Fuck you, Depression

The worst part about bipolar disorder is that you’re swimming along, nice and stable, maybe with a little anxiety thrown in on the side (but it’s manageable), when BAM! Depression.

I’m not used to depression. I tend to stray more to the mixed or hypomanic side of bipolar disorder, so when it’s depression that rears it’s ugly head I’m never prepared. And I don’t know if I have a hard time dealing with it than most or this just is what it is, but I struggle.

It started about two weeks ago and creeped in very gradually until I spent three days on the couch last weekend with no motivation to even move, while I stared at the TV without really seeing anything, napped, and just felt so despondent that I stopped caring about absolutely anything.

I managed to pull my shit together and go to work this week and act like nothing is wrong (can’t let anyone see a sign of weakness, that good old Italian Catholic upbringing kicking in as well as the fear of making sure I didn’t give anyone anything that could be used against me later), and would come home and be worse off than I was to start with. I’d go through the day mentally chanting “fuck you, fuck this place, I hate you all, I just want to go home to my cats” while trying to act as normal as possible. Meanwhile, there’s a cold, dark, heavy ball of misery sitting inside of my rib cage keeping constantly alert to its presence. Every morning on the way into work I’d wall off that ball, keep it contained so I could get through the day.

I’m pretty sure this whole thing was brought on by anxiety – I haven’t found a job yet, our financials aren’t in a good place now that some more of my student loans have exited their grace period, the stress of trying to live up to people’s expectations, the stress of working a job that I really don’t like very much most days, and now the stress of not letting the world see that I’m drowning.

And then there’s my shrink. I emailed him Friday to let him know what was going on and he was out of town until Monday. OK fine. Called the local crisis hotline, I’m not suicidal so there’s nothing they can do. Same thing from my PCP – you see a shrink, he needs to be the one to treat you. Fine. Totally understand. I can get through until Monday.

Doc emails me back after 5, he wants to talk. Am I free the next day? With my job we really don’t know what the day is going to be like until we get into it and see how everything unfolds, so I told him I’d email him the next morning when I have a better idea. Emailed him, gave him a few options for that afternoon. They don’t work. What about Wednesday? Same thing happens. No worries, I’m still surviving, and I’m off all day Thursday and Friday, and while my in-laws are in town, I’ll tell them I have a doctors appointment and stay home from whatever they and my husband are going to do and deal with this. I email my shrink a time. He. Never. Calls.

I just can’t at this point. All I want is help, and I’ve reached out to anyone I can think of that would be qualified to actually help me and I’ve gotten nothing in return. I’m about done asking. I’m also about to switch doctors (which sucks because I’ve been seeing him for almost six years and I really enjoy working with him, but this is ridiculous).

I’m tempted to just say fuck it and keep the status quo and hope that it goes away on its own. I’m done caring. I don’t ask for help – it’s not in my wiring to do so. And the fact that I’ve asked for help from multiple avenues and gotten nothing in return is so disheartening that it makes me just want to stop asking.

So yeah, fuck you depression.

How do I know what’s real?

Some of us are perfectly content with normal life. And some of us feel like we’re destined forĀ more. But how do I know if that feeling isn’t the bipolar talking? Do people other than me actually feel that way? Or is it the delusions of grandeur that come along with the manias putting ideas in my head?

Can I even trust what I think? I don’t know what other people with bipolar go through, but I swear, I question every thought, every feeling. Are the genuine? Or are they the product of the disorder? I talked a bit a few weeks ago about negative thoughts and understand that they aren’t real, but can’t the same be said of positive thoughts? Of positive feelings? How do we know what’s real and what’s not?

It’s exhausting going through every day questioning everything that goes on in your head. The paranoia that comes from it is brutal. It makes you question all of your decisions – did I make this decision based on good information or was it a mild delusion? It makes you question all of your feelings – is this a normal feeling for this situation or is this not the proper reaction?

It’s no wonder I have anxiety. I question everything, second guess everything, worry about everything. I’m just so tired.

Things like this make me think I need to be back in therapy. It’s like having an existential crisis every day.

Maybe, though, these kinds of questions are a good thing. It means I can recognize that the disorder can put thoughts into your head. That it can create realities that just don’t exist.

I don’t know anymore. I feel like inside of my head is an interesting and exhausting place to be. On some level I wish it wasn’t like this – I wish it was easier.