identify the subtle appearance of a mood swing.
2. Try to express how you feel to your support team.
3. If you are seeing a Psychiatrists or a clinical psychologists please discuss your mood swings with them so that they can help you adjust your medication. Don’t adjust your prescribed medication without their approval. Wrong Step!
4. Rest. Rest. Rest.
5. Don’t be so hard on yourselfabout the things you are unable to achieve/do because of the demotivation of a low mood swing.
6. Ask for Help.
Ask God for help by praying. Ask your loved ones (your support team) for help by being sincere about how you feel and by making an effort to get better regardless of how you feel.
7. Celebrate your victories.
In this Mental Health Month, it is important to note that to many people, waking up, taking a bath, doing house chores, and interacting are common, easy to do things. For a person who is in a low mood swing, these are huge tasks. If you see them doing it, please celebrate them. Don’t judge them as been lazy or as practicing helplessness.
Dear Mental Health Warrior/Survivor, please celebrate your victories, you have come a long way, I celebrate your dear!
Thanks for being a part of my space, I appreciate you.
My name is Precious, I was Bipolar, and I live a Full Life.