I tried my hardest to get this post out before 2018 was over, but I failed miserably. However, I am just in time for the New Year so I will make this my first official post of 2019!
I cannot believe how fast 2018 flew by. It had to have been the fastest year I’ve ever lived through! It was a pretty good year for our family, I must say. On our long, winding road of recovery, I believe in 2018 we finally turned a corner. In 2017 my husband Scott had some major medication challenges, but towards the end of that year, his medical team finally found something that has turned things around for him and brought him into balance, for which we are grateful.
Most of 2018 was spent just enjoying being as normal as we can be. Sometimes medications can take the better part of a year to fully settle into the system, and this year, Scott was able to have the time and space for it to do its work. The good news is that his main medication is now a shot that he receives 4 times a year. It has been liberating for him to have to take one less pill, and the medication works very well for him. We are SO grateful!
Our year was full of wonderful moments as a family. Some of the highlights include:
Jasmyne had her public singing debut as a finalist in a local talent competition. She did great! She had some other opportunities throughout the year to hone her singing gifts, including an audition for America’s Got Talent held right in our home town! She started high school and, as a freshman, landed a role as an understudy in the school’s production of Godspell. She had a chance to shine as the understudies got their own show! There was also her African Dancing in two festivals, and she became a published author of a play she helped to write and acted in. And if all that wasn’t enough, she joined a Christian youth choir and is looking forward to her first musical missions tour in the Spring. As always, we have a great time supporting Jasmyne in all her activities. She is busy honing her skills as a “triple threat”, acting, singing and dancing. It yet remains to be seen how God will grow all these gifts in her life and guide her in using them!!
Scott’s main job this year was continuing to get well, and learn how to be well. I knew when he returned to us that it would take some time for him to heal and recover from all of his ordeals. He was gone from us for about 4.5 years. We figured it would take at least that long for him to get his stride back. He’s now been home for a little over 2.5 years, and I’d say he’s right on track. He has had a wonderful opportunity this year to get back to one of his loves, playing the drums! Each month, we participate in a Gathering of the Nations, where believers in Jesus from literally all over the world gather in our town to worship together. We even had a beautiful opportunity as a family to take part. This is huge, y’all!! Just a few years ago, I didn’t even know where my husband was!!! Look at God. My heart is overwhelmed. He got to play some on an electric set this year, and then for the first time in years, had a chance to jam out on an acoustic set, and loved every minute.
As for me, I finally got my health back on track. After discovering a quadruple whammy of low iron, low thyroid, low Vitamin D, AND low Vitamin B12, I got on a regimen to bring my numbers up, and I’m happy to say that I am feeling much, much better. I have energy now, and my moods have leveled out. Menopause will not get the best of me!! I even got a cute, short hair cut which I’m loving. It’s amazing what a new look can do for the psyche!
This was a good year for me of deep healing in my heart. I read a great book by Lysa Terkeurst called It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered. I was intrigued by the author’s testimony of her marriage and her life recently being restored after going through several major crises, and the lessons she learned along the way. I can relate to the theme of “this isn’t the way I thought my life would be at this time!” The disappointments can be crushing at times. However, the lessons God wants to teach us through them can be invaluable, if we allow Him to teach us. Perhaps I will do a more thorough review and analysis at a later date, but suffice it to say that she spoke my language and God used it to confirm and affirm many of my own feelings and the lessons my own marriage has taught me.
And now comes to truly difficult part…
Most people think that the main story of our marriage has to do with the mental illness aspect of it. And while yes, it is a huge part of our lives and has been a tremendous challenge, what a lot of people don’t realize is that there is far more to our story than “just” bipolar disorder. Now that we are in a position of stability and have found a rhythm, the real work can begin. We’re coming out of a 12 year valley of challenges that began in late 2005, when my husband began to have flashbacks to severe childhood trauma. That one trigger, which started when our daughter was two years old, (presumably the age of his first conscious traumatic memories) set off a series of unfortunate events that started us down the path that led to about a dozen years of instability, separation, and chaos. There are many studies that suggest a possible link between childhood trauma and adult issues such as mental illness and addiction, and I’m certain that for my husband Scott, his mental health has been profoundly affected by some things he experienced as a child. I alluded to this briefly in one of my favorite blog posts a few years ago. Unfortunately, it is a very difficult subject to address as it involves other family members, from whom we are currently somewhat estranged from. So while these issues still have not been fully addressed, I do believe the time has finally come where we can focus on deeper healing that medication can’t even touch. My prayer is that, now that we’ve settled down somewhat, the hard work of addressing those issues can commence, and the real recovery can finally happen for all parties involved, including my husband.
But, it’s not up to my timetable, it has to be the Lord’s timing. He has proven Himself to be so incredibly faithful to me and to my family these past several years, my faith is bolstered that He will continue to work ALL things together for good for our family, Romans 8:28.
Until then, we are just enjoying normal life, rejoicing in the mundane, waiting on the Lord. I truly hope and pray that I can get more involved in writing at some point, and sharing more of our incredible story…or I should say God’s incredible story in our lives…but for now, I’m too busy living the story to tell about it! All in good time.
Happy New Year!!!
The adventure continues…