As I have mentioned before, I suffer from frequent bouts of depression and anxiety, as well as bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. Its not fun, its not funny, and it is very much a problem. Even with medication, it is still hard to control and manage day to day life as mental disorders are so damn unpredictable! In my reality, I will be on top of the clouds, doing things, having great ideas, putting myself to good use, creating things, being inspired…then all of a sudden the crash comes…I can’t stop sleeping, I can’t get out of bed, everything comes to a halt, including my house work and right down to personal hygiene. It is an absolute nightmare. The saddest part to me is, your potential is there, you have everything going for you, the drive, the vision. Then *SMACK* your down at your lowest point, again, and passively hoping you will drop dead while crossing the street.
In this post, since I (believe) am coming down from a depressive episode I want to share with you what it feels like to come back down to reality, to kind of explain to you how I personally feel after dealing with my low points. Maybe someone you know goes through this or maybe you, as the reader do, but my main goal is to help anyone and everyone I can reach, understand what it feels like to clean up the mess after a depressive episode. I am going to approach this with a light hearted attitude at times so please do not take offense to anything I say…
First, I would like to start with the symptoms I personally feel as I start slipping into a depressive episode:
- Fatigue-cannot force myself to get out of bed, cannot get enough sleep
- Feeling abandonment from friends, family, coworkers, and boyfriend
- Feeling as though you are crazy, wondering if you are the problem or if everyone else around you is
- Eating anything and everything without a care in the world
- Stopping hygienic rituals such as makeup, skin care, and sometimes down to bathing and showering
- Cannot force yourself to even attempt the most menial tasks such as washing dishes, putting away items in the bathroom, doing laundry…
- Cannot sit still or finish a days work completely without being distracted
- Feeling like you are going to literally crawl out of your skin
- Crying over anything and everything
- Feeling like you are the only person who exists in the world
- Feeling like you are constantly bothering anyone and everyone
- Sleeping schedule is out of wack
- Feeling as though you have nothing to live for
- Wishing you could crawl in a hole, run away, or sleep forever
- Wishing you would drop dead in the middle of the road
- Wondering what people would show up to your funeral if you died
Literally…the list could go on for days.
The “Bounce Back”
- Comes out of nowhere
- You notice how much you had given up on your life during your depressive episode
- You want to make up for lost time during your depressive episode
- Being your own best friend isn’t so bad after all
- You want to be around people again
- You start finding pleasure in the little things you used to love
- Start caring about your image again
- Instantly feel bloated and fat from all the junk food and crap you have been consuming
- Start blogging again
- Vowing to take your meds consistently so this never happens again
- You get back into a self care routine and realize how disgusting you have been for the duration of the episode (see illustration below)
Living the roller coaster of mental illness can be one of the most exhausting things that you can go through (I imagine). The unpredictibility mixed with the waiting for the piano to drop again once you are happy are enough to drive you nuts.
Most people think its OK to speak their opinion such as if they have any clue what you are going through, which is the last thing I want to hear.
Here are a few of my personal favorites and hate its straight from the mouth’s of people who have no fu*king clue what it is like to live with a mental disorder:
- It’s gong to be ok
- Try and do something that makes you happy
- A body in motion stays in motion
- Work out
- Push yourself
- This too shall pass
- At least you don’t have ________.
- Try and think about happy things
- Go out and do something
- It’s not good for you to feel like this
- You are too young to feel like this
- Get a hobby
- At least your healthy
The list could go on and on forever. If you don’t know what to say just don’t say anything at all and we will be cool.
I definitely consider someone who doesn’t have to go through this extremely lucky, however, I am aware that a person dealing with a life threatening illness wishes this was all they had to worry about. I try my best to remember someone always has it worse out there, someone is always gong through something more severe and complicated, but it doesn’t make it easier to cope with what I am dealing with. I don’t want to act and feel the way I do and be a downer. Not only is this my cross to bare, but it directly involves the relationships I have with other people, especially those closest to me, whom get the brunt of the whole thing.
Ultimately, I just wish one day we could find a balance and everyone who deals with these issues be able to function as “normal” human beings, or whatever may be “normal” to them. I hate to know so many people suffer because of this and in way worse ways that I have to. At least I have access to medication to help me stabilize the best I can and resources to utilize when I need them, and I understand a lot of people go untreated due to income and insurance issues, which is a horrible thought! Unfortunately, there is only so much one can take and many people lose the battle…
In conclusion, I really hope that this post shed some light on the feelings of someone suffering with depression and that someone who does not suffer from depression can understand a little bit better what it feels like to experience it first hand. Let’s all try and be mindful of one another and find the patience to accept and help those who need it.