I barely have strength or ideas to write this. But I am forcing myself to do things these days. Hence, a blog post.
I cycled from hypomanic to slightly depressed last week. Just woke up that way. Slightly depressed was my baseline mood state for 7 years. Last year I think I found mid-point and circled around it in a healthy way. All that to say that Slightly Depressed feels familiar, though uncomfortable. And that is what I dealt with last week.
Then over the weekend I got more depressed, including increased suicidal thoughts and feelings. I felt so alone. Even though I live with family, I find it hard to share my mood states and feelings with them, much as it was hard to share them with my ex-husband when we were married.
So I felt alone. I did reach out to a friend from the last place I lived. She was helpful. But posting on Facebook and getting responses, and texting with someone far away, is not the same as in-your-face presence. I really do need to say something to my mom when my mood shifts or I feel suicidal or that I’m hypomanic and irritable. And I have to tell her everyday, since I can cycle to something new overnight, apparently.
One reason I struggle is that I don’t feel comfortable with an audience, which some people in the family feel like to me since they offer nothing in the way of support or acknowledgment. It’s hard to bear your soul to someone when you don’t feel comfortable that your thoughts and feelings will be safe and cared for. I guess that’s why texting has always felt more comfortable to me. When I text I know body language won’t give more away than I want as well. Just for the record, I do share everything with my therapist. I guess I don’t want to get hurt or betrayed, and that is why I find it hard to share with friends and family in person.
I guess that’s all I have energy for today. Time for depressed me to crawl back into a hole.
I’m walking for the first time this year!
I’ll be walking for Stigma Busters in the NAMI Dallas walk.
Come support mental illness research, support and education! I am walking with Stigma Busters! The local chapter of NAMI in my new location. Donate as little as a $1 or much more! Every dollar helps!
My current goal is $150, and already have over $100!
Come see my fundraising page:
I am struggling with an extraordinary amount of anxiety – 8-9 on a scale of 10. It has been high since October before I tried living on my own again. But with the move to Texas, the anxiety has been my constant companion and consistently high. And so I am in a day program to deal with mood lability, anxiety, and depression.
Today in program I had a nice meltdown about my anxiety. I figured a few things out. It’s related to losing my independence because I feel that I’m a failure at taking care of myself. The bipolar and anxiety and depression have won and I’m failing. I’m buying into the stigma that mental illness is a moral failure or weakness of character.
It doesn’t matter that I would tell people that their illness is biological and a disease they had no say in contracting. It doesn’t matter that I would tell people that asking for help and getting more support is a strength not a weakness. It doesn’t matter that I would tell people that living with mental illness is brave and courageous.
Because deep down inside I don’t believe it. I‘m a failure at living independently and taking care of Continue reading
New, and exciting? Depressing? Things afoot.
I need the support of my family to feel better and be more stable. So I’m moving from Chicago-land to Dallas area (where they currently live) to live with my brother and parents (who also live with him).
It’s rather sudden. I’ll be in IL for two weeks to see doctors and friends and to pack. My mom is coming with me, and my cat is returning with us. Now that will be an adventure!
Then two weeks later my brother will fly up and drive the moving truck and car trailer down to Texas. Before April I’ll be settled and a resident of Texas. ((((Ew, not a fan))))
A lot of friends will be involved in the moving. Thank you!!
And I will miss dearly all my friends and my mental health care team. It hurts.
It hurts too that I’m giving up my independence for my health, which, while probably the best decision, puts two strong values opposing one another.
I will probably move into my own apartment within six months about a mile away. I hope that physical closeness will provide support and independence.
So much is happening so quickly. My psychiatrist gave me haldol instead of Ativan to help with anxiety. It’s working. I’m in so much grief over losing relationships that just are not going to survive the physical distance. Don’t let it happen again.
My depression was spiraling out of control, and even though it was not an ideal flight, the price was right at $88. So I waited those few days, suicidal, until I could be with the support of my family continuously.
I’m here now and quite suicidal. My mom is supportive but doesn’t know what to do except remind me I’ve been through this and I’ll get through it again. But when I’m suicidal, it feels all-consuming and I’m not sure I’ll make it out alive. Even though I have before.
My therapist reminded me that I’m not overwhelmed – the sea didn’t crash over me – but state what is actually going on. I am having OCD visions of a suicidal nature that loop around my head. They eventually stop. I have to wait them out.
This is also not what I want to hear. I’m hearing truth. But I need someone down in the hole with me who is willing to be quiet, or share stories, or say “I hear you and I love you.” Being suicidal is a detachment from life. And anhedonia (not feeling anything pleasurable) usually goes along with it.
I’m miserable waiting for this to pass. I don’t want to go to a new hospital, but might have to.
Good news! I haven’t been so suicidal that I haven’t had to go to the hospital! I’ve been increasingly suicidal the last week. But I’ve promised myself I won’t follow through, even when tempted to follow through.
My mom came back with me on Halloween for a few weeks, then extended to a month to help me adjust and get settled and give me moral support for the routines I need. I sadly got bronchitis so I haven’t been able to exercise, which would have helped my mood and my routines. I did adopt a cat! Charmer.
After a lovely Thanksgiving with my mom, she left and I was able to adjust for a time. Then my finances fell out from under me and my bank was not helpful. I was totally destabilized emotionally and mentally. I got help from my family and from my church and a friend’s church. One of the problems was an increase in intensity in one of my medical diagnosis and needed medical supplies and drugs. And I would run out of food at the end of the month.
So, my family is taking me back to their house again, for a few weeks to stabilize emotionally and mentally. The rest of my life seems ok. Getting over bronchitis so I can exercise, making meals, finances stabilized. But I’m not.
I feel broken, inside and out. My mood was destabilized and it’s not righting itself. As my psychiatrist pointed out, this is a difficult time of year for me and getting family’s support would be helpful. She also wants me to practice self-forgiveness for all the financial mishaps. And self-compassion that I need help. She increased my anti-anxiety med too, since I feel more anxious too.
I feel like a failure for needing help. I feel like a failure that I let my finances blow it for me. Just when I was getting on my feet after my mom left. And now I’m going back. GRRRRR.
With my ever-wise therapist, I have decided to buy a plane ticket home. Two or three weeks out. It’s time to transition into my own space and my own rhythms and routines.
This scares me to death. How much of my mood will destabilize? (Probably labile between 3 and 5 for 3-4 weeks. 5 seems to be my baseline.) How will I deal with all the anxiety? (I’ll probably get up to 8 and 9 which is dangerous/suicidal for me. Time to pull out the Ativan.) How will I deal with the fear that I can’t do this? (Repeating true things about myself that I believe: I am competent to take care of myself; I know when to ask for help.)
You can see all the work we did today. Homework is to buy the ticket. Set up time with friends now that there is a date to work with. Other things are bonus.
I’m still scared to death. And crying. Definitely crying.
Pic from time in Texas: