A Good Day

These are the days I live for – bright Spring sunshine beaming down, tickling snowy tree branches and frosty ground to wake them up after their long, cold winter sleep. Spring days like these make me feel like I’m waking up too.

I got out of bed before noon today! For me, on a Saturday, that is a BIG thing. I vacuumed. I dusted. I washed dishes and made a marinade for pork chops and they are now swimming in it in the fridge.

This may sound like a pretty typical day for some people but for someone like me and my dark brain, it’s remarkable. Blame it on the sunshine.

Lack of sun over the winter months can affect mood. That’s why I’ve started taking vitamin D twice a day along with a multi-vitamin and I must say, I think they are helping me.

I know I had a few rough days last week triggered by this and that, but on days like this, days like that fade.

It’s wonderful to feel animated again. To feel safe and positive. I know things can change, so much so that sometimes my good days are ruined because I worry they’re a prelude to a fall. Some days I let myself get too animated, too overstimulated and I can feel myself losing a bit of control. That’s when I have to worry because those feelings usually do lead to a downswing in mood. But today doesn’t feel like that. I just feel good and I know a lot of that is because I accomplished things today.

When I was in psychotherapy Dr. Claire would tell me I had to try to find small victories each day instead of spending all my time beating up on myself. She said getting out of bed could be considered a victory. Having a shower was a victory. Getting dressed, washing some dishes, going outside – all victories.

It took a bit of practice but I did start giving myself a little cheer when I got out of bed, took a shower. Little things to some but major hurdles to people struggling under the weight of clinical depression.

Eventually I made it outside and I knew I was getting better when I could actually see the sun shining down, feel it on my skin. I used to walk with my head down, focusing on my feet trudging to my therapy sessions. They were the only reason I left my apartment in the thick of my illness. I could have walked through so many gorgeous days but I didn’t see them. I couldn’t. I even kept all the blinds drawn at home. I didn’t want the outside coming into my hidey hole.

Today is a sunny day. When I step outside my door I breathe deep and fill my lungs with fresh Spring air. I smell the smell of Spring. I feel the sun warming my skin while a brisk chill in the wind tries to steal the warmth away. It’s like Winter and Spring, on meeting again, are playing before they have to say goodbye for another few months.

It could all change tomorrow for me but all I really have is today right? And today is a good day.

I can’t find the words to explain how sad it is when you can’t feel the sun on your skin or even notice it shining in the sky.

If you’re in the dark place right now, you don’t have to go outside. Maybe just try opening the drapes or pulling up the blinds. That would be a victory.

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Kathryne Miller

I am a single mom living with Bipolar 2/hypomania. I don't get the extreme manic bouts if Bipolar 1 but I do get the crushing depression. Lots of that. My disease has affected my life since I was a child. I had my first major breakdown on the air at a Toronto radio station many years ago and I still suffer the effects of that event today. My hope for this blog is that it will shine a little light on a disease that has left too many people lost in the dark for too long - some willing to die rather than talk about what is happening inside their heads. I want to share my story of living with Bipolar 2 in order to promote understanding and dialogue.

Categories clinical depression, mental health, therapyTags , Leave a comment

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