Here’s the thing about depression: it is sneaky! It starts with sleeping in a day, then skipping dishes after dinner, and soon you’re sleeping 15 hours a day and crying more than you should when you’re awake.
I do approximately 7 hours of recovery and therapy related events a week, not including the time I spend on doing work for those events outside of the actual events, like homework for group therapy.
That included individual therapy, group therapy, SMART meetings, DBT classes, community groups, and online recovery meetings.
Despite all of that, I’ve been in a funk. I didn’t even really notice, and when my husband pointed it out, I felt defeated. I’m doing all of this work, taking all of these meds, and I still am having issues?!?!
Well, time to buck up again and just push forward. I’m going to make a game plan with my therapist, because my ideas aren’t working anymore. I am not going to let my brain disease win. I refuse. My life is too awesome to give up on. Even though I may not believe it all of the time, I am worth it, too.
This is what depression looks like:
A messy house
A mom almost crying because she wants to be more for her daughter
A feeling of complete and utter worthlessness
Body aches from not sleeping well
An urge to drink just to get some motivation
Almost crying when putting chicken in the slow cooker because it was alive at some point
A to do list sitting, unused
Feeling overwhelmed at the idea of even moving at all, let alone doing something productive
Wanting to skip going to the pool, despite already promising daughter you’d go
Wanting to cry, but not being able to let go enough to actually cry.
Exhaustion. Total and utter exhaustion.
Now this obviously doesn’t cover everything that depression can do, but it is a list of what it is to be depressed in a moment. And this is unique to me, every one is different and has different symptoms and severity of symptoms.
Right now, I’m honestly jealous of my cats. I want to curl up in a ball, also, and sleep all day. Unfortunately, I need to find a way to buck up for my daughter and my life.
I just put my mom into a Hospice program.
I know it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the end, but I can see a decline in her. She’s lost a lot of weight and won’t eat.
I think I am handling things well. I handled the appointment with the Hospice nurse in an educated way, I didn’t break down when I got home, and the extent of my wallowing was allowing myself some junk food and noodles.
I know this is going to suck. Hardcore. I signed up for this, though. Literally, I signed papers that put me in charge of this. I need to be able to make decisions based on logic, and not straight emotion.
So far, so good…
My mom might be going on Hospice soon if this round of antibiotics doesn’t take care of her infection (UTI).
Suddenly, I’m thrust out of my own bubble of trying to survive my brain issues and my little family into my mom saying “My life is in your hands.”
That is alot of weight on my shoulders. It is a weight I’ve had for a long time, but that seemed to make it heavier.
I need to be assertive; I make the decisions, no one else; I can and will do this; I am capable and intelligent; my past does not predict my future….
All of these things running through my head. I’m home and dinner is over and cleaned up, but emotionally, I am drained. I could curl up in a ball and sleep for days. I won’t. Tomorrow is more adulting and moving forward.
I got this. I have to have this. It is my mommy.
No. This isn’t some fun carnival game that you get the chance to win a giant stuffed hermit crab at. (Who really wants a giant stuffed hermit crab? Seriously, where does my head come up with this stuff?)
This is my daily roll of the dice, spin of the wheel, deal of the cards…
How will I feel when I wake up? How will I feel around noon? How about 8 pm?
Round and round it goes, where it stops, nobody knows.
Today has been pretty consistent with a little bit of a crash in mood and motivation around 4, and now some womenly pains in the evening. Mood wise, it was a decent day.
There are 3 main ways that I feel: it hurts to be alive, I’m scared to be awake, or “hey, this isn’t so bad”. I violently bounce between these 3 at any point in the day. Sometimes, it gives me whiplash. My motivation goes from “my eyelids are to heavy to open” to “let’s do it all now and overwhelm myself until I am catatonic on the couch”. The floor would be more dramatic, but I honestly don’t lay on the floor much. My furniture is too comfortable.
It can just be exhausting to deal with the roller coaster.
If you are dealing with something similar, whether it is BPD, bipolar, depressive episodes…whatever it is, then know that you aren’t alone and somebody out there understands, even if you don’t get to win a giant stuffed hermit crab at the end of the day.
P.S. If you do want a big-ish hermit crab, check out Amazon, HERE! He is actually kinda’ cute….
Thought distortions are things that people with mental illness do…. ALOT. Heck, healthy people do it, too, sometimes.
