crazy, happiness, health, life, mind, psychology

Coping with Depression

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Hey depression. Here you are again, take your time since you are back. I can’t be present for you now since I gotta run errands.

It took some time for me to get to this point, to the point where I realized that fighting with myself makes no sense, so I started taking the depressive mood with a grain of salt.

First, I felt desperate opening my eyes in the morning feeling stuck in the stinky mud of hopelessness, worthlessness, and the entire loss of energy. My days would start with the gloomy “No, no, no, I can’t live like this, this crap will never end”. Here I was, unable to get out of bed, wanting nothing but to hide all day in the bedroom behind the drawn curtains. Daylight with people’ voices and kids’ laughter outside got me irritable, triggering the pain that everyone is happy, while I am doomed to live in the inescapable pit of despair and view the reality through the filthy lens of my messed-up mind.

Then I became resistant. I started a long fight with my helplessness, believing that I can beat the gloom and doom and change. My family got happy seeing me getting out of bed, eating, exercising, putting my make up on, and going to a psychiatrist for a scheduled visit. The guy kept putting me on something that was supposed to fix me. “It will normalize your chemical balance and improve the daily functioning, honey.”

I would nod, I would smile, I was very polite and always paid the bills they sent me from that clinic – I liked him calling me “honey”, or “dear”, or “sweetheart”. I kept picking up his prescription from a local pharmacy and flushing the pills down the toilet. Being drugged was never a way-out, but I would come back for his sweet-talks and brief hugs until this started draining my wallet.

The next step was therapy. A young lady was sincere in her efforts to help. She was fresh from her grad school and eager to make a difference in this world. I liked her, I tried to give tips after our sessions; she always refused referring to her code of ethics, boundaries, and other nonsense. I knew she was struggling financially as a single mom, overworked and underpaid. After two months of our therapy sessions, I cancelled all subsequent appointments and mailed to your home address a check with a thank you note and a request to spend the money on a newer vehicle. The check was never cashed, she was very descent and honest, I liked her even more after that.

Therapy got me into watching my thoughts, questioning my hopelessness, and disputing negativity. I did mood charts, took warm baths with sea-salt and lavender oil, and meditated with incense prior going to bed. The following morning would start with the same depressive crap, but I would know how to make it through the day.

Finally, I got bored, simply bored of following or resisting the mind farts, knowing that the mind will always be there, telling me whatever, and there is no possible way of turning it off. The realization got me shocked, then sad, then blah. Finally, I got entirely unconcerned, I had the life to live and things to do even with a broken tape-recorder in the head.

The alarm-clock rang to start the day, I opened my eyes and yawned, the gloom combined with exhaustion and nagging irritation was there. I got up and went into the bathroom. I wanted to get ready, I had things on my agenda: to drink water, to clean my fish tanks, to get roses for my girlfriend’s birthday party, to drive to the airport, to finally see the mountains. The depression was there, I shrugged my shoulders, letting the mind do whatever, I did not care, I really wanted to start my day with drinking some water.

crazy, happiness, health, life, mind, psychology

Life with a Mental Disorder

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She was sick. Most of her time was spent on seeming normal. She played tennis and attended cocktail parties. Her friends came over to hang out. They enjoyed the way she cooked pastas and cheesecakes.  She saw her in-laws on weekends and attended bible study classes every Wednesday night. She socialized outside the household and was attentive and polite within the family. The house was clean, the children did good at school, her husband was recently promoted. He attributed his success of getting the operations director position to her. “I would never have done it without you. You are everything to me, you are my angel. ” He worshipped her, she was his inspiration, his pixy.

But she was sick. No one had any idea what it took her every morning to get out of bed and function as if she were ok. Her inner world was the ongoing manic-depressive roller-coaster, and she never knew if her mind would take her on the ride of elevated mood and high self-esteem; or she would end up hand-wringing, unable to control purposelessly repetitive body movements.

Sometimes she spent nights pacing in the bathroom hyper and panicky, unable to sleep. Sometimes fatigue hit her so hard that she struggled lifting her head off the pillow. Her self-worth could elevate and drop within days or even hours resulting in tremendous energy loss and the feelings of emptiness and despair.

Hiding her sickness and faking happiness 24/7 was the worst. No one in her family was aware of what was going on, she was too scared, too proud, and too ashamed to be verbal about her condition. Her days were infused with the fear to be revealed and labelled cuckoo. She masked her panic behind the façade of smiling politeness and pleasant demeanor. Her husband finally started making six figures a year, she got accepted by his parents and became president of a local book club. She was scared to mess everything up and kept pretending and going through the emotional nightmare day and night.

It happened on Tuesday. Her husband took her out to dinner. She put on a blue cocktail dress and a perfect smile prior leaving the bathroom, the only safe place where she could be herself restlessly pulling the hair and biting the nails.

The restaurant was almost empty. Her husband had to answer the work phone and hurried outside when a middle-aged waitress approached the table.

Are you ready to order?

Of course,  – her smile faded when she raised the head from the menu. The waitress was looking straight into her as if digging deep into her soul.

You are strong, everything will fall into place.

  – I am ready to order, – She had the feeling that the lady got her, the lady saw her true messed-up self. And she felt relieved when her husband finally came back.

One her way home she kept thinking about the words of the waitress. The waitress was weird, disrespectful, and crazy, but what she said made sense. Faking health and happiness, when dealing with mania, depression, and panic attacks clearly required lots of inner power.

The next morning started with the loss of energy; her previously elevated self-esteem broke against another depressive episode. She forced herself to open the eyes and look at the clock. It was the time to get her kids and her husband ready for the new day. They wanted potatoes and eggs, he wanted cappuccino and a cream-cheese sandwich.

