Bipolar Disorder, Everyday Life, recovery, therapy

The calm after the storm

As I sit before this blank document my mind swirls with thoughts.  So much has happened since I last posted a blog and I don’t exactly know where to begin.  Babbling has been on the back burned as my mental health took a turn for the worse and it was an “all hands on deck” experience in attempts to pull me out of the deep, dark depth of bi-polar depression.

It was the worst I ever remember it being.  Life was simply hard and grueling.  Nothing came easy, everything was a struggle.  There was no joy, no happiness, no lightness, no excitement.  It was all dark and negative.  I no longer enjoyed or even saw the point in doing crafts.  And this is a huge change as most of my paycheck usually winds up being spent at Michaels or Hobby Lobby.  Even the snuggles that my boy cat was giving me left me feeling numb and emotionless.  There were no smiles, no laughter.  I barely conversated.  I was stuck in my head.  It was torturous.  Everything I did, as soon as I completed the task, my brain told me I did it was wrong and I should have done it a different way.  I was thinking about thinking.  Nothing in particular, just thinking thoughts.  There was always something going on in my head.  The despair was agonizing.  Performing everyday tasks took tremendous effort.  I didn’t want to shower or wear anything more than sweatpants and a t-shirt.  I saw no point in doing anything.  Trying to work was a like climbing a mountain in flip flops on a 100* day with no water.

Relief came about a week or so ago.  I am not sure if it was a change in medication or positive side effects from the ECT (Electroconvulsive therapy) that I have been undergoing for the last several months.  The combination of the two helped the sun break through the clouds and I begin to feel alive again.  It has been such a joyous experience that I look back and smile knowing that the depression is behind me and I have the whole world in front of me.

I heard a saying, “You have today what you wanted yesterday”.  I feel that this is such an accurate statement.  My days now are what I yearned for in the days previous.  I started crafting again, doing a Van Gogh paint by numbers.  It is time consuming and forces me to pay attention to what I am doing.  I get lost in it.  I exercise nearly every day (20 minutes on a stationary bike).  And I am showering and dressing in cute outfits with matching accessories even if I have no place to go.  Grocery shopping trips take place and lead to the creation of some pretty yummy meals.  I am picking things up around the house, items that I would walk over or simply ignore previously.  I have a more positive mindset and although I am still thinking a lot, they are more positive thoughts and are more productive.  The snuggles that I get from my cat are well received and he seems to have picked up on the vibe because the amount of snuggles are robust at this point.

I feared that I would not be well for Christmas.  I was so worried that I would be numb and sad and that the holiday would come and go without me really doing much with it.  My Christmas wish was granted early and I now know that I will have a wonderful Christmas full of smiles and laughter and truly enjoying the moment, namely because I know what it’s like to not be able to find satisfaction in the time being spent.

I now have a fear.  The fear is that the depression will return.  It was so horrible, I cringe just thinking about it coming back.  I need to figure out a way to prevent it from returning and that is something that I am working on in therapy.  It forces me to enjoy each moment that I have because these moments are fleeting and I don’t know when the good times will pass and what will come next.

I’ve done an enormous amount of waiting in the last few months.  And with that I have learned that patience is incredibly important.  I’ve also learned that there IS a light at the end of the tunnel.  I never gave up on myself, I never lost all hope.  There was still something inside of me telling me that this would get better and I would get relief.  Although at times it seemed faint, and it was so quiet I could hardly hear it, it was still there.

Life is better.  It is much easier to live than it was before.  I have things that I look forward to each day.  I treasure the time with my family.  It’s been a long while since I submitted a post, but I am hoping that is no longer the case and that I will be in a place where I can get back to the regular posting and babbling.

May your day provide you with happiness and joy.  And your days filled with merriment and life.

4 thoughts on “The calm after the storm”

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