The last time I posted was 15 days ago. I wrote about my lack of Christmas spirit and the start of depression with what I hoped was a bit of humor and perspective. The next day I crashed and crashed hard.
Since October I’ve been handling a fair amount of anxiety over finances, the kids being perpetually ill, and some other things I’m not at liberty to discuss. A pivitol event happened just before Thanksgiving and then proceeded to get worse (once again, I’m unable to discuss more than that). I felt anger and anxiety all the time, I started self injuring again, and I knew I was headed towards depression. Okay, I was depressed, but I thought I was managing it well enough. I was sliding fast, but I thought a week off of work before the kids got out of school would do the trick. Read a little, sleep, do some holiday stuff, and then get back to being me.
Only that didn’t happen. You can see by my post on the 16th that the merrymaking and relaxing was falling flat. The day after my post I decided to try something new. No tasks or goals. I only wanted to focus on rest. Picture hunkering under a blanket, sipping cocoa, watching Black Books and straight up chilling. Instead I woke up fully mired in the worst depression I’ve experienced since my breakdown in college.
I say woke up, but I hadn’t been sleeping. Maybe three or four broken hours each night. That morning I sent Sam off for the day to draw and the kids to school. Then I wept. Then I slept. Then I wept. Then I carried on a normal conversation with a friend for 20 minutes and that exhausted me so I slept some more. And wept some more. When it was close to time for the kids to come home I showered. By shower I mean I stood under running water for 45 minutes because I couldn’t get the energy to soap up my body or wash my hair. I chewed gum to avoid the time it takes to brush my teeth.
I decided to go out. I put on some clean clothes and went with Hope to Walgreens for some Christmas shopping. I was so foggy I proceeded to spend all the money in my bank account (there wasn’t much). I went to knit with friends and tried to see as normal as possible. I came home and wrapped some gifts. Wept. I went to bed exhausted and sore.
The next day was even more dreadful. I felt like the most worthless burden. Sam went to the grocery store with me because I was scared to be alone. I sat in the coffeeshop waiting for my therapy appointment at 1pm and I cannot even read back what I scribbled in my journal. I went to therapy and my therapist recommended a psychiatric hospital’s day program. I just had to make it through the weekend.
I made it through the weekend, but barely. Mothering was difficult. I would watch a movie or hangout with the kids and then dip into the bathroom to cry. Every two or three hours I would nap. I went to a democratic debate event. Saw a movie with Hope and counted down to Monday.
Monday I entered the day program at the hospital, saw a psychiatrist, was diagnosed as Bipolar 2, and started getting the help and medication I needed. Yesterday was my last day in the program, I’m sleeping normally, and I’m mending pretty well.
The number one thing that helped me through this process was telling people I need help. I’m not just talking about Sam and the folks at the hospital. The Friday I found out I would need to be in the hospital I did a plea for help on Facebook. We needed help with babysitting, we were short on cash and couldn’t pay a sitter, and I was no help with remembering or arranging anything. Friends and family members brought meals, babysat, and offered me constant and continual encouragement. It made all the difference.
My reading mojo returned on Tuesday and I’m hoping that blogging mojo sticks this time. This isn’t the greatest post I’ve ever written, but it is a start.
Tonight at midnight I start a new year and I have huge plans for health and balance.