Yesterday (Friday) was a bad day. Thursday was worse. And Wednesday? Well, Wednesday I never even got out of bed…in fact I only woke up to go to the bathroom and go back to bed and to sleep.
Today is Saturday and I feel pretty good. It’s 7:00 am, I’ve been up for awhile and I’ve followed my normal routine. I read the blogs I follow, I caught up on my farming game (damn I love farming games), I fed the cats, and now I’m getting my own blog entry ready. Today is the first time since the beginning of the week that I’ve accomplished any/all of this. Even my posts this week have been shared from others or old drafts.
I’m not really sure what happened, to be honest. Karen thinks that having my adrenaline going for so long over the situation with J may have contributed to this latest mood drop. Once things were finally under control, the adrenaline vanished and I was left with exhaustion.
But, we both agree, that explanation is much too simplistic. Because it isn’t just exhaustion, it’s depression, with the exhaustion as a symptom, not an explanation. My particular brand of depression is bipolar depression.
I spent some time this morning looking for “official” descriptions of the symptoms of bipolar depression. I visited the websites of the usual suspects Mayo Clinic, Web MD, National Institute of Mental Health. After that, Google starts handing out sites for the drug companies.
I don’t do a lot of research on the subject of bipolar. I’ve read the major sites, I’ve read some minor sites and I’ve read a lot of blogs. And what I’ve found, is that the ONLY way to really describe bipolar depression is anecdotal evidence. The stories of those who suffer, give the best description of bipolar depression you’re going to find. None of the above websites talk about the reality of the exhaustion that prohibits us from leaving our beds. In my case, I stayed there for 3 days. I got up to go to therapy yesterday, because somewhere in the back of my head a tiny voice was yelling that it was necessary. The effort required to get up, get dressed, brush my teeth, drive to therapy, talk for an hour and drive home was like running a marathon that I hadn’t trained for. I collapsed into bed as soon as hubby left for work and slept the rest of the day and all night.
The feeling of worthlessness that sleeping for three days produces is indescribable. Life went on without me. Hubby worked, MIL made him dinner, the animals got fed and I did none of it. The household routine functioned just fine without my assistance. So, what exactly is my purpose then?
Today, I understand a little more. Today, I see that it’s not just the things I do, but the person that I am (or more accurately, the person that I am under all the mania and depression) that makes me valuable. But, when even getting out of bed is impossible, seeing any type of value in who you are is like expecting to win the lottery. Because, first you have to at least be willing to play. And if you can’t do that…well, you’re not likely to win, are you.
This moment of clarity may last for weeks, days, or minutes. It’s impossible to tell. What I do know is that when the next depressive episode hits me, even reading the descriptions that I have written here is not going to help much. Because, the depressive episode is impervious to logic or explanation. It just exists. Personally, I have never been talked out of a depressive episode. It will last as long as it wishes to last (and yes, I have just turned my depressive episodes into a being with the power of thought). It will persist till it’s willing to give way.
The good thing about this last episode…(and I think it’s kind of sick that I see this as a plus )is that I was so depressed that even suicidal ideation wasn’t possible. Thinking about killing myself, coming up with a plan…exhausting. Rather sleep, thanks.
I’m going to try to get the things done today that I have planned. There are one or two “must do” items and then a few “if I get to it” items.
Hopefully, I can maintain this relatively stable mood for a bit.
I’d be happy to get through the day to be honest.
Feel free to share links to articles you think help describe bipolar depression well.