The Power of Words:
This powerful short video was originally blogged by sweatlikemanbo, then allaboutlemon, and it struck such a cord after yesterday that have to share it:
Yesterday was ruled by WORDS: negative, crushing, suffocating, hateful words.
- I am a failure.
- I am worthless.
- I’ll never amount for anything.
- None of my past successes matter now. No one remembers or cares.
- Just when I’m feeling better, a depression hits and I’m in hell again.
- There’s nowhere to run from the pain.
- My life is over.
- I’ll never measure up to my peers.
- Nothing I do makes any real difference so why bother.
- I just want to die because continuing is pointless.
Results of Falling Down the Depression Well:
Negative, depressive thinking, just like the walls of this well, is a downward spiral that builds with each pass around, becoming more and more paralyzing. Finally conscious replay tapers off, a huge rocks settles on the body and the tears start flowing. By this time I’m in too much pain to move, psychologically and physically. I don’t even have the energy to talk.
Yesterday the scale was cruel but I still managed to get out for a bit. After forcing myself to the gym, I could only manage 10 minutes on the recumbent bike before stopping, leaning over and crying. Got myself together enough to get home but within an hour was at the bottom of the well. Couldn’t talk, couldn’t move. It was a “bad day”.
I’ve spoken on this before, but it’s important to note that, having bipolar with rapid cycling, this happens every few weeks and can take a few hours to a week to crawl back out. Everything is magnified, it’s hard to think, concentrate, and do simple tasks like hold a fork without dropping it. And every additional failure reinforces and lengthens the depression. Why? Take a look at this brain scan comparison (blue is for inactivity):
Pretty obvious why everything thing is such an effort – the depressed brain (on the left)just shuts down!
Possible Triggers for My Depressive Episodes:
- A bad “scale day” after working out.
- Tired of fighting so hard to lose weight, only to cheat, yo yo, and finally wonder, “what’s the point, how hard is it going to be to maintain and at the end I’ll still be crazy, just skinnier.”
- Bad news or good news that makes me feel like a loser or jealous.
- Comparing myself with successful people who don’t have BP.
- Comparing myself with people with BP who don’t have rapid cycling.
- Mourning the years lost to this illness.
- Mulling over the uncertainlty of ever being able to go to school/work again and how limited my options are in those areas.
- Frustrated and angry at how difficult every activity is during a depression.
- Less extreme feelings of rage at having this and how it’s destroyed so many of my hopes and dreams.
While I try so hard to keep this blog upbeat, positive, and motivating, behind the scenes it’s a constant struggle. Writing for all of you helps but it’s hard to look at my readership versus other blogs without wondering what I’m doing wrong or not right to have a larger audience, doubting my skills as a writer, and doubting my ability to present something a wider group of people find interesting enough to “follow”.
Depression keeps me from appreciating the followers I do have, especially the ones who like and comment consistently, as well as the steady slow growth over a short period of time. It’s limited perspective and self doubt ruling the day.
I woke up today and I can still feel the dark clouds around my head and the aching in my body. But it’s much less than yesterday and if I get moving and do even a few errands and get some fresh air, that’s a huge win over yesterday. In a few days, I’ll be back to mid range and can already feel the bud of excitement of plans to celebrate my anniversary and valentine’s day this weekend. That definitely heralds that I am on the upswing.
Depression: it will get bad and then it will get better. The Buddha says “cultivate patience” and that’s all we can do.