Bludgeoned by awareness

hands in front of face
Trying to sustain my recent ebbing of bipolar depression during suicide awareness month, is much more difficult than I anticipated. Perhaps part of the problem is that I didn’t anticipate the magnitude of the impact from the onslaught of social media posts on suicide. Please don’t misunderstand that last statement. I understand the importance of this issue, and am supportive of the people who are making a difference in this tragically elevating problem. One might ask, “Sheri, why don’t you just stop using social media?” It’s not that easy for me, since that is where the majority of my support network resides. “Sheri, you need to get out more.” Well, yes, that would be lovely, wouldn’t it? But that’s a whole other issue.

My heart aches for people who are devastated by suicide, whether those who have survived, or those left behind. I’ve done my part during the first week of the month, disseminating important information and memes of encouragement. But it didn’t occur to me to don my protective gear before this became too overwhelming. It’s all too raw, too recent, too close to home. I’m just not that brave or strong, and it’s worming into my brain as a suggestion rather than a deterrent.

Last night I was composing a wonderful post about how, after the longest bout of the worst depression in my memory, I am finally beginning to want to live. Hopefully, I will write that post soon. Hopefully, I will participate by reading and commenting in the blogging world once again. Hopefully, I will recharge my own protective force field and continue clawing my way out of the depths of despair. For now I shall retreat back into my protective cocoon of silly cat videos.

I just saw that the word “bludgeon” is today’s (11/02/2016) The Daily Post prompt. I hope it’s ok to link a previously written post.

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Life with bipolar disorder CAN be good

With the help of two little pills, learning it’s ok to ask for help, increasing my activities, and Weight Watchers, I’ve dragged myself out of my depression.

I’m guessing the Trileptal has a lot to do with it, helping me to jump-start the other areas of my life that had died from the deep depression I’ve been in since October. The anniversary of my mother’s death is coming up, but I’m certain I can get through that just fine.

I’ve learned quite a bit about myself over the past couple weeks. Accepting that I’m not a failure if I ask for help was the most important, as well as learning that having bipolar disorder doesn’t have to control my life. It’s a disease, like diabetes or heart disease, and I can take care of myself by taking the right meds, eating right and increasing my activity in a fun way.

“Exercise” is one of the most unpleasant words in the English language (at least in my opinion). Learning to just increase my activity a little at a time, and in a fun way, is much more pleasant. I skip sideways and walk backwards around the house; and I took my iPod grocery shopping and danced up and down the aisles. I received a lot of stares, grins and giggles; but after all the horrific things I’ve been through, I’ve earned the right to be silly in public. Making people smile, whether they’re laughing at me or with me, helps me feel good. I’m also increasing my time on the elliptical by just one minute each day. After my surgery, I could barely get through five minutes (way before, I was doing an hour!). I’m up to 10-15 minutes, and I’m certain I’ll get up to that hour before long. Listening to podcasts or audiobooks helps the time fly by.

So I’ve learned if I keep my endorphins up by moving, ask for help when I need it, and take good care of my body (including taking my meds on time), this awful thing called bipolar disorder can be beat into remission (I highlighted that because I’m fully aware that there’s no such thing as “recovery” from this disease. I’ll probably still have some bad days, but I’ll get through them).