Depression is a funny thing when you have bipolar. One day you can barely get out of bed and then suddenly, one day you are feeling better…
That has been my experience the last few weeks. I could barely pry myself out of bed every morning and at last it feels as though the veil has been lifted from my eyes. Things seem uplifting and I am feeling a more positive outlook.
The question lies– is there something I did? Did I fix this? Or did I just hang in there and pass through another phase of depression?
I would like to think it was something I did. All of the hoping, wishing, praying… But it is just the way our brains work. Suddenly I don’t hate everyone and being around people is tolerable. I even look forward to seeing some people every day. I don’t feel like I need to think about death or fear what is in my future. The burdens of life become light and I become the warrior I know I am that can defeat this all!
My hope for all of you is that when you go through your bad days, it is just a bad day. Not a bad week, or a bad month. Not a depression you can’t pull out of. It’s hard to hold on, but it’s always worth it.
Trying to work through things can be tough. Like, really tough. It is hard to find any inspiration when you lack motivation. I like that people try to say the right things or make you feel better by telling you, “Things will get better.”
I spend so much time wondering… Will things get better? I have been waiting for what seems like forever. I don’t enjoy anything I used to love. The only thing or people that are any good are people who I hate less than everyone else.
Sorry I don’t have anything more uplifting or logical today. Praying for things to get better.
This week, I decided to make an attempt in spontaneity and go camping with a friend in the desert. Don’t let the picture fool you! Sun does not equal warmth. It was highs in the mid-50s and lows in the low to mid-30s. As we huddled around the fire trying not to freeze to death, I found myself practicing some mindfulness as my thoughts started to wander to all the things that have been weighing on me.
Mindfulness is a funny thing. We hear about it, we talk about, and I think it means something different for everyone. To me, being mindful is about really being present in a given moment–accepting all the things that are and are not–whether or not we want to be in that moment.
I found myself being mindful of our situation: two women chose to go to the desert and camp for the night. A friend had made a joke, “Have fun pretending you are homeless!” and this joke came to me as I stared into the fire. Even though I was not particularly enjoying myself, we still had it better than homeless people. We chose to drive out here and do this. We have food and beverages. We have a fire to keep us warm. Most importantly, we had homes to return to when we were done. I have an amazing boyfriend who works his butt off to provide for us. I have two awesome dogs that love me to pieces. I have a warm bed and blankets; a house with central heating; warm clothes… These are all things I never really think about.
I often find myself trying to be mindful and the burdens of my stress push this awareness out of the way. In this moment, I was truly able to be present and to gain awareness of all the amazing things I have in my life that I take for granted every day! This is not including all the other things I have: career, car, money, technology, etc. I just never am able to find space in my mind to give it a second thought.
So while this camping trip did not change my mind about camping–I still hate it–it gave me perspective. I truly got to think of these little things in a different way than I usually consider them. In the midst of my week dealing with anhedonia, I really needed that. I needed to find joy and awe in these little things that I take for granted every day.
After almost freezing to death over night, we pushed west towards home. I was actually happy to see the city, the businesses, and even the people. When I got home, nothing had ever felt better than those warm blankets on my skin… And while I was thankful to be warm, I was even more grateful for the mindfulness experience I had the night before that allowed me to truly appreciate the moment.