Wednesday, 23 October 2013

The face of my depression or facing my depression?

There are many faces that a bipolar person has: the face of depression, mania and even of a mixed state. Sometimes we can conceal a depressed or manic face so that even our loved ones can't tell. Other times the face of despair and hopelessness is realized by others through dark circles under the eyes, a constant frown, tears. The lighted face of mania--wild eyed and flushed--can draw attention from even strangers. The most difficult part about this, however, is not what other people notice. But what we see when we are standing alone in front of a mirror, honestly looking at ourselves. Honestly looking into ourselves.

And because looking at ourselves at our most vulnerable is a very personal thing, I'll switch to the first person now....

What I saw today when I looked at myself was so subtle that I doubt anyone would know anything was wrong. It only took one glance into the side mirror of a car for me to tell that something was terribly wrong. Of course I knew my mood hadn't been great. But for the first time in a long while I saw hopelessness, disappointment, fear. I was seeing the face of my depression (again!).

Excuse me though as I try to catch you up briefly. My last post was end of June so there's obviously going to be pieces missing, but these are the big events since my last post:
  • End of July: Moved across country to find a place to live for the upcoming semester.
  • Mid-Late August: Began first semester of PhD.
  • Early September: Made some poor choices.
    • Risky sex.
    • Drug use --> Mania-like symptoms.
    • Irregular sleeping.
    • Missing class --> Fell behind in school.
  • Mid October: Was kicked out of house by druggie landlord in the middle of the night.
  • October 22: Turned in paperwork for medical withdrawal from my university.
So the ugly face of depression has reappeared. As of today, I have withdrawn from my university, and I am wondering what the hell is next. I sort of have a plan in place and that means facing my depression instead of just staring at it helplessly.

The plan:

  • Return to the basics.
    • Sleep regulation
    • Exercise & healthy eating
    • Medication and supplement management
  • Attend therapy.
    • Mindfulness practice in between
    • Mood-tracking and sending charts to both my doctor and therapist
Yeah so that's that. Oh, and also, I can still return to school (when I'm ready). I have to show documentation of improvement before I can be readmitted. But I'll think of that when it comes...








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