Article on Thought Distortion
A link for some examples!
This morning I had a really bad episode. It hiked my anxiety up so far I almost threw up trying to go get some labs at the hospital done.
My hubby, who ALWAYS calls on both of his breaks, didn’t call on his first break. I freaked out. I went into panic mode. “What if he was in a car accident?” “What if he decided he is sick of me and just left forever?” My thoughts circled around all of the terrible things that might have happened. I called him 46 times. Yup…46 times. Ridiculous, right? At the time, my mind rationalized that if he got in an accident, somebody would pick up eventually. I worked myself up to being physically sick. I skipped my hospital labs and went home before I could grocery shop, which I had planned to do after the hospital labs.
His second break time comes around and he calls. I could physically feel my chest loosen and I could breathe again. He ended up having to work through his first break.
The lesson: thought distortions are real and can really affect behavior. I did my best to thought challenge and distract myself, but this time it didn’t work.
That doesn’t mean I am a failure, I just had a bad morning. After getting my stability back, I did go grocery shopping. I missed a bunch of other housework, though. No biggie, I’ll work on it tomorrow.
The thing about depression is that it covers a person in a darkness so dark that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. It is all encompassing. It feels heavy. When this hits me, I sometimes panic. I can’t see a way out. I claw and I grasp at anything that will give me a little light.
Unfortunately, I’ve taken alcohol as a way out, too much. This last time, I broke my leg.
This is my solemn oath to never drink again. I know I’ve said that before, and I’ve nodded and agreed when other people told me not to drink.
This is it.
Day #3 of the rest of my life, in recovery.
No, I wasn’t being sarcastic.
I was sitting here, sick as all get out, feeling sorry for myself. Being physically ill makes mental illness worse. So, I am having some issues with sadness and anxiety, which makes me look around my apartment (which is messy) and feel worse and it is this long, terrible spiral down. And that was a terrible, run-on sentence. lol
Then, I stopped, and tried to look for something to look forward to. I remembered that I have a movie date with one of my best friends on Friday, plus I get to cook for it!
So, I’m still sick and a lil sad, but I am also excited.
Moral of the story:
Practice positivity and gratitude.
“Mistakes were made and consequences ensued.”
Mantra of my life for the last few years. It seems like it has been nothing but a string of mistakes stuck together. In the overall scheme of things, the mistakes make up a surprisingly small amount of time.
I either have relapsed twice, or I have been sober for most of the past year. I choose the one that makes me sound like less of a defeatist.
I have the physical scars to prove that I walked through hell and the bad days to prove to myself that hell is never far enough away that a few bad decisions couldn’t lead me straight back.
So, I sit here, on a Friday night, knee deep in a book, and contemplating the meaning of my journey.
There were consequences and lessons learned.
I was so excited. I was going to get to hear my favorite author/blogger read her book, do some Q&A’s, and then get her to sign my copy of her book! I couldn’t decide what to wear, I couldn’t decide if I was going to try to ask a question or not….
Well, drove up to Milwaukee with my aunt, we got there about a half hour before the reading was supposed to start, but we still ended up standing. No biggie. I was so excited. Well, it started filling up and I was surrounded by people. It got warm. I could feel the familiar feelings of an anxiety attack starting. I did deep breaths, fidgeted with my Zelf (tiny troll-like doll) that I keep in my purse for that exact reason…. None of it worked. I ended up running into the Starbuck’s bathroom and throwing up, calling my husband panicking, and splashing water on my face. It felt like I was going to die. I made it through the rest of the Q&A session, didn’t ask a question, and then decided to skip the lines for the autograph and go home. Granted, there was an offer to “skip the line if absolutely necessary” for everyone, but my anxiety wouldn’t even let me do that.
It was super awesome even being in the same room as my hero, though, and I am glad that I went. I have spent the rest of the week recovering. I hadn’t had that terrible of an anxiety attack in a long time. It sucked. Lots of naps, baths, snuggles, and giving myself a break. Still not feeling as good as I did last week, which sucks because it is Halloween weekend, and there are things that I desperately want to do and enjoy. Honestly, dressing up like a unicorn for Trick Or Treating even sounds exhausting. Hell, doing the dishes sounds overwhelming.
Oh, well, just keep swimming, just keep swimming…