As the days get shorter… :((.

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As the days get shorter, unfortunately, my face gets longer. My mood gets choppy…
(A note: Please don’t think I am whining, I am not. At times it feels like the rug being pulled out from under my life, at times, and this is the worst, it feels like my heart is breaking into a million, jagged pieces, and at times it feels like I am living in pitch darkness. None of it is good, and I have lived with this, on and off, for twenty eight years. So please believe me when I tell you, I am not whining or needlessly caterwauling. I am not.)
Getting hard again. Sadness creeping in. Emotions too close to the surface. Crying a lot again. Missing my friends. Missing my precious son. Memories creeping in. Ammi, Farooq, Mamoon, Ammi Khala, Khalid Mamoon, all gone, lost to me. Tears on the brink of falling, hurriedly wiped away. Life is never easy, but it gets much more difficult when bipolar strikes. God, I thought I might escape it this year, with the increased dose of medication. Haha, no such luck. But I go on. I cook, I bake, I even model (!!), I read, I go see plays, I talk to and even laugh with my friends and family. But the heaviness in my heart remains. No one knows. I don’t think anyone suspects. I put on a good show :)). Of course I do. There is nothing else I can do. Uneasy feelings or not, life must go on. I must go on, although thoughts of not going on cross my mind. But I shoo them away, I have a son and nephews and nieces for god’s sake. I would never do anything that would even hurt one little hair on their precious heads. Of course I go on. I summon the strength with which I was lucky enough to have been born. I remember the love my grandmother, and my mother and my aunts and uncles gave me from the day I was born. That is the love that sees me through. I have their faces and their hearts imprinted on my heart. My Amma, my Ammi, my Farooq, my Mamoon, my Ammi Khala, my Khalid Mamoon. All full of love and caring and such steely strength. We are descended from a great Sufi saint named Baba Farid! He preached love, nonviolence, meditation, and living simply, and he practiced it. I am his great, great, great, … grand daughter. I have read his poetry and it’s very sweet and sounds a lot like Buddhism. One of his poems says that he thought he was the only one in pain, but when he climbed on the roof of his house, he saw every house was on fire! Another poem says not to strike someone who hits you, but kiss his feet and go home! Even one step beyond ” turn the other cheek”… He is still worshipped in Pakistan and India, by Moslems, Hindus and Sikhs! What does this have to do with bipolar disorder? Well, in times when I feel weak, I draw my strength from the love my family gave me and the teachings of my ancestors. It’s about having the strength to hang on with the tips of your fingers when the mountain you’ve been scaling, starts to crumble in a landslide. Of course I am going to call my doctor and increase the Seroquel dose or the lithium dose, and then I will be as right as rain again. These medications are a godsend and a blessing for me. Without these, I would be nowhere, so I am very fortunate that we have them and that they work for me. So, as usual, when the days get shorter, my mood goes awry. Seems that I can’t avoid it. But, and this is a big but, I can control the severity of the swing and quickly squash the phase by staying on higher doses of medication all year, and then increasing one or both as soon as I feel bad. That is indeed a great blessing and something for which to be very thankful!

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