Bouncing Back From Bouts of Darkness

In my quest to return to the healthy, fit, hour a day walker I once was, today I bought mini rubber boots, or wellies as my friends from England tell me they are called. I think I prefer wellies. So they’re mini wellies because the regular wellies that go most of the way up my calves didn’t fit me.

My daughter was able to get a pair of those so I thought, great – we will walk together after dinner!

That was the plan. But I didn’t sleep well at all last night and after dinner I just felt so tired and a little sore from a half hour walk I went on yesterday. No after dinner walk. Plus, I have another migraine which is probably related to the change in weather expected overnight. Freezing rain is forecast for the morning, a lot of it.

Still, damn these aging bones and weak muscles!

It used to be so easy to bounce back. A few years ago if I took a few days off from my walks it was no problem. One bounce and I was back on the footpath.

But then last year, my depression getting a real stranglehold on me, I ended up spending several months in bed. I’d get up to get my daughter off to school, then go back to sleep until she got home, make her supper, and go back to bed to eat it. Yep, my daughter would eat her supper watching videos on her computer and I would eat my dinner in bed watching old tv shows on my laptop. I’d taken everything I needed to entertain myself in my conscious hours to my bed so I rarely had to get up for anything.

At one point my daughter pointed out to me that I had “migrated” to my bed. There was no denying that.

It was so humiliating at times. She’d bring friends over and have to bring them upstairs to my room to introduce them. Those kids looked as awkward as I felt.

The house we lived in was an old century home that the landlord has pretty much given up on. He was just letting it fall apart. There were critters in the attic running around, and in the walls. So many mice I got myself two cats. The first few nights they were there was a bit of a massacre. I felt bad about it but those mice did insist on pooping in my silverware drawer and I was worried about diseases they might transfer to my child.

Amazing looking back how the house had become a metaphor for me. At one point I was afraid of the house burning down because it was being so badly neglected by the owner. I should have been more worried about my psyche burning out because of neglect by the owner.

But the state of the building finally got so bad I knew we had to get out of there. I found us a new, lovely little apartment in a house where the owner lives right upstairs. When we moved in I promised I would keep this place clean and I have. For the first couple of weeks here I felt like I was waking up from a long, dark nightmare.

I am having a hard time trying to get onto a regular sleep routine. I still tend to stay up way too late, although often that’s just due to my regular insomnia.

I do get out of bed though. I do it for my daughter and I feel better for it. I’m really trying to get better.

That’s the hell of depression – how it robs you of yourself, brings you down to your lowest level of existing. I became a shell, a husk of a person and I have to fight against that everyday.

And I am realizing that those months in bed did some serious damage to my body. It’s going to take quite a few bounces to get back on my old footpath but I’m in better health mentally right now so I feel okay about that. I’m willing to take it slow. And I am armed with my new mini wellies.

Tomorrow morning’s ice storm (if it comes) should be melted by the end of the day if the forecast for afternoon rain and mild temperatures holds true.

So tonight I will go to bed early and tomorrow after the ice melts I will walk! I will!

Little bounces, little bounces.

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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, getting better, mental healthTags , , , , , , , , 3 Comments

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