The haunting shadow of depression follows me like a predator
Waiting patiently never in a hurry
The right moment always comes.©
(Tweeted by Lotus on Twitter. Follow her if you'd like to read more of her tweets: @Lotus_Heals )
Her mini-poem is the perfect description of how depression can exert so much influence on its victims.Throw in a little mania on a regular basis, and the result is...........me.
I'll share some of the special, magical things that accompany my bipolar. On the weekends when I don't have the kids, don't have to work, and don't have rocking plans, I'll sleep in, make coffee, enjoy my daily date with meds until their chemistry kicks in, and then walk Zing. When I get back, I'll lay on the couch. Might write, usually don't, but if I do open the story, it's more reading and editing than creating new writing. Then it'll be lunchtime, so I walk the dog again, set the kitchen timer so I can pretend I'm only taking a 20 minute power nap. Two hours later, I wake up. Still tired. If I feel hungry, I'll drink a coke and maybe eat popcorn. At no time during this brief child-free span do I brush my teeth or take a shower. It's too exhausting to hold my arms up that long. I don't usually do much housework except for dishes. Never could understand why that chore is therapeutic, but it is. Late afternoon, another walk for His Highness, and skim over social media, but don't really engage or absorb. Believe it or not, reading is too exhausting sometimes, too.
Trust me, if I could snap out of it, I would. I feel the disconnect between me and loved ones. At times, I work diligently to maintain healthy relationships; at other times (and sadly, more lately than ever), I isolate myself because I feel like a phony. A poser. A fake. And guilty ones at that. And it's too freaking hard to talk about authentic things than superficial things and try to play it off as if everything's fine and nobody needs to worry.
Here's something I saw on Pinterest.
"Saying someone can’t be sad because someone else may have it worse is just like saying someone can’t be happy because someone else might have it better." I've had several people tell me people me (in so many words) that my complaints are petty and sweating the small stuff. To someone like me, with brain chemistry issues, it makes me worse when I feel like I should be able to buck up, sissypants. Put on big girl undies. Pick my battles. Realize I'm not the only one with life problems.
All of that is reasonable advice. In a manic phase, it's easier to have that mindset. In the down phase, it ain't happening. It's too difficult to manage. The shifting back and forth is why people think mental illness is a lifestyle choice or a lack of inner strength. "Well, you choose to be happy sometimes. Why not all the time?"
I know no one who would say to anyone, "Listen here, your eyes are blue. And it's because you're weak. If you really wanted to, you could make your eyes brown. If you were strong enough. So just get over it, concentrate, be mighty, and make your freaking eyes brown."
It's not an excuse or crutch to say that my willpower alone can't manufacture brain chemicals. Everybody tries as hard as they can to do it with willpower.
It's easier when you summon the courage to ask for help. Scary? Yes. Necessary anyway? Yes. Can you do it? YES.
#JustAsk #TalkAboutIt #Depression #Bipolar #BeKind #Understand #iWillWhatIWant
P.S. On a lighter note, I like today's date for a silly, random reason.