hopeFriday morning began with an appointment that I have dreaded and anticipated for weeks. You see, I have struggled with depression and other mental disorders since I was an adolescent. After multiple suicide attempts and hospitalizations, I was finally diagnosed as having Bipolar II Disorder. This diagnosis devastated me as I felt lost and without hope 7 years ago. I eventually resigned myself to living with Bipolar II for the rest of my life.

However, the medications have not been working for the past year, but any doctor I saw prescribed new meds without addressing the real issues below the surface. I have been on the same medications for years: Effexor XR for 12 and Lamictal for 7. The doctors added to that cocktail, but nothing worked.

But today, after my appointment, I am hopeful. Today I feel like progress is going to be made. Today I feel like I might start to feel calmer and happier instead of this overwhelming black hole of anxiety and depression. With my husband by my side, I talked to this new doctor, and he asked many questions, looking at my as he asked them instead of staring at his computer like so many other doctors I’ve visited. As I rattled off my medications, he immediately told me what side effects I’d been experiencing for years–like not sleeping and gaining weight. He asked me to describe my manic and depressive episodes at length. My husband shared his thoughts as well, which I’m thankful for because he sees what I don’t see.

Then the conversation took an unexpected turn. According to this doctor, I am not bipolar. I am depressed, but not bipolar. My manic episodes are brief and do not put me in the bipolar category. Instead, they are caused by anxiety and aggravated by my depression.

My world changed right then. No longer did I need to think about manic episodes. This part of me that I have struggled with for the past 7 years is really not what I thought it was. My symptoms are not uncontrollable; I don’t have to live in a constant flux. I just need the right kind of medicine.

So with a new prescription for Klonopin and a plan to cut my Effexor and Lamictal doses, I feel hopeful. I feel like this could be a turning point for me, my health, and my family. Most days my husband and I have had conversations about my mood and bipolar II. Now we might be moving away from those conversations.

This relates to my submissive journey because if I can better control my moods, I can be a better submissive wife and a better mother. I can start to submit even more, quieting my mind and my soul to follow my husband’s authority and God’s words. And so, I am hopeful today.

1 Corinthians 15:58 – Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.