My first few years off of meds and dealing with the bouts of depression was very trying to say the least, I would feel the pull of depression start as early as November, but I learned the harder I tried to keep it at bay, the more intense the feeling of foreboding and the longer the periods of depression would last. So if I just accept this part of me that I referred to as 'Down time' the easier it was for me to go through it. That old saying 'This too shall pass' brought great comfort, for just as I knew that depression could and would find me again, I knew that it would pass too.
I still have bouts of depression, but they are fewer and far between but I have to admit this year in particular some of the old intensity has returned, but knowing that spring time always follows winter, helps me see the light at the end of the tunnel. Knowing that no matter how much despair and BLAH you feel, always remember it's not going to last a life time only a small moment of time in my life, is a great copping mechanism.
I want to thank everybody for their words of encouragement during this series, some of you have mentioned about how brave I am to show this not so perfect side of me, but I wanted to expose this side of me as well as the other not so perfect sides of my life, to maybe help someone somewhere either feeling what I have felt or experiencing it for the first time that it doesn't have to define you, that it doesn't have to control you and you can have a good life.
Here are a few things that helped me along the way, just some really simple ideas to chase away the blues.
Lemon Scented candles - smell is an important part of our life, it can trigger memories, for me it is a reminder of summer time, which is a time that is free of depression for those who suffer from bipolar depression. I really like William-Sonoma kitchen candle in lemon scent it is the most like lemon and doesn't smell like pledge furniture polish (Yuk! house cