Surprisingly well considering the time of year. Like many other people, the shortened days of winter, especially December and January, have been challenging times for me. The lack of sunshine, the dark, gloomy, overcast skies eat away at my energy levels and mood. I actually enjoy the very cold winter days of -20 C and colder because they usually come with crisp, bright sunshine. The sunshine feels even brighter when it reflects off of the snow.
This year has been different, so far at least. I wonder if it's because of the new medication I am taking now that I'm being treated for a different disorder. If that is the case, if my psychiatric diagnosis is now the right one, it only took 21 1/2 years to get here. I know psychiatry involves a lot of assessment and reassessment, and best guess approaches to treatment options, but 21 years? Even my current psychiatrist asked, "How did we miss this for so long?"
I could get angry, resentful, blaming the mental health system for failing to provide the help I needed for so long, but what's the point in that? It won't bring the years back. It's an expenditure of energy and emotion that accomplishes nothing. More importantly, there was a lot of good stuff that happened in the past 21 1/2 years. I had the privilege of working in a job that allowed me to give hope and new understanding to people across our province and country. I met many interesting and wonderful people whose paths I might not have crossed had things been different. I may not have met and married Heidi, and quite possibly not be sitting here, writing this blog, had I received the 'right' treatment so long ago. I may not have walked into the great church community that I'm now a part of; or made the many wonderful friends I have. I would certainly be a different person because the experiences, challenges, disappointments, and rewards of the past 21+ years have shaped me into who I am today.
I'm not angry; I'm thankful!
Thankful for the outcome of the journey thus far. Thankful for the many people that I've met; the many places I've been; the knowledge I've gained; the growth and maturity I've experienced (at least I like to think I've matured a bit); and the blessings of God's guidance and protection that has brought me here. I'm thankful for my family; my faith; my life.
I might still go through some dark days in the next couple of months and coming years, but that's ok. I know things will get better, light will return - in fact, the days will start getting longer again in only 2 weeks. I know that God will get me through; that Heidi, my family, my doc, and friends will be there; and the medical help I need is within easy reach.
Even if I still don't have the correct diagnosis and long term treatment approach, I'll be OK.
I have lots to be thankful for.
Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,
always giving thanks to God the Father for everything,
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5: 19-20