I was completely wrong. The depression is back with a vengeance. I knew it was coming, but had hoped that being proactive and taking steps to catch it early would keep it from really taking hold.
I was wrong.
It’s not like I waited until the last minute to react either. I was cycling high, and started a new mood stabilizer to get that under control. And it did! At first my mood started settling down to a much more manageable level and I felt pretty good. I felt almost normal in fact. I was very encouraged, and really hoped that I had finally found the right medication to tame the beast. But instead of stopping the downward spiral when I reached ‘normalcy’, I continued down. So I thought, maybe this was just the medication finding equilibrium and rode it out. And still I went down. My mood began to affect my day to day living. Work became harder and harder and my days became miserable; literally sitting without anything to do and counting the minutes until I could leave. Well, maybe there were things to do; I just didn’t have the motivation or energy to even try. I cut the dosage in half thinking that I was just taking too much. When that didn’t help, I stopped taking it completely in the final hope that I could get the free fall under control.
I was wrong.
During this time I became involved in a new relationship. After my wife and I split up, I was determined to protect myself and not get involved with anyone, but in spite of myself; it happened. I have no complaints about the relationship, it was better than I could have hoped for. But the depression just won’t leave well enough alone. It ultimately became too much to deal with, and ‘we’ve ‘decided it’s better to spend time apart for a while. And the bipolar beast claims another victim.
Now I’m back in the same place I was a year ago. I’m alone in my miserable little apartment night after night. I was forced into this apartment when my wife kicked me out and I have to find someplace, anyplace to live in very short notice, and this was the only one that would take me at what I could afford. I was unemployed at the time, and spent the next 8 months there, totally isolated, alone, and unbelievably miserable. That place was never a home, just a place to store my stuff and have somewhere to sleep. Now it’s nothing more than bad memories. I know I need to move, but I have no idea how much longer I’m going to be employed, and finding a new place that is affordable on employment is difficult at best. Not to mention, in my current state of mind, making a decision like this is next to impossible. I feel trapped, which only feeds into the depression.
If there were ever a time to be suicidal, this would be it. The cycles are endless, and there’s no hope in sight. My therapist keeps telling me that the illness diminishes over time, and I can expect more stability as I get older, and it’s just a matter of finding the right combination of medications. Right now, that’s really hard to believe. I’ve been fighting this for over 50 years, and keep ending up in the same place. I’ve tried medication after medication, but still the cycles continue just as bad as the last ones. But I know that this is just the depression talking. I’ve been through this enough to know that, however bad it feels at the time, it will get better. In spite of the fact that my relationships with my children are strained, I do know that giving up will be devastating. This would be especially horrific as their Mom killed herself just a year and a half ago. I don’t have many friends, but I don’t want them to think that I’m a weak loser. The only family I have left is a sister, and it wouldn’t be fair to leave her completely by herself; especially since she has health issues of her own. She’s already lost both of our parents, and our only brother, I don’t want to abandon her too. And I guess most important of all, I owe it to myself. As long as I keep fighting there’s a chance that things really will get better. I know I’m not a quitter, and regardless of how horrible I may feel at the moment I do still have a lot to offer myself and others. I am a good man, and I can still do good things. I met with my Psychiatrist and Therapist yesterday, and am starting a new antidepressant to go along with my mood stabilizers. All I have to do is dig deep, and find some way to hold on until the worst of it passes. Because I know; I have to believe that this too will pass.
I hope I’m not wrong.