It’s easier to write about fighting depression stigmas when you’re not in the middle of a depression episode. Today I’m writing to you from the middle. This week my depression has gotten a little worse each day. Functioning is difficult, but I make myself do what I can. A week or two ago I was in the middle of a hypomania episode, a different middle, where I had loads of manic energy. I had so much energy that I couldn’t feel any depression. I was exceedingly productive and never needed to sleep, but I wouldn’t get exhausted.
Then my brain hopped on the slide and lowered me into this depressed darkness where getting out of bed is almost too overwhelming for me to accomplish. I did get out of bed today, and I am forcing myself to check a few things off my to do list, anger at being stuck on this bipolar carnival ride fueling all of my energy.
The picture shown above illustrates what I’m feeling right now. I’m surrounded by mud that wants to suck me under, the muddy water holding me up is cold and inhospitable and you can see my discomfort on my face. There is wood and barbed wire above my head making sure that if I try to raise myself up too high and throw off the depression status quo, I will be rewarded with pain and pulled hair (it happened: a barb caught my pony tail and it was not pleasant).
Yet, I am resisting being sucked down into the mud. I’m fighting to keep one hand on solid ground and the other doing its best to keep myself above water, even if barely. My face is smeared with grit, my hair is snarled, I am freezing, but I’m still looking ahead to the other side of this dark time.
As long as I can do that, I will be okay.