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Staying well is SOOO hard :( (long, whiny)


Luna-
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Warning: this is a long, long whine. I’m feeling sorry for myself and I'm down. So if I can give you some advice, go and read something more encouraging and upbeat.

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I’m finding it very very hard to stay well. It’s so much work and I feel as if I’m doing it every day but not winning. I’m so, so tired, not physically; I’m tired of all the effort every day for little reward. I’m just so, so discouraged.

Damn, I really AM trying! I’m seeing a psychiatrist once every 3 months or so. I take all my BP meds every day. I am working with a psychotherapist, who shares a practice with the pdoc, I see him every 1-2 months as they are in the nearest big town, 1.5 hrs drive away. I’m getting my life into a routine, enough sleep although hard to control waking up a lot, but go to bed and get up at the same time to keep my circadian rhythm regular and all that. I drag myself out for walks, not often enough, but I try. I try to eat properly. I don’t drink, smoke or drug, my only vice is coffee and none after lunch or it messes with my sleep. Dammit, I’m doing all I can! I am a good person, really I am. Good enough, anyway.

I go to a support group once a month. I don’t spill too much because there are others there who are worse off and they need the help. I’m participating in a psychological clinical trial, testing an online self-help programme, that the psychology dept at the Uni. of Melbourne use f2f and want to put online. It’s taught me a lot and been very helpful. I get on fantastically with my psychotherapist who is worth his weight in gold. He encourages, he cares, he teaches and challenges me and he saw me for next-to-nothing when my insurance ran out last year. I am so, so lucky to have him.

I was only dx’ed BP1 a year ago, after 27 yrs of MDD – I must take part of the responsibility for that as I never saw any reason to see the pdoc when I feel great. I had two states: Depressed and Not Depressed. I’ve had highs and lows since I was about 20, but never thought the highs were mania. (I’d be “eccentric”, sure, and very, very busy). I now take care not to fly too high as I am terrified of the suicidal depressions which follow. I have probably 4 times more depression than mania. But now the Not Depressed category has had the best part removed, and I feel SO, SO ROBBED. I’ve had to learn a whole different lifestyle, after 48 years (ok, 28 adult years) of doing things that enhanced feeling good, inducing manias, who wouldn’t??? - having binges of not sleeping, eating little, doing tons of stuff, etc.

All the unopposed anti-depressants over the years have made my cycling worse, my episodes are back-to-back, 3 or 4 a year. Although my father was an alcoholic and almost certainly undx’ed BP, he never hit us or my mother. He died 24 yrs ago, at 48, from sheer alcohol overload. I wasn’t abused and I’m lucky. I have a degree, I’m educated. I feel ashamed to be moaning so much, as I know I haven’t had it hard.

I woke up this morning and just had enough. I stayed in bed for another hour and pulled the duvet over my head. Then I got up, because I know that doesn’t help. I got dressed. All I wanted to do was go back to bed. I put on a load of washing. I unpacked the dishes, I vacuumed. I’m doing a major de-clutter of my house, hoping that will help me feel less weighed down, so I threw out more stuff. But I have been crying throughout doing all this and I just feel very, very discouraged and tired, so tired.

I’m unemployed. The research institute I worked for, doing clinical drug trials, had to close down because of the recession and getting no contracts. I am able to work, I’m just struggling to find something that won’t make my BP worse.

I will drag myself out for a walk today and go out to the bank. I will see people. All I want to do is go to bed, but that will make me worse. I feel like I drew the short straw and it’s so unfair that others can live as they like and don’t have to WORK so hard to stay even. This illness is so cruel. .But life isn’t fair, I know. It could be worse. Many are worse off than me; South Africa has extreme poverty and I am privileged. I have to play the hand I was dealt. I know it’s not helpful to feel sorry for myself; this is just how it is.

And I know there is nothing anyone can do, but I’ve been holding it in so long, putting my head down and doing what I’m being taught to do. Just Do It. But I am just crying and crying. I’m slipping down and all my efforts just seem to be for nothing. It’s taken years to find the current med combo which cuts off the extremes, but it doesn’t stop me cycling. I can’t kill myself as I cannot bring myself to murder my wonderful children’s mother.

I’m sorry, very sorry to be posting this. I needed to write it, but I should have just left it on my computer. I can’t dump this on any of my friends, the few I have. I’m seeing my therapist in a week, but that is SO far away and in any case, it is not going to magically make it better. I’m stuck with this, it’s mine alone and I just have to keep going.

I thought I might feel better once I had written this. But I’m still crying. I will do what I have to do today, and tomorrow and the day after but my soul is exhausted and depleted. And there is no rest in sight. I’m sorry, again. If you’ve read this far you are either a saint or a masochist. Thank you for letting me just dump.

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From one Bipolar Mother to another, Luna, I understand all of what you are going through... And venting is good, we need to do it.....

yes and it sucks I know the torture of being fortunate enough to understand and educate myself of this illness only to find out there really is no "cure". I almost wish I had a leg amputated or something more "physical" because at least the brain is still properly working and can reasonably deal with a crisis like that.

