This is a Really Real Mental Health Post
CW: Mention of past suicidal thoughts.
I’m bipolar, which means I swing into periods of deep dark depression, and periods of hypomania, with some stability in between. Medications and therapy and coping skills have lengthened the periods of stability, shortened the depressive episodes and made the hypomania almost non-existent right now.
Mixed in with the bipolar is also some seasonal depression that is longer lasting and milder. Just a general depression, not so dark, not quite so debilitating, not a crisis, just something to live around. It’s more like the depression that people with major depressive disorder (typical depression) live with. That’s not to minimize it, it’s just a different sort of struggle.
My bipolar depression is a short, very intense race, it takes a lot of energy but doesn’t last very long. My understanding is that major depressive disorder is a cross country race where energy has to be reserved for the long road.
This week the bipolar depression lifted. I was able to convince myself to meal plan for the week, because I planned to be alive at the end of the week to make all of the meals (yes, at one point I wasn’t sure I would be, that’s how dark it got). I was able to cook most days. Really yummy food that reminded me how much I love caring for myself and my house that way.
And today I folded laundry. I can’t tell you how long the laundry has been piled in the spare room. It felt so good to finish and put the final piece away.
And I cooked breakfast, and cleaned up afterwards, and got dinner going in the crockpot for tonight (Lemon Chicken, a new recipe I’m trying).
But, depression is still there, just enough. I don’t want to leave the house, and I’m fighting to get out of bed each morning. I haven’t been to the gym in a few days (partially due to time restraints but it feels Oh So Good, to have the excuse). I’ve skipped some days writing, or written too much on other days (I have drafts saved that may or may not ever be posted).
This marathon depression that just, is, is exhausting. I’m glad it only lasts a few months of the year for me.
I’m also glad it doesn’t make me suicidal.
I’m sure I’ll get back to the gym (we have a plan for tomorrow), and I’m sure my writing will regulate (it’s why I sat down today to get something on the screen), I will get better at living around this.
And in the meantime, I’ll keep loving myself where I’m at. It’s the one benefit to this depression over the bipolar depression.
I can love myself through it.