Friday, October 29, 2010

The cycle begins.

For some of you, this is the only blog of mine that you follow. This was my first blog, and my sole purpose of writing was to let out things that have always been hard for me to let go of. I’ve noticed from day one that when I write something down it’s almost like a small weight inside of me lifts. The other reason is to hopefully find people I can identify with who are going through similar struggles with Bipolar or mental illness. So far I’ve been really disappointed at the lack of ones I have come across. If anyone is familiar with any insightful blogs I’d love if you pass them my way.

If you follow my other blog about my adventures in Australia, then you know that this is kind of my downer blog and you may not identify with anything here and move along. That’s okay. I’m not particularly fond of blogs about happiness or how beautiful each day is in its own way. I hope one day I will find meaning in those blogs…anyways, today’s post is actually not a downer. What a surprise! Anything that is related to my struggles with depression I post in this blog, and, well, this post is about new starts. Again.

I’m aware that there are always new starts, always new cycles. I just wish mine weren’t so drastic. I’d love if my ups were ups and my downs were downs and the rest be average, but with me my downs are so definitive that it breaks the cycle every time. Coming over here was always about starting over and establishing not only myself positively, but my entire life positively with my husband. I’m not expecting this overnight, and my lows these first two months of being here have been heightened due to culture shock and the longing of my family and Mexican food (seriously). But yesterday I had my second appointment with the psychologist, Dr. Phil (seriously!) and my first appointment with Dr. C, the psychiatrist.

I’m still on the fence about Dr. Phil. I usually go in with a big wall up because, well, that’s kind of what I do when anyone wants me to change. Doesn’t everyone? Usually by the middle of our session he makes me have an epiphany about what he is saying and I instantly feel better and make a plan in my head about how to tackle the upcoming week. The first week his epiphany was, “the way you’re feeling right now isn’t you; it’s the depression talking”. I kind of visualized a sad ball in my belly (when I’m mad I always call the incoming stress my anger ball, so the sad ball fits), and it makes total sense. “Normal” people have a drive to get up and go, even if they have a hard time doing so. Explaining my lack of drive, I have always said to people it’s like there’s a little guy in the back of my head saying, ‘what’s the point of getting out of bed? Nothing matters’. And I always listen to that guy. Dr. Phil’s treatment is at first simple cognitive behavioural therapy-trying to make me associate my bad thoughts with reality and understanding that thoughts are just that-thoughts.

This week he told me, “when you have a bad thought I want you to see it: ‘I’m a bad wife’, for example. Write it on a chalkboard in your head. Look at the words. Then I want you to say, “thank you brain for that thought”, and get rid of the thought”. Um…WTF Doc? If I could do that, I sure as hell wouldn’t be paying you! I mean I could say “I’m fat” and say thanks brain for that thought until I’m blue in the face…but that doesn’t mean it’s actually out of my head! Something that did resonate with me yesterday is what he said about being in this depressive rut for so long. He said, “you have been in this cocoon for so long, and the depression is actually keeping you safe. You don’t have to think about things because you’re depressed. I don’t have to get out of bed because I’m depressed. I don’t have to get a job because I’m depressed”. That makes so much sense to me. Unfortunately I’m not going to be magically cured and wake up tomorrow and go, “OKAY! I’m going to get a job! Start my diet! Go to school!”. He reminded me of what my last doctor, Dr. Julia, had told me. Small steps. Instead of sleeping twelve hours, set an alarm and commit to waking up-today. Instead of starting a diet, eat an apple instead of ice cream (okay THAT one will be hard). Take “normal” things people do every day as accomplishments for myself, like cleaning my bathroom or hanging up all my clothes. For the un-depressed eye it may sound silly, but “normal” things are huge steps for me right now.

Tomorrow I will post about the second part of my day with my new psychiatrist Dr. C. I LOVE HIM. I’d also like to end today on a really happy and uplifting note. Barb from This and That as I Bounce Thru Life is literally one of my biggest supporters. She happens to be one of the very few who have read this blog and actually gotten something out of it, which is huge to me. It’s all I really wanted to accomplish when I write here. The other day she awarded me the Content Unrelated (also one of my favourite blogs) blog award for “the underfollowed, overlooked, uncommon and underestimated blog”. She wrote:

“We've all heard the name "bi-polar" but do we really know what its like living with it?  While I am no doctor I truly believe that my son suffers from this.  He refuses to get help and our relationship is sucky right now.  Hed has given me so much insight on what she endured and still does and it's made a difference in how I view things about Mike [my son] and some other folks I know.  If you haven't read it, I implore that you do.  You won't be disappointed.”

I am extremely humbled and proud. Thanks a million, Barb.


Bouncin' Barb said...

Hed...This is going to go down as one of the nicest things anyone has ever said or done for me. Thank You Hed. You're truly a gem.

colenic said...

I have read through some of your postings here. I think you are very brave to post all of this out here. Thank you for your post on my blog. I love forward to hearing more from you.

SkippyMom said...

I found you when Barb gave you the award and read all of your blog. [I am kind of a shut in person due to physical health, so a lot of time on my hands, hee - so that would explain THAT!]

At first I didn't know what to say. I understand bi polar and manic depression having had to take care of friends and a family member with this disease, but I never knew what to say to you.

Then I read colenic's comment [adore Ms. colenic!] and realized she said it best. You are very brave - and this can't be easy for you.

I hope that the help that you are seeking works and you are able to overcome all that you desire. I can't imagine having to fight the good fight you do everyday.

You have my fondest wishes and hugs to be better and simply enjoy the wonderfulness that is you [I see it peeking out all the time!]

Take care Hed!

hed. said...

You guys are so freaking nice, you know that? :) Hed

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