About Me

I'm a 30-something woman that owns and operates a travel planning company, Chimera Travel, for a living. I am a restless and wandering spirit at heart, an explorer that loves to learn and try new things. I'm an INFJ Introvert, though most people would assume I'm an extrovert. I am a lover of animals, especially my dog recently deceased dog and best friend, Cinnamon, my current goofy brindle mutt Gracie and, of course, elephants. I cherish my family and friends, and truly don't feel I would have accomplished the things I have without them.

I was born - and just before my thirtieth birthday finally diagnosed - with a rather rare mood cycling condition called cyclothymia. My particular variety is rapid-cycling, meaning that my moods can cycle as much as every few hours, which makes it even more unusual (and downright frustrating at times). I spent the first couple of years after my diagnosis learning about cyclothymia and working on treatment options while trying to feel "normal" and cover up the fact that I had a condition at all. After a whole lot of "I don't understand"s and "this sucks"s, I realized that normal is just a setting on the dryer, decided to one-up about my diagnoses, and became determined to use my condition to positively impact others. I've begun a personal mission to create awareness and education about mood disorders and mental health conditions, to offer support and hopefully even some inspiration to others who go through similar battles. I've focused this blog on that theme, and started a Facebook support group called Mood Disorders Support System. Lilies and Elephants now has it's own Facebook page as well.

In addition to cyclothymia, I also battle Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, severe IBS, migraines (in a variety of forms), and vertigo, and am an avid advocate for chronic and invisible illness.

Mental health and chronic illness awareness and support is a cause that's very dear to my heart, and I truly hope I can make an impact. To me, even if I help support or inspire just one person, I feel my mission has been successful.

Thanks so much for reading and I look forward to sharing with you! 

4 comments:

  1. Howdy!
    My name is Kristin and a week ago I was diagnosed with rapid cycling cyclothymic mood disorder. 26 years of "knowing" I was different than "normal people" and 13 years of feeling something was "wrong"... Like you, I like to be unique! For the first time in my life I feel as if the universe has finally opened up for me. With my diagnosis I feel powerful and more in control of my life than I've ever been, or been able to grasp... So I have just a quick question: Did you keep track of moods when starting medicines?

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    1. HI Kristin, and thank you for your comments and question. First, I'm sorry to hear you're dealing with rapid cycling cylothymia, but it sounds like you have a fantastic attitude about it. When I started my medications, I did keep track of moods over a period of time. Not hour to hour or anything, but as part of my therapy, we monitored my moods to see any changes. It's tricky because for me, my meds made me sick as a dog at first, so it was tough to separate the nausea/exhaustion/disorientation from depression at times. But as I got used to them, I kept track weekly with my therapist to see any overall patterns. I also journal, so unintentionally, I was keeping track each day by writing how I was feeling, what I was going through, etc, and I could look back over that to see patterns and changes. I hope this helps!

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  2. Hi,
    My name is Lex. I am a 30 yr old wife and mother of two. I am ever so grateful that I stumbled onto your blog. I was officially diagnosed with Cyclothymic disorder yesterday and now doing non stop reading to find out more about this rare mood disorder. I too was a very energetic teenager, young woman and to this day still a kinda "wild" woman. I enjoyed my very out going personalty and so did many that has crossed my path but would then all of a sudden fall completely off and crawl back under a rock disappearing from the world. I am thankful for my doctor for diagnosing and putting a health plan in place so that I can at least get back to a stable place. I am also thankful for ppl like you that speak out and share your experience for ppl like me to not feel alone. Thank you for that!

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    1. Hi Lex,
      Thank you for your comment. I'm sorry to hear that you're going through all of this, but I think it's great that you're reading up and learning as much as you can about it. If you have a good doctor that you feel comfortable with, that is such a gift - I know so many who feel their doctor just won't listen or doesn't care to put their health care plan in place, and that can make it so difficult. And I'm glad that you find my blog helpful! Thank you again for reading and for your kind words!

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