Friday, May 9, 2008

The Path to Wellness, Part One: Beginning

The path to wellness wasn't something that was immediately obvious to me when I stopped taking my bipolar medications nearly three years ago.

I was a mess when I stopped the meds. I was sixty pounds overweight and in constant pain from plantar fasciitis, a painful form of tendonitis that affects the tendon running across the bottom of the foot, and is caused by putting on a large amount of weight.

My once-brilliant mind, (once upon a time I earned a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering, published in scientific journals, and worked as a post-doctoral fellow at a national laboratory) had gone dim and dark. My writing voice was silenced, my creativity drugged away...and I was not even left with the emotional capacity to mourn its loss.

My ability to multitask, or even stay focused on a single task, was gone (which explains the wet laundry that sat in the washer until my husband wondered what that smell was; I'd forgotten I was doing laundry).

I was on high doses of a mood stabilizer and an antidepressant, and I was cycling in and out of mood episodes faster than ever. I saw no light in my future--I had resigned myself to being bipolar, overweight, brain-dead, and in constant pain for the rest of my life.

Something had to change.

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