For a few days now, around 7 or so, I was nearly incapacitated by my mental illness. One thing I keep forgetting, more like denying, is the fact that the expectations I hold for myself need to be modified, even if it is for just a moment.
I will be okay, or at least functioning, for a good long while. I will be doing productive things, and taking care of myself. Then, I will hit an all-time low for around 1-2 weeks. There are a large range of reasons as to why I sink down into the ‘not functioning’ type of depression, and at this point, with almost 10 years of experience with this cycling, I am more convinced that it is a chemical, hormonal shifting instead of a circumstantial one, that doesn’t mean that crappy things don’t have a play in it, they do, it just means that it happens like clockwork for me, so, I shouldn’t be surprised anymore when it happens.
Denial and Why It is the Worst Drink to Constantly to Get Drunk on
Unfortunately what contributed to my lack of deeper understanding of this cycle is denial. I denied that my depression was that bad, or even to blame for my issues. I ignored it for the most part. I did get on medication for it and then got off of medication for it. I refused to take my recovery seriously enough to work toward real lasting change.
I denied that I had a problem. I denied that I had control over the problem. I even denied the fact that life could be worth living.
Denial Lead to unrealistic expectations. I refused to calculate my depression into my expectations for myself. This lead to failure which intensified my symptoms. Expecting to drive 500 miles on a tank of gas that goes for 300 miles and not planning to stop at least once to fuel up before your destination is denial. I did that to myself all of the time. I knew that I needed at least one day a week to decompress, but I refused to give myself a day off. That would lead to an “unexpected” breakdown causing more than one lost day in a week. I refused to do what was necessary for myself. People who don’t have depression possibly could go through life not taking a down day weekly. But that wasn’t and isn’t me.
Fortunately, writing is forcing me to see this undeniable truth!
What I am Learning
After starting this blog, and making a habit of writing, it is getting easier and easier to organize my thoughts. This has lead to a realization that coping with mental health can be done in a plethora of ways. One of those ways is through writing. Writing has not only aided in understanding my emotions but also the act of planning and tracking my progress has, inadvertently, revealed the changing in my mood. Even though these acts are mostly revealing a subjective understanding of my disorder they have revealed much truth.
This truth is that my perception of my mental illness really does affect how my mental illness presents itself in my life. I can be living my mental illness or living with mental illness. One is my mood dictating my life and the other is living my life despite my mood.