Bipolar is a strange disorder. Often people picture a bipolar sufferer to be bursting at the seams with energy, creative and always starting new tasks and basically just crazy. That is during mania or hypomania. When depressed someone with bipolar can lose all focus, where there was once a zest for life and an eagerness to try new things and do everything possible is gone as it makes way for apathy, a complete and utter lack of motivation and anhedonia which is the loss of pleasure felt by things that are usually enjoyed.
I am not lazy, I just lack the motivation. I know you may have seen me roughly 2 months ago, very actively writing a blog, loving my job and working very hard, I was literally very OCD about the cleanliness and organisation in my apartment but that can all change in a matter of days. When the depression starts to come around my motivation seems to slowly slip away. My once excited, energetic and hyper self is replaced by an empty shell. This shell is virtually apathetic and cares little about the world around her and doesn’t care enough about life to do anything.
Work is an uphill battle as I force myself to go into a job that two months ago I absolutely loved. I struggle to get myself motivated to do even the smallest of tasks. I struggle to feign interest in my field which is difficult since I had no passion whatsoever for financial planning in the first place. What’s worse is that it is the quiet period so finding things to keep me busy is hard to do when you don’t want to be doing anything. I don’t speak to anyone at work because I prefer the silence that comes with solitude. It is much the same out of work.
I don’t really speak with anyone unless it is through text because as most people know I hate speaking on the phone especially when I am feeling like this. I don’t really visit people or organise outings. I might have a good hour or day and try to arrange a catch up but usually I choose to stay at home watching the list of films and shows that are specifically picked for depressive episodes, namely Tim Burton movies.
I don’t talk to many people, it’s usually just Rob. To be perfectly honest talking to a lot of people or certain people requires an amount of effort and energy that I am in short supply of. Don’t get me wrong I love my friends and I love my family but the further I sink into this hole the more I prefer to be alone. Some people take this personally, some leave me be and some continue to try and make sure I don’t completely fade into the background – for this I thank you.
I don’t know how to fight off the creeping depression. I would if I could. My heart is heavy and my mind and soul are troubled. Physically I feel like I am drowning, the pain in my chest is crushing me. I read somewhere that depression isn’t sadness, depression is emptiness. Emptiness is certainly what I am feeling. It’s an abyss deep within me and it is growing slowly but surely. I don’t care for anything anymore. I just want to sleep.
I am at the Doc’s office now. Somehow enough time has slipped through the hourglass, giving me a break from doing nothing. He is satisfied that my hallucinations are becoming less frequent and less worrying. “How is your mood?” he asks me. I tell him in few words that I am depressed, I don’t have any motivation and I don’t care about anything. He’s not sure if I have primary depression (being that of a bipolar episode) or secondary depression, which is depression caused by medication for example. He reminds me that skipping medication can also trigger an episode of bipolar; I interrupt and tell him that I did indeed miss 2 days’ worth of medication over the Christmas break. He asked me what the effect was and I explained that I was severely depressed for the first 2 or 3 days and haven’t yet come out of it, though I am not as depressed.
“Sometimes something can happen in your life that can cause depression but from what you’ve told me everything is good in your life” says the Doc. This is true and often very frustrating to know I am slipping into depression when there isn’t any large amount of stress or any problems that contribute to this downward spiral. I want to be able to enjoy my life and stay happy long enough. There may be something contributing to my depression that I have almost entirely blocked out for self-preservation reasons. My psychologist thinks I may have all too successfully blocked out my memories but am left with feelings that aren’t attached to anything. So I may be feeling depressed or sad but not know why.
Whatever the reason may be this time I feel that I have a better plan for success. Rob is more educated in bipolar and is due to meet my psychologist to discuss an action plan in the event that I cannot look after myself, I have a psychiatrist that texts which makes him all the more accessible and a psychologist that I feel very comfortable discussing all my issues with and doesn’t contradict what the Doc tells me. Even if it gets as bad as it has in the past I am sure I will get through it much easier this time.