Two weeks ago, I began a medication change which has had a far greater impact than we anticipated. After beginning to taper off Depakote on a Friday night, I have been experiencing intermittent migraines and nausea. Though brief, the random bursts of pain have prevented me from normal work and activities. This is in addition to the mood swings and fatigue associated with such a transition.

We are doing everything in our power to make this transition easier, from consulting with doctors and friends to holistic stabilizers and detoxifiers. I started out going down in 250 mg increments but am now doing 125 mg increments, which has reduced my symptoms. Vitamin C supplements morning and evening boost immune support. Epsom salt baths before bed help detoxify the body and prepare it for sleep with natural magnesium. Phosphatidyl Choline can help manage outbreaks of bipolar symptoms, including those exacerbated by withdrawal; the BlueBonnet brand has been recommended to us and I take two capsules before bed.

Because I cannot predict when the episodes will occur, I cannot work, drive or plan ahead. David has to be on constant standby to care for me or take over tasks in the normal running of our household. The first week I felt terrible physically, but even worse was the state of my heart. I was discouraged, angry and despairing. I cried multiple times a day. I drowned my sorrows in Facebook, literature and Amazon Prime TV. All of this drained my spirit, distractions that couldn’t really ease my pain.

One week in, a shift occurred. My father-in-law, Perry, whose lives with intense sciatica, had encouraged me to turn to songs and praise in the midst of the suffering and helplessness. Why so downcast, O my soul? My pity party was not helping a thing. I asked for a new heart. I began reaching out for songs in the midst of painful episodes and memorizing Scripture. I imposed a social media fast.I started a regimen of daily yoga and walking in the neighborhood to help the detoxifying process. I reached out to my community and my community has reached out to me. (Shout out to our families, who have texted encouragement and provided meals.)

The change in my soul has been changing every part of me. I still have bad moments, but they are fewer and farther between. The tears don’t fall quite so often and my migraines and nausea are, on the whole, less prevalent. I am home always, but instead of feeling stuck, I feel at peace. A peace that passes understanding. I am filled with hope and am even thankful for this extended period to rest, connect with loved ones, heal my body and center on the Lord.

I will probably miss church on Easter Sunday. The noise, crowd and stimulation will most likely be too much for me. My body may feel the sting of death, but my spirit knows new life. I can joyfully proclaim that He is risen. He is risen indeed.