It dawned on me the other day that I have never done – do’s and don’t- for depression. You know in my head it sounded better than what it looks like in print. However, Over the past few years I have learned a few things. If you follow my blogs you know I have done a lot of don’ts.
There is so much swirling when you fall down in a hole. Swirling is a good word it embraces the action and sound. You feel swept up and the sound it’s like a tornado swirling in your head. I want to paint a picture of what it is like. Thursday night I fell in a hole. The months leading up to this should have been a tell-tale sign that something was coming. I go up and I go down, the last few months I have been like a ball bouncing. Bounce up and down, hit the floor bounce up a little less in height, another bounce just as hard and a little less in height again. Thursday I didn’t really bounce, I blipped. All week I had been building up to the fall. Its kinda like watching your cat about to roll off the couch, you don’t stop them because you think naw it’s a cat they are smarter than that but you know its going to happen.
Things that go through the mind on the slid. I am not smart, I am stupid, I am a burden, I am unlovable, I hate this body, mind, being. I am not worthy, why would any body–friend, co-worker, husband, kids , God, give a damn about me or anything I do. These are hard words, but these are the words and darkness that go through this globe on my shoulders. There is a darkness that follows you around, a negativity that colours all you do, all you think. The dark voices – and I will use voices, but you could say thoughts, demons, negativity- pick one — they all make you feel crazy. But this is where the battle of depression happens. In the mind and it is a battle grounds. It confuses your words, your thoughts, it bends what you think you have straight. It twists your faith, what is truth. You think things you would never, or have never thought of before, and you are shocked. If you have ever seen a battle field you know the grounds are never the same again. They are hurt, broken, manipulated, not pretty, well groomed or ever the same. That describes your mind and heart, they will never be the same again.
Physically, I look down- seems a weird statement but its like a piece of wet wood in the sun. I start to curl. I don’t look at people, my heart races, I find it hard to breath, sometimes I feel faint, I fidget, shake, tremble from the depths of my being, I usually end up in a ball on the couch or my bed. My body hurts, my head aches, it almost is like getting the flu. To do anything takes all the energy you have. You sleep when you shouldn’t, you blink at the ceiling most of the night when you should be asleep. You can not concentrate, you can’t multi task, any negativity is like nails on a black board you want to put your hands over your ears and scream. You don’t remember things. There have been evenings where I have had to ask my husband what happened the night before or I find messages I sent on my phone that I have no memory of sending.
What do you do? I retreat, I hide, I am uncooperative, argumentative, I don’t want to go out. I don’t care, I spend too much money – that I do not have, I stay up late cause I am angry, I stop eating, I drink too much, I work out too much as a punishment for not being in control. I try to control what I can, thus I don’t eat, don’t sleep. If I sleep the darkness comes in. I text stupid things to people late at night. I put outrageous things on Facebook. I remove any pictures of me from the net. I want to get into a car and drive till I run out of road or gas, I don’t care what comes first. I don’t shower, care how I dress, what my hair is like, or any other grooming, nails feet etc.
What do you believe? You don’t believe that God is real, the devil is creeping around you promising you peace in a nice dark place and when you get there, its screaming and everything but peace. Everything you believe in as truth becomes muddy and you know longer trust your thoughts or what you believe in because it all becomes a blurr.
These are the things that happen when you fall. This is what happens to me.
The don’t s : Don’t mix anti anxiety meds with wine. It only makes the hole wider and deeper that you are going to fall in.
Stay away from Social Media, don’t twit, tweet, facebook, text, bbm, email, or put anything in writing -you will not remember and in the morning you will be beside yourself with shame. I shut off the phone give it to my daughter and she hides it.
Don’t OD on the meds. I was falling last week and instead of taking 1/2 a pill when I needed. I was taking whole pills and doubled up on them and added a glass of wine with no food and sent myself for a tail spin.
Don’t shop. Shopping only makes you broke and you get stuff you really don’t need. It also puts you in a dangerous place. I once had a panic attack at a housewares store, I walked back and forth with a bowl in my hand for 45 minutes – I really thought the staff were going to call the cops on me.
Don’t not eat. You don’t eat cause you hate yourself, and you can control what you put in your mouth but you are hurting your body physically more than you could ever know. You need the energy to fight the battle.
Don’t drive when you are angry. I don’t think I have ever mentioned this in a blog, I have done some really dangerous things in my van because I was in a wrong mind frame and I should have never been behind the wheel.
Don’t lie– I can put on a really good face when I don’t want people, even my husband to know what I am feeling and where I am. Be honest with the significant other in your life, be it friend, spouse, therapist. Someone need to know when you are slipping — its important.
First off there has to be rules. You need a enforcer to make you abide by them.
Do drink tea. When you are having an anxious moment or panic attack a beer or wine is the worse thing you can do — calming teas are so much better they help slow you down and stay away from coffee and pop too.
Do follow the directions on your meds. You know they are there for a reason!
Do get some sleep – watching TV and channel changing till 2 in the morning makes it hard to get up in the morning.
Do go and spend time with friends. Isolating yourself is not what you want to do. Being around people is what you need and not at the mall. Trust that people care, and they want to be there to be a shoulder to lean on.. and you know what — if they are not there to be leaned on, then maybe they are not true friends.
EAT. Not eating only makes your body physically panic and that sets off the nerves and responses, your body is already in crisis from the chemical imbalance in your brain. Food can counter act it.
Pray. When I sit with my pastor my husband and my best friend and they pray over me – I make greater gains fighting this illness being covered over with prayer and protection from the darkness that lurks; than in all the therapy I have taken.
Part two of Prayer – Do it for yourself. When I open my arms and heart and say God I am not in control but you are. All that I am and all that I have is yours. You put the earth on its axis who am I to demand anything from you for I am a poor miserable sinner. Please help me fight the darkness with the light that only you put into this world. When I give my self away – I gain my self.
Help– this all looks good on paper, like most best laid plans. The thing is when you get the flu you need rest and to look after yourself with meds, food, lots of liquids, and someone to help. This is an illness too. You need the same prescription. Rest, meds, good food, lots of the right liquids and someone to help you — or just hold you while you cry. You can’t survive a major illness like cancer, flu, any type of surgery with out help from medical personal, loved ones, friends, even strangers. This too is a major illness you need help.
Truth: What is truth? There have been times when the darkness in my head has screamed that it wants me to say the lies to make them real. God spoke the world into existence. The word became flesh in Jesus. I firmly believe that if I voice the darkness in my head they will be come my new truth. I have to adopt a mantra that God is truth and I will not voice the words in my head. When I keep that going in my head it is my weapon in my battle.
I wanted to do this blog for two reasons, one, for those who suffer, again its like the flu. You get sick and you get stupid– you are laying there with fever and chills and you forget to drink liquids. You forget how to treat it cause you are the one sick– your too busy being sick to treat yourself. Two, for those who don’t suffer this is what it is like and these are the things that you can do to help. If you are a significant other make a rule book. I have to call my husband every time I take an anxiety pill. If I get stuck somewhere due to anxiety or panic attack – he always has his phone on him I call. For his part he knows me so well after 23 years together – he can tell by my face where I am. I lose the light in my eyes and my face changes and he can see it. So can my best friends they can tell too. It s a good plan. I don’t always follow it exactly cause you know I get forgetful when I am ill, but its a plan and its there for my protection. And truly I don’t think I would be alive today if it were not for the people around me and the plan. I’m not trying to be dramatic – it’s just truth. Nature of the beast.
till next time………………………