I am strong, I will get through this, I can’t feel low all the time, the mood will end up go up anyways” started her recovery. She knew she needed to learn about her mind to be able to foresee upcoming mania and subsequent falling into hopelessness. She started looking for help. She started asking for help. Gradually, she started living.

health, life, love, mind, psychology, relationships

Dealing with the Broken Heart. My Story of Recovery.

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It is over. I will never see him again. I went through the night hiding under the blanket, shaking with cold, struck with emptiness. The morning started just fine. 20 boy push-ups and lots of water kept my mind away for a little while.

Jim called asking if he can stop by. I confirmed and went into the kitchen to fix an apple pie. Slicing apples and blending egg whites with flour and honey got me busy. I was functioning, I felt almost normal.

Jim brought roses, I cut each stem and placed the flowers into a vase.

Now what?  – he was cold and practical. He kept trying to get me back and hated wasting his time and money with no certainty.

I do not know.

Tell me what you want, and I will do it for you.

You can’t fix my pain, I gotta go through this by myself.

 – Nice cake.

 – You can take it home.

 – Be my mistress.

 – No.

 – You are using me all the time, it is mean and rude.

 – I do not care.

I am ready to give you what you want, just tell me.

 – I want freedom from pain.

He left with the pie, I went shopping. The pain subsided as I was focusing on a birthday present for my girlfriend. The pain almost disappeared when I stopped by to give her a hug and a potted flower. Her house smelled like joy and pizza. There were many people and many presents. I drank water and conversed politely. As we went out to watch the sunset over the water, I started panicking, I knew I would have to leave soon and be by myself again facing the pain through the night.  – “Are you sure you gonna be ok?” – my girlfriend looked concerned as I kept zipping and unzipping pockets in my handbag trying to find the car key. She wanted to help, and she could not, no one could. It was my pain, my cross, my burden.

I watched TV that night and fell asleep. The muscles were sore from too many pushups, the body felt empty.

The text from Jim woke me up – “You live in a crappy area, I can move you into a safer neighborhood, get over your breakup and come back”.

I smiled and stretched in bed. I wished I would get away and stay away from the area where everything reminded me of the past where I was happy and miserable. But I knew the pain would follow me no matter where I go. I knew I gotta deal with my emotions rather than running away from them.

I took one day at a time. The ties that connected me with him kept breaking causing pain sharp, and fierce, and nearly unbearable. My body was withdrawing going through convulsions as days went by.

The realization came later as I was focusing on the needle point excited and entirely involved in cross stitching. The realization that pain has nothing to do with love and feelings. The pain came from the hurt pride, from the failing attempts to control the life of another person, from the merciless possessiveness and the urge to dominate and sponge the person for attention, affection, and endless romance and intimacy.

I put the embroidery aside and closed the eyes. The love was there, it felt wonderful. I pictured him with another woman and smiled. I wanted him happy, he gave me the most wonderful time in my life. He deserved happiness and joy. I went outside and turned my face to the evening chilliness. The ego broke into million teeny-tiny pieces, I was vanishing with the drowning in the water sun. I let go of myself, my wants, my desires, my needs. There was no sense in carrying the burden of my pride and self-esteem any longer. The freedom was there. It has always been there. I have always been free. Everything felt simple and natural. I felt relieved and light; as light as a feather returning to my needle point.

 

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crazy, happiness, health, life, mind, psychology, relationships

Dead-end, Endless Mind Games

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The dead-end was everywhere. Everywhere she went, everyone she met, every life situation she faced was infused with the gloom of hopelessness and despair.

In relations, in career, at school, and with friends, she felt the doors kept slamming in her face or even worse, she saw no doors, just the concrete wall, cold and unbreakable.

Her mornings felt greyish, by noon the depression gradually waned turning desperation into the slightly lighter afternoons when her mind started generating more and more new ideas how to break damn the wall, how to fight the dark endlessness, and to finally make a change in her life. She got involved in copious projects insanely wasting herself on buying stocks and selling lipsticks; her afternoons were the time she had sparkles of hope that she is moving somewhere temporary silencing the dead-end anguish.

Her evenings started with routine workouts and phone calls from men offering the sugar-baby fix: “How much do you need to leave your job and stay with me, hun? You and your son are pretty amazing, give me the number, and you will get paid as soon as you move in” .

  • It is crazy, you are crazy, – her body was shaking with tears and laughter. Small, pale, anorexically thin, showing ribs through nearly transparent skin. Anemic and unable to look through the dead-end. Desperate and distressed – the more she tried the less resolution she saw.

She knew that going to bed at night slightly hyper with new thoughts and ideas was a very temporary relief; since each morning began with falling into the gloom of a new depressive episode.

I tried to help. I tried to plant a seed of common sense in her hysterical, “I will NEVER EVER change anything in my life”. I gave her some reasoning, which I thought would work, but she was blind and deaf, totally married to her problems and obsessive about doing, doing, doing, acting, acting, acting to find the way-out.

It happened late in the afternoon when I left a beauty store absorbing Florida warmth with every cell of my body. I felt her in a usually strapless dress, holding a rose soup, and looking for the vehicle. Petite, nervous, and fearful. I suddenly realized that it does not make any sense to argue that the dead-end is only in her head; and that her frantic efforts to act are as illusory as the problem that she created.

I realized that she will always be here, scared, tiny, subservient and naïve. She is one of myriad personalities the mind creates on a daily basis; and proving to her that neither her dead-end, nor she exists is a waste of time and energy.

I got tired of reacting to her drama, enticing victimization, the infinite desire to resist and fight. Her presence did not bother me, I did not care.

I found the vehicle, put the scented soap on the front seat, and smiled to the rear-view mirror. I was not sure which personality I saw, but I did not care, it did not matter to me any longer.