If wishes were horses.

“If wishes were horses than beggars would ride”

Everybody has wishes.  There are things we’d like to have, positions we aspire to, friends to want and happy relationships to enjoy.  We have places we want to see, experiences to have, and things we’d like to do.  I always have my own wish list, but never so much as when I’m depressed.

I wish I weren’t so alone.  It’s a contradictory wish as because of my depression I tend to shun people and don’t want to be around others.  But at the same time, the loneliness and isolation is very hard to bear.  Without the distraction and interaction with friends and relatives there’s way too much time to dwell on the negative which just deepens the depression.  Maybe the real wish is that I felt like being around other people.

I wish I could enjoy my job.  It’s not a bad job.  The work is interesting enough without being overly difficult.  In these economic times I’m lucky to have any employment at all, and I know I should be thankful.  The depression is putting it all at risk.  I have no energy or motivation to accomplish even the simplest of tasks.  I spend hour after hour staring at my computer or flipping back and forth from email to blog stats, doing no work at all.  Out of necessity I force myself to do whatever I can to keep up with the obvious.  On a good day I can get enough done to cover several days of down time.  There aren’t many good days however, just enough to hold on.

I wish I wasn’t so obsessive.  I wish I could say that my obsessions only become a problem when I’m manic.  Or a problem associated with depression.  But unfortunately, my mood doesn’t impact my obsessing; it only changes what I obsess about.  During a manic episode I’ll obsess over finding a particular item I want to buy.  It’s usually not something easily obtained, and I’ll go from store to store or search the internet looking for just the right thing.  When I’m manic I’ll also be consumed with some kind of imagined slight or insult from someone.  It’s almost always a figure of authority; they either don’t recognize my brilliance or don’t give me credit for what I do for them.  Depressions are quite different.  The music I always hear in my head becomes almost unbearably loud.  So do the snippets of conversations that roll over and over in my brain.  Most of all however is the obsession over maintaining contact with others.  I don’t really want direct interaction, but I look for emails and blog connections incessantly.  This is a part of my work avoidance problem too.  I’m constantly refreshing my personal email account, checking blog status, refreshing my email, looking for comments then checking my email again.  This can go on for hours and keep me from doing the work I should be doing.

I wish I could manage my finances better.  When I’m working I make more than adequate money.  My living expenses are very reasonable and I don’t blow a lot of cash buying things I don’t really need.  I’m old enough that I need to be thinking about a retirement plan.  But somehow the money just disappears.  I never seem to have anything left at the end of a pay period and am unable to save anything.  And worse of all, I have no idea why.  I don’t have anything to show for it, I haven’t gotten anything new that I’ve bought and I don’t remember doing anything fun.  The money is just gone.

I wish I had more friends.  Friends are important to me and are a source of support and help with the loneliness.  I believe I’m a good friend to others and give back just as much as I receive.  But good friends are hard to find.  And my extreme mood swings have run off most of the friends I’ve ever had.

I wish I was more attractive.  Not physically; there’s nothing I can do about that.  But I wish I were more appealing as a person that others would want to be around me.  Maybe if I were better liked I wouldn’t feel so isolated and alone.  If more people were drawn to me I could have more friends.  The truth is, it’s probably not as bad as I imagine.  But my low mood and self esteem makes me unattractive to myself, and keeps me from the feeling that others can be attracted to me.

I wish I were in a loving relationship.  I want to be wanted.  I need to be needed.  There’s nothing that feels better than to be loved by someone who knows and accepts exactly who you are.  There’s a deep connection that fills the soul.  I have to be very careful with this one as I have had a tendency to fall in love too quickly and commit to relationship before I should.  I have four ex wives who would attest to this.

I wish I didn’t feel so damned bad.  If I wasn’t so down I would want to be around others and wouldn’t feel so lonely.   If I had the energy I could do an outstanding job.  I could put myself in a better position to make new friends, and keep the ones I already have.  I would feel better about myself and have the self esteem to attract others.  I could love and be loved.  Depression robs me of the very basic ability to meet even my simplest wants.  Mania overwhelms me and pushes me ahead of my wishes; raising the bar and seeking things that are unattainable.

I wish I weren’t bipolar.  For that is really the root of the problem.  Because of my disease I suffer the deep depressions and overwhelm myself and others with my mania.  I wish I didn’t swing back and forth between extremes.  I wish I didn’t have to spend so much energy fighting my illness.  I hate having to take so many medications, and dealing with the constant side effects and changing effectiveness.  I wish I could be normal.

If wishes were horses.

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