Epilogue to the Epilogue Episode 46
Hi friends, and welcome to pointing toward hope. I am your host, Wendy Bertagnolli. This podcast is filled with positivity for anyone seeking to find more hope and joy in daily life. The goal is to reach as many people as we can to help them to overcome and find joy even in the midst of extremely hard adversity. Thanks for listening. Be sure to follow and leave a review so that we can help as many people as possible. If you or someone you know has a trial that you have been able to get through or are working through with the help of our Savior, please contact me so we can get you on the podcast. This is episode 46.
In the last episode I talked to you about doing a follow up to the end of the book, Keep up the Pace. Since it was written back in 2002 a lot has changed in my life as you can imagine.
Since that time I went through a divorce, struggled to stay in the church, I moved to Tennesse, got married again to an amazingly good man. I became a photographer and had a blossoming business. And everything seemed to be going so well. Even though after my divorce I wasn’t sure I would ever feel good again.
As I said, at this point I had left the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and I was unsure if I would ever return. Things just seemed to be better the way they were.
And then events started to happen that would change the direction of my life and my husband’s life, pretty drastically. We had moved into a new home and then soon after that, my huband’s business began to struggle financially and that was really difficult. So many experiences happened during the next year that were just so hard for both of us, but especially for him.
I remember him coming home from work one day, and saying “I’m just so tired of being punched. I feel like just when I get back up, I get punched again and I’m just so tired. It was so hard to see him going through such hard things.
At that same time my photography business seemed to be flourishing. I was photographing out of my home, babies, family and boudoir sessions. And was set to make more than I ever had that year. We’d been in the new house for about a year. I was getting pretty busy to the point that I was getting fairly stressed but I was hanging in there and really didn’t pay much attention to that at the time. I was doing all the other things. Working out, eating right, sleeping well, drinking lots of water, etc.
But it was at that point that I made the most stupid decision I have ever made in my life. Because I was feeling so healthy, I made the choice to go off of my medication that I had been on for about 10 years for depression. Not only that, I went off of it cold turkey. And to add oil to the fire, I had started to use a patch on my arm that promised amazing energy, weight loss, clear mindedness etc. Little did I know (I should have been better about doing my research), it was loaded with caffeine, which is one of the worst things with someone with bipolar (which I didn’t even know I did have bipolar at the time). And on top of that I was drinking two cups of coffee every morning. Not so smart, and not a good combination. I had lost sight of my priorities and was looking outside of myself to find them.
Well you can imagine, my body basically went into an upward spiral of mania where I was just so euphoric and felt like I could do anything. That week or two after I quit my medication and started the patch, I was like the energizer bunny. I wasn’t eating, or sleeping. And I was taking on more and more and more. And then it happened. My body just crashed!
Remember, at the end of the epilogue from last week where I talked about our bodies being like computers on overload? Well, that is what happened to me again. I don’t remember much about these experiences because it really is like my body just had to be turned off and rebooted. It’s really scary. When I was coherent enough to understand what had happened, I found out that I had been diagnosed as having bipolar II. And I was not happy about that at all. You can read more about that on my blog. I’ll link that in the show notes.
And that my friends, is what started the ball rolling for both my husband and I to find our way back to God and right the ship again. A few years after we went through all of that, I started my blog to document all of the experiences that we had. And what it was like to learn how to live with bipolar and reset my priorities according to my new state of being. Soon after that I started this podcast and have been going through the ups and downs of living with bipolar for the past several years. It will be six years this week, since I crashed 2 months in a row.
That was the lowest time in my life…. Rock bottom. But sometimes that is what it takes for us to be able to realize that we have to be so constantly vigilant about our health and well being, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Because that is the way God created us to be.
God is such a big part of my life now. I was so surprised as I read through the book that I really only mentioned Him in the first chapter. How very strange that is, as I look back. I mean most of what I write about now, is how I have gotten through all of this with the help of our Savior!
Clearly, it was all part of God’s plan for me to return to the fold. And for my husband to be baptised. The Lord doesn’t make our choices for us (like my stupid one to go off of medication). And they will always have consequences. But God has a way of turning something so hard and devastating into something really beautiful! And for that I will be forever grateful. I have re-dedicated my life to Him. And to constantly re-evaluating my priorities so that I can stay healthy and always Keep up the PACE.
It’s not always easy to have a positive attitude. In fact sometimes it’s just downright the last thing I can muster. But I have learned that if I can work to look at the good that comes from, or can come from, a negative situation I will have so much more joy in my life.
If I can look forward with hope in Christ, He will always be there to rescue me. And I know He will do the same for you. All you have to do is reach out and open that door! He’s waiting on the other side to enfold you in His arms and help you through anything!
Again thanks for tuning in. When I come back in a few weeks, I will return to the posts and interviews that I typically do.
Until next time, choose Joy! Talk to you again soon.