“You are worth more than your darkness.”
I am using the above quote to remind myself that I have more to offer life than my level of depression. So often when we get depressed we feel paralyzed by it and stop moving which in turn leaves us feeling helpless and hopeless. I need to push past these feelings as best as I can to try to shake off the depressive funk I am in or to see if I am having a paradoxical reaction to the Prozac which the psychiatrist gave me to life my mood and help with OCD symptoms. Before I started the Prozac I was obsessively ruminating on certain thoughts and issues continuously and never relaxing. Since starting the Prozac I have been able to let some to most of the obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors go. This in turn has allowed me to relax enough to, according to my therapist to feel the level of depression that I have had all along but was masked by the severity of the OCD symptoms. Feeling as depressed as I have this week has been scary for me to admit to anyone especially when you were just given a med to help relieve it. I have three more days on this new dose for it to improve or the doctor said she will discontinue it if it is worse or not better.
It is so hard when we fall into the abyss of depression to remember that you have more to offer than the darkness around you because that is all you feel. I have to work hard to remember the qualities and talents and skills that I have to offer when I get down this low. It is hard for me to even recognize them at times when struggling. But the truth is I am a good clinician, caring and compassionate, loving, kind and loyal. I usually work hard to get my work done and make sure it’s done right the first time. I’m smart with a sense of humor that most of close friends get to see. I am determined to work despite several set backs both physically and emotionally. I have survived 100 o/o of my worst days and there have been some pretty crappy ones along the way. So despite my feelings, I am doing better than I thought.
Spending resting and relaxing today. Last night I finally slept more than a few hours for the first time this week after finally taking a prn med for mixed or manic states for situations like being on steroids. Last night I ate dinner before crashing. The next task is a shower. While these may seem like such simple tasks they can become overwhelming when someone becomes depressed or in a mixed state who is diagnosed with Bipolar disorder.
I am slowly putting my feet back underneath me after a pretty intense period of instability. If you don’t know the risks of taking steroids with a mood disorder I strongly encourage you to educate yourself about it… especially if you have been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. I hope that is a very long time before I have to go through this again. I cannot handle being on steroids for such a long time and unfortunately six weeks of intermittent use was enough to destabilize my mood to the point of nearly ending up in the hospital. It is a serious issue for all to be aware of even if the steroids are the inhaler type.
So my thought processes are still a little slower than usual and more guarded. Hopefully things will continue to improve as I wait for my appointment with the psychiatrist on Tuesday afternoon.
I appreciate everyone’s support during this time as I have shared my struggles on my blog. I needed to decompress somewhere and let out the fear I was feeling. I know I will be okay eventually and back to myself. I apologize if I made anyone worry. Sometimes we all go through dark moments. I just poured mine out on my blog the other night when feeling so alone in it physically.
I gave in and cancelled as many of my commitments as I could today before I reached a total and complete meltdown. I was terrified of doing that and the consequences but I was no space to handle anyone else’s issues let alone attempt to manage my own this morning. Sometimes saying I can’t is a strength rather than a sign of weakness.
This was the best choice for me today. I needed a stained glass kind of day where I picked up the broken pieces to put some semblance of order back into my life. I had my significant other come over at 5 a.m. this morning to be with me as I was starting to fall apart and have a complete and total meltdown. I only kept my appointment with my therapist for this afternoon. I figured it was necessary at this point. Tried taking a nap and even took meds to calm down to facilitate this and I am still wife awake but the feelings of panic and depression have subsided some since I did. I’m grateful my partner came here after arriving home late last night. I think it was good for me not to be alone and have the extra support. I needed it and was heading into dire straits in terms of both my physical and emotional health. I cannot say enough about good self care…eating, drinking water, getting sleep, taking meds consistently, and not bottling up problems. I forgot some of these this week and paid dearly yesterday and today for it. When life is feeling like it is reaching a breaking point, remember to step back, sweep up the pieces and create stained glass my friends. There is only one you.
It is in the middle of the night our time. I spent 5 hours in the emergency room before getting home tonight. I received news that is not great. My heart was already feeling overwhelmed between physical and emotional health issues. I am maxed out after the last few hours and wondering if I am at a breaking point. When I needed my friends to be supportive tonight, I ended up feeling more isolated than before. Sometimes I feel anxious but I think I am seriously worried about about tomorrow which is now today. I have so many expectations of me and I know I cannot meet them as of right now. I posted that I have a hard time asking for help. Saying I can’t do something feels like failure especially when it involves other people. I have less than two hours to decide how to handle my day of disappointing other people, let alone myself. This is one of those times when I truly cannot live up to other’s expectations. I don’t know how today will turn out but it won’t be pretty. Step one thriving and into step two…maybe by diving.
Asking for help is something I am personally terrible at doing. I am wondering if it is a learned art form that we acquire as we grow up which we should learn from healthy parents. My parents were not ones to ask for help from others. Ever. We were discouraged from acknowledging we needed assistance or help from others. I needed help this week and couldn’t bring myself to ask others for it. Luckily others saw that I needed it before something happened and helped me get the medical assistance that I couldn’t seem to get on my own. I was asked a number of times in a number of ways about getting help this week until I ended up in the ER tonight after being at the doctor’s office today. I don’t know how to ask others for help because I have never been around others who ask for help in a way that doesn’t feel overwhelming and intrusive when you do. I feel like the response from others when I do ask for help is scary and unpredictable and tends to make me feel very anxious bordering on panic. Because I panic, I tend to be even more reluctant to allow others to know I am struggling with anything whether it be physical, emotional, or something else like vocational. I feel like the child I was who used to have to go it alone and was punished for reaching out to others while growing up in an abusive household. Today I am back at Step one admitting my life is unmanageable and I am wondering if I will ever get past the unmanagability some days. I wonder if my life has purpose and meaning or if I am just a huge screw up. I wonder if I hurt more people than I help. I wonder if I can get it together right now and put my feet back on solid ground. Some part of me knows that I am going through this because I have been on steroids too much lately for my mood disorder. And yet I still suffer from the black dog of depression shadowing me and not helping my physical health recover. Why does recovery have to be so darn hard to constantly pursue?! I wish it could be a linear line progress that I did not falter upon.
Resiliency comes in many forms and choices. While I have been under an enormous amount of stress the last few weeks, I still have choices on how to live my life in a way that that allows for more joy to enter in. The above quote is actually a Swedish proverb though some people accredited the quote to writer, Ralph Waldo Emerson; and actor Johnny Depp, on most web sites. It reminds me not to take life too seriously and endorphin releasing a good heat belly laugh is. One o my co-workers has the most infectious laughs to be around. It’s contagious. She brings joy to our whole team just by being present with her humour and fun- loving spirit. This proverb helped to remind me that I am usually good at using the love passage from 1 Corinthians as a mantra throughout my work day and I haven’t been doing that and it shows. I am not as patient; I am not letting go of wrong doings, I am not other-centered vs. self-centered, etc. I could go on but I think you get the point. I needed to be reminded that I am in need of more laughter and love in my life especially at work.
Send me your best attempts at humor…try to keep it fairly so I can retell the jokes without incident to my clients who could use a laugh with me. I love mental health jokes by the way.
September is suicide prevention month. As someone who has struggled with suicidal ideation and nearly died from a suicide attempt and lost numerous friends and clients to suicide this month means a little bit more to me than most people. Tonight at a DBSA meeting I heard someone minimize suicidal ideation. It kind of made me furious. I believe (totally my perception) that anyone thinking about suicide is capable of doing it and needs help. It may be a cry for help but better a heard cry for help than an ignored one. If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts and wanting to die I hope and pray that you will reach out to someone who you can trust. It takes a huge deal of courage to do this but it may prevent a permanent solution to a short term problem. Don’t get me wrong… I think that living with depression and mood disorders are very painful experiences that take huge tolls on people’s lives. But I also believe in hope, recovery and the process of change. While I still suffer from dark times in the abyss, I can also experience joy and laughter and love now. Don’t give up hope if you are suffering from suicidal ideation. This too shall pass.