Reasonable, I guess is the word. Bipolar is not reasonable and the cycling as I said in another post is the devil in disguise.

I am struggling right along with you, Luna except right now my depression I guess is of anger now. So I am very angry and hate everything and everybody and if I lose the ability to contain it I think I will really suffer and end up in the hospital and I know that just does not help...... so I feel like I am out of options. And yes the SI are always there and depending on the minute, is whether I want my children to be motherless as well....

I am very glad you are getting out, I guess I should try it but I just feel like the witch in the Wizard of Oz where the witch just melts. That describes my feelings when I try and physically or mentally do something and it becomes overwhelming.

And yes, you are doing everything possible but with no return back on investment so to speak. So yes it is a sucky feeling....

That feeling of having appts is a difficult one for me because I end up going and then challenging the therpaist with questions and she just looks at me a shrugs her shoulders that she doesn't know the answers. That feeling I feel after going sometimes is worse and it's not the therapist, I think this is just a very difficult illness to work with especially the rapid cycling..... So the professionals don't have the answers and that is what I am afraid of and am concerned over.....

Keep venting, Luna I am here and I am sure others will be too.

:)

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You forgot about the possibility of saintly masochists! :-)

Maybe writing it all out will help later. One thing I noticed (that goes with depression) is a tendency to repeatedly tell yourself how wrong it was to feel that way. Does it really need a value judgment? I think you're allowed to hurt, no matter what your social standing or finances might be.

Have you tried any sort of thought-countering therapies? I could easily imagine you resenting the loss of your "up" times, and taking it out on yourself.

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Thank you both for your replies.

I'm depressed. It just crept up on me. I phoned my therapist, who spoke with my pdoc who adjusted my meds. So we'll see if that helps.

You forgot about the possibility of saintly masochists! :-)

Ah... :P that I did. You must be one of those...?

... One thing I noticed (that goes with depression) is a tendency to repeatedly tell yourself how wrong it was to feel that way....

... Does it really need a value judgment? I think you're allowed to hurt, no matter what your social standing or finances might be....

... Have you tried any sort of thought-countering therapies?

Yes, No and Yes. I've always had this argument that I take it out on myself before others take it out on me, because it is going to happen sooner or later. Doesn't make sense. And my stupid Scientologist ex had this notion that it was a case of "apply the treatment and the problem will go away". And if it doesn't then it's because I want the problem. He's told my girls that I chose to be depressed. Schmuck.

Yeah, my therapist has done some CBT-style stuff with me. Or some offshoot, but it also involves writing down the automatic thoughts and then examining it objectively. Very eye-opening. I tend to slip back into automatic when depressed, so thanks for reminding me...

Aluta continua.

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No, the closest I've come to a Halo is knowing a teenager who played the game. :-)

I would say the word "Schmuck" should be more liberally applied. I use my own version, "People are idiots", not as a form of judgment of them, but as an (attempted) antidote to excessive self-judgment. Counter-punching gets me in trouble, too.

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Jean-Paul Sartre said, "Hell is other people". In his words, "…when we think about ourselves, when we try to know ourselves, … we use the knowledge of us which other people already have. We judge ourselves with the means other people have and have given us for judging ourselves." (http://legacy.lclark.edu/~clayton/commentaries/hell.html)

I don't use that sentence in company. It has an... um... negative effect on those "other people". I just think it. :)

And I'm slowly learning that when the self-criticism increases, it means I'm getting depressed again.

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And I'm slowly learning that when the self-criticism increases, it means I'm getting depressed again.

I am glad Luna you are recognizing when your mood changes. Me too... Mine is whether or not I can wipe my kitchen counter!!

sounds soooo stupid but my family knows I like and need a clean and organized house and they do a real good job but I have I guess a little OCD with my counter needing to be clean so if I can't even wipe off crumbs, I know my mood is changing...

And when I am depressed I know I am coming out of it when I go in for my hot tea and I pick up the towel to wipe it...

It's the oddest thing but it has consistently been that way since I got sick!!!!!

I don't know if it's mental or physical trigger but I just know that is my indicator!!!!

How about you any other things you can see immediatley as your mood changes?

:)

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(Linda: you've probably noticed that I moved my reply to this question to another thread.)

Well, I just had another all-fall-down and walked around the house sobbing :). I thought maybe I could have a Good Cry, (you know where you just cry and get it all out and then you feel better). But this isn't one of those. I feel like I am making an effort but there is too much to cope with. I do one little thing at a time, break things down, make lists, give myself incentives etc, but it is always overwhelming. I am only chipping away. I do one day at a time, but I can't seem to get on top of it. I feel like my life is controlling me and I'm just lurching behind. Just as I handle one thing another three jump up. I'm steadily falling behind and less and less of my life is under my control.

I have an appointment with my therapist in two days time. But what can he do, really? Give me a pep talk. That's great, but it's me who has to go back and live my life and deal with things and fight the daily inertia. It's all my illness and only I am living it.

I'll be OK, I don't have the luxury of giving up, opting out (how can I kill my children's mother??) but I am just overwhelmed, discouraged, depleted. Despairing.

Anyway, if you read this, thanks for listening

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