And I want to Paint it Black. The essence of so much depressive angst captured in a timeless song. Sad part is I did not understand the significance of painting a red door black until a few years ago. For some the red door signified welcoming and refuge, by painting it black you were turning away from welcoming. I have always loved the song because it spoke to how my soul felt, a place of desolation and pain. Even with my new medicines I feel the undercurrent of those desolate feelings, almost like a rip tide tugging at my ankles ready to pull me back into depression. The medicine is no more than a band-aid some days and a very weak one at that.
Sometimes I think my real voice is lost in that current, too much self inflicted pain fueled by self doubts and circumstances of life leave me afraid to try to express myself. The words all feel so dark and I want to unburden my soul I just do not know how or want to just be perceived as a pessimist.
Master of none. I think that statement really does apply to me. There is not a whole lot that I cannot do if I set my mind to it and I have enough time. Even the things I struggle with such as math, if given enough time I can muddle my way through. The key though is setting my mind to a task, there is where it all goes to hell in a hand basket. Maybe it is the curse of being a Jack of all Trades, I enjoy too many different things so, it is difficult to decide what to work on. That is one of the reasons I have a difficult time balancing between work and home life. Work life is easier because there are tasks that need to be accomplished and priorities of those tasks helps dictate what to work on. Home life I just cannot seem to prioritize the same way I do with work.
How does a person with mood swings grow spiritually?
Not having been raised in a religious household, I lack many of the habits that lend themselves to spiritual growth. Add to the mix the depression and mood swings I have been trapped in over the last several years and I feel lost. As with so much of my life I am scrambling to re-establish now that my moods are stable, I seem to be spending each day trying to formulate plans to work on my spiritual growth, art, writing, exercise, guitar, etc… on top of that I am trying to manage my household, work on home repairs, I have vehicles that need fixing, a yard that needs a large amount of work, the lists go on and on.
So, my desires are currently at the mercy of my undisciplined life. I use the word undisciplined because it truly describes my behaviors outside of work. I just seem to not know how to balance work and home life and I never have. I get lost in my work and do enjoy it, I just cannot seem to do the same thing outside of work.
Living with Major Depressive Disorder and Bi-Polar is just a bit difficult. I spent the better part of the last year unmedicated as I transitioned away from a psychiatrist who just could not understand why a patient might have to adhere to what their insurance allowed. That really was the last straw for me in a doctor patient relationship that often lacked two way communication. The biggest issue was that my medication was no longer working for me and I was sinking deeper into depression with each passing day. It did not help that there were multiple difficult situations I was going through in my personal life which just compounded the depression and mood swings.
I stopped seeing that psychiatrist and weaned myself off of all the medications and surprisingly did not get much worse, this was mainly due to how depressed I had become while medicated. After months of hell I went to my primary care physician and he tried to help me but the medications he tried were not working for me, so he sent me to a new psychiatrist. Thankfully years of treatment, maturity in accepting my mental health, and no more fear of speaking honestly about how I felt, I was able to establish a good rapport right from the beginning and the psychiatrist quickly added Bi-Polar to my diagnosis and started me on a new mood stabilizer. I had been on a mood stabilizer before, in fact I was on the same one for over a decade but never was that adjusted. By identifying and treating the Bi-Polar instead of simply treating the depression I feel better than I have in years.
Now that I am feeling better I have to face the many tasks that fell by the way side as I struggled just to focus on my doing my job daily and taking care of my family. In many ways it is daunting, I find myself struggling with where to start on the list of projects, home repairs, automobile repairs, and other tasks that I now need to pickup and take care of before they get any worse. The silver lining is that now that I am fairly stable the to-do list is now driving me further into depression, instead I am faced with frustration which is much easier to deal with.
Currently reading the book “Why Am I Still Depressed” by Jim Phillips MD and came upon this passage.
sometimes even use Depression NOS for patients with bipolar features that might otherwise be coded Bipolar II, hoping that Depression NOS is the least stigmatizing of all these labels.
Doctors who would misdiagnose to avoid stigmas, actually serve to perpetuate stigmas against mental health. Imagine what would happen if a doctor didn’t want to stigmatize a cancer patient and improperly treated them. The results would be catastrophic, the same can be true with mental health as self medicating can be deadly and the wrong treatment can increase risk of suicide.
I have spent the better part of the last year struggling mentally and emotionally, fighting with failing medications. To be more specific the medicines I was on stopped working for me and I had a falling out with my psychiatrist. Now I am seeing a new doctor, one that finally listens to me and agrees that I am not just depressed but bipolar which makes so much sense based on my mood swings and general symptoms. I finally feel like I am getting the treatment I have so desperately needed. It is amazing how much a difference the right mood stabilizer can make in the way I feel day to day.
Of course now I am faced with another dilemma, I have motivation but there are so many things I need to catch up on around the house as well as things I want to do that I am feeling almost paralyzed by a lack of organization. My body simply cannot work as fast as my mind is wanting it to, so I have to figure this out.
After more than a year of being depressed beyond my normal levels and having no motivation whatsoever, I am trying to get back to living life beyond just working. I have a long road ahead of me but I am working on letting go of all of my stress and just breathing every day. My goal is to get back to writing everyday, baby steps
It is strange where I find my thoughts some days, grasping at memories from my adolescence, desperately seeking some lost knowledge and understanding. It is as if I think that this unknown, intangible, something; can somehow transform my life.