It’s the start of another week. It is a little different this time though. For starters, my weekend wasn’t horrible. I spent Friday and Saturday night with an old girlfriend watching movies and just hanging out at home. And Sunday I had a date with someone new! It’s also different because I’m not dreading the coming week and am actually looking forward to work. What a change!
I haven’t seen my Therapist for two weeks now. I usually have a standing appointment every Monday evening, but last week there was a scheduling conflict and I didn’t see her at all. I’ve come to depend on our weekly visits, but it wasn’t so bad last week as it could have been. And a lot has happened for us to discuss. She doesn’t ever get on the computer, so last week I mailed her a printed copy of my blog “I’ve made my decision” (10/23/12). That’s sure to generate some conversation I’m sure. That blog is a message of despair and determination, and an insight into my state of mind at that time. She’s very good at zeroing in on the subtleties so it’ll be interesting to get her perspective. My mood has improved dramatically since then, and I’m in a better position to focus on improving myself instead of just trying to cope with the daily darkness. We never have a ‘show and tell’ session. If I just needed to talk about what happened during the week I could find a friend to listen. But this Therapist has a way of leading me into my own insights and realizations, and rarely even offers an opinion. She let’s me figure it out on my own. And she is completely dedicated to being there for me too. She continues to see me even when my financial position changes and I don’t have the ability to pay.
In case I’ve never mentioned it, my Therapist is awesome.
It’s amazing the difference a couple of weeks can make. I strongly suspect that my medication change is responsible for diminishing my depression, but to be honest, I’m just glad to be feeling better regardless of the reason. Living through depression is a horrible place to be. But for me, I don’t even realize how terrible it is until I’m coming out of it and can see just how bad it was. I think that’s one reason it’s so dangerous when I realize I’m getting depressed again; I can remember the last time and know it’s going to be bad. But now, that’s not something for me to worry about. I’m just going to enjoy where I am and stay tuned to any new warning signs that I’m feeling too good and headed into a manic episode. I seem to have made it through another depression, maybe I can use my new insight and awareness to my mood controlled before it gets out of control again.
Maybe I can maintain this after all.
I write a lot about relationships. It’s obviously something that’s very important to me, but I’m not sure it’s always healthy. I’m not sure why, but for whatever reason I need to be with someone else to feel completely good about myself. I know, I should learn to be comfortable being alone with myself, but I really crave the feeling I get being able to care for someone, and being cared for. Now that I’m feeling better I’m putting a lot of effort into meeting someone that I can connect to at that level. My head tells me that I need to take it easy and spend the time working on myself and focus on staying healthy, but my emotions tell me something completely different. The hard part is, I don’t want to listen to my head. Healthy or not I have to follow my urges and try to fulfill the desire to be in a relationship. At least this time I’m being a little more realistic and not jumping into something with the first person who is available. I am trying to be smart about what kind of relationship I have.
This is something I need to work on with my therapy.
One thing about being stronger is wanting to help others who are struggling with their own illness. I feel like I’ve gained a lot of insight and (hopefully) wisdom over the years, and I’d like to be in a position to share. Writing is one way I hope I’m helping, but I’d also like to be more directly involved and be able to see if I’m having any impact. Again, my brain tells me this would be a bad idea. Not only am I not stable enough to be available for the long term, but I tend to relate others problems to my own. Everyone has their own version of this illness and my experiences are not going to apply. So, I write. I don’t get to see if I’m helping anyone or not, but at least I feel like I’m putting the effort in and sharing my skills the best I can. Hopefully there are people who can relate, and take away something that can help them in their own struggles.
I want to make a difference.
But the important thing is I’m getting better every day. I still have my challenges, and new opportunities to help myself learn how to manage my illness, but now I’m in a much better position to cope. I can take advantage of the therapy and keep fine tuning my medications to improve my abilities and skills. Now that I’m able to function again I can continue to help myself maintain this illness. Now I need to use my renewed strength to stay focused on the becoming healthier. It’s been a long hard road to get here, and I’m sure I’ll continue with the extreme mood swings that come with this disease. But for now, I have the hope that this time I’ll be able to keep my moods within acceptable boundaries. I’m in the best place I’ve been in a long while and better positioned to at least make an honest effort to maintain my illness.
Now I just have to make the most of it.