Since I was genetically blessed with bipolar 2, I fight horrible depressive episodes. In fact I’m in one right now. My psych doc calls it a “depression flare.” But it feels more like a straight up fire going on in my brain everyday.
I have been in the worst depression since the fall of last year. Everyday is slowly getting better but it still sucks. Sucks hard actually.
The thing that sucks the most for me is the lack of motivation because I have so many things I want to do with my art, along with crafts I want to make. But when this depression is around, I am basically useless. At least thats how I feel while I’m sitting in my recliner all day fighting the fucking awful thoughts in my brain during the “flare.”
My psychiatrist says that I shouldn’t feel like “something is wrong” with me (because I do), but instead “realize it’s biological.” Thats really hard to do when you are so depressed that your brain actually hurts from fighting the evil thoughts swirling inside.
But I feel a little better knowing all this is not my fault. I’m not laying around sleeping to hide from my thoughts for the hell of it. I’m not having horrible thoughts for shits and giggles. I’m not lazy, I’m mentally ill. That’s why its called mental illness because it actually can make you physically sick. Sometimes so sick you might even throw up (yep, that’s happened to me a couple of times from past traumatic events that pop up uncontrollably in current events).
Through many hours of counseling I have learned healthy ways to cope but sometimes they just dont work. I try very hard to fight with these methods of coping that are tailored to me specifically. What does that mean? Well not everyone is going to have the same problems so not everyone is going to have the same healthy coping skills to fight the fight.
What do I mean by healthy ways to cope? Well my long standing way of coping with the intrusive thoughts is to self-harm. That’s a very, very, very unhealthy coping skill. Through counseling/therapy I have learned coping skills that include using art as an outlet and talking to my husband about my thoughts. Those are my “healthy” coping skills.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful that my counselors help me replace my coping mechanisms from bad ones to better ones, but with serious mental illness comes this little voice inside that screams “who cares!” And then the cycle continues. Intrusive thoughts equals feeling useless and results in unhealthy coping, which results in more counseling and more fighting the self-harming I’ve come so heavily to depend on. Did I mention that I’m physically disabled as well? Because that part is always in the background and it doesn’t help the feeling of being useless.
Back to motivation—with depression for me there is not just a lack, but an outright loss of motivation. Not just for arts and crafts, but all kinds of things. I don’t want to eat or cook. I don’t want to get dressed or comb my hair. I don’t shower for days on end. I don’t talk to anyone, and I mean anyone, for days or weeks. There’s just no motivation inside me to do these things when I’m in a depressive state. And it sucks.
There is hope that the depressive flare will subside eventually but it will always be hanging around in the background ready to pop its head up at anytime, which gives me anxiety… which is another post for another time. All I can do is keep fighting and hope that I don’t go down to the very dark side of depression, where I have been in the past and never want to go again.
If you have any questions I would love to hear from you. Do you suffer from depression? What is it like for you?
As always, much love and peace dudes! -kc