Okay. I am trying to be really clear but my mind is just torturing me right now. I’m sorry if this sounds a little drained of emotion in places, and really over the top in others, but the more I focus on the negative feelings I’ve been having, the more I am drawn into them, and it is sucking away what little energy that I have to put words together.
This week turned out to be really rough. It was my first week back to work and I really struggled just to get through to Friday. Monday was okay because I was just happy to back to something resembling my normal routine but the rest of the week was really hard. I am so tired because I haven’t worked for almost two months and I have to readjust to my old schedule which is, unfortunately, pretty hectic. I found myself really frustrated and upset by the end of the day nearly everyday this week. The depression is also still a struggle for me on a daily basis but, in some ways, it is getting easier. I just have to pay attention to how I am feeling each day and figure out why I am feeling that way. I have problems with my energy level (partly because of the depression and partly because of my hypothyroidism). I have noticed, however, that my depressive symptoms are worse on the days that I am feeling really run down. I don’t have as much strength to fight off the bad feelings on those days. So now I am trying to pay attention to how my body is feeling on those days and how my mind is working. It’s all part of being more self aware and doing some self management. On the days that I don’t have much energy, I have to try to give myself a break and try not to force things. That’s very hard for me to do because of the obsessiveness of my personality but it is important if I ever want to be happier about myself and my life.
My frustration was also pretty high because I couldn’t keep up with the things that I normally do like chores, cooking dinner, that sort of thing. I like to keep my place pretty clean which can be a bit of a challenge because I have four small dogs and two cats, who can make a mess in a matter of seconds. Cooking dinner also falls to me because my husband drives 2 hours each way to work each day and by the time he gets home, it’s pretty late. I used to try do one thing each night to keep up with everything but I just couldn’t do it this week. I was in tears a couple of times because of my frustration but I had to try to give myself a break because getting anxious about the situation was not going to help at all. I tried listening to what my body was telling me and just relax in the evening so that I had a chance to recharge before starting all over again the next day.
My stress levels are also so much higher this week because of returning to work. My job is, unfortunately, really stressful, partly because of what I do and partly because of what goes on at the company. I’ve noticed that my stress levels drastically change my ability to deal with the depression and anxiety. I used to be able to handle the normal levels of stress that come with working but now, it really throws me and drives my anxiety sky high. This also feeds into my depression because when I can’t seem to handle the things that are going on around me, I feel like I have failed in some way. When it gets really bad, like when a primary piece of equipment broke early this past week, it effects my ability to think about what I need to do because my mind sticks on how to proceed past the broken piece of equipment. Right now I am really worried that I might not be able to maintain my health, which is of primary importance to me, while doing my job.
Another source of frustration for me has actually been this blog. I haven’t had the energy to work on it which is really upsetting to me because this blog is important to me. I had been posting everyday since I got home from the treatment center and now I don’t have the time (or the energy) to do that. I have been getting pretty depressed about it because I want to take this and do something else with it at some point . In order to do that I have to find some way to keep it going. At several points this week I had decided that my blog was just going to die because I couldn’t keep up with what I thought I had to do to keep it going. This caused me to have a kind anxiety/depression overload yesterday, while at the computer. Feeling the weight of all my past that I CANNOT escape, and everything that I MUST do for my future or my life will have NO meaning, all but smashed the breath out of me. Then followed the pacing, and ranting, and yelling, and lashing out at everything. It’s horribly painful and embarrassing. I HATE being embarrassed! It just makes the pain and the anxious/rage worse!! (someone make this stop!!!). My husband has witnessed a lot of these episodes and outbursts, and he says that since the trip to Lucida, the new medications, and the therapy, it is better. He says I’m more lucid, and that my outbursts are not as extreme, nor do they last as long. However, when I’m in the middle of one of them, I cannot see it. It seems as bad as it ever was. Kind of like standing in a pitch black room. To me, it looks like it’s as bad as it gets, and it could go on forever! But, he tells me that the door is right in front of me. It’s really hard to believe him, because my senses, my body, my feelings, and even my memories want to get in on the doom act.
But later, we went out and had fun. I still felt tragically fragile, but there was fun, and good food, and laughing. And books! I love bookstores. I can remember days when, if I had a ranting outburst, it was done. Blam! Weekend ruined. No way to turn back. The rest of the day was spent in a stupor, while my husband ran around waiting on me, and I would barely talk. So, maybe this is better? It looks like that might be happening. I could really get behind the idea that this is getting better, if I can just FEEL it!
As for the blog and what I want to do with it later on, now I realize that I can still do this and I don’t have to do it every single day. I can just update it a couple of times a week, if that is all the time and energy I have to work on it. It will take longer to get to where I want it to be but it can still get there.
In order to prepare for the next week, I am trying to pay more attention to how I feel physically and see how that connects to how I feel emotionally. I know that stress makes managing my bipolarity so much harder. I’m trying to give myself plenty of rest so that I can recharge before trying this again. I’m also going to go have blood work done to see if my thyroid is really complicating matters because if that is off, it makes handling the depression and anxiety so much harder. I’m going to have to listen more closely to my body and if I am too tired to do something, I’m going to have to try to not force myself to do it anyway. That will just make the situation worse by adding to my stress. I am still really worried about being able to handle all of this but, I will never know if I can do it if I just give up now. I’m going to give it another week and see if my strength starts to come back as I get used to my normal schedule.