One of the things that is just so incredibly sucktastic about being bipolar is that, just as you’re going along and feeling good, strong, independent, you’ll get slammed into a quagmire of depression. It weighs down your arms, legs, brain, body. You’re suddenly wondering if you have enough energy to shower, to brush your teeth… You know you have to take your meds because, well there’s no way you’ll get past this goddamn road block without taking all of them. And, well, the reality is also that you won’t probably move past it without leaving the house and spending life among the living – but you really, really don’t want to be around anyone else. One – because it’s just too much trouble. You know how you think that I’m just too happy and cheerful and optimistic to ever be “really” depressed? Well, I’ve had LOTS of practice. I know how to play normal, thanks. I don’t show that side of myself to pretty much anyone. There are times when I don’t even like to show it to myself.
So here I am, laying in bed, suffering from a rotting gut and wondering how much of the bad feelings I’m being plagued with are real and how much are a part of a depressive episode? I’ve become a pro at self-reflection when it comes to analyzing symptoms:
Could it be the weather?
Is it my period/hormones?
Am I not admitting to being upset about something – like the fact that summer is ending, or that I’m nervous about not having a job for the fall, etc.?
Did I take my medicine last night?
Could the new Rx I’m taking for (insert something here) be affecting my mood 0r messing with my mental health meds?
I go through one thing and another and another until I’m left with nothing else but depression. This is, for me, the worst because it means that I’m not sure how long it will last or how deep a pit it will dig.
This weekend it’s felt like a tar pit – nothing I could do would stop the descent into the depths, my chest kept getting tighter and tighter, breathing became more difficult, I wanted to sleep for hours, but couldn’t seem to get to sleep or stay asleep because I just felt so sad. But sad doesn’t cut it – it’s not awful enough – it’s too simple. I feel like saying that I’m sad or even depressed just sounds juvenile and easily relieved. I felt lost, hopeless – but with no good reason for it. It was as if my arms and legs were encased in cement and I’d been thrown into a pond as dark as pitch. I kept sinking, deeper and deeper – with no end in sight.
So, I’m still in a bit of that sucktastic phase, but…. I will admit that a friend recently suggested that I spend just a moment dealing with the darkness of depression, and then “punch it in the nuts.” Yerp – made me laugh out loud and, with that, I’m already feeling a little more in control again.
It’s never worked quite that well, but damn, I’ll take whatever I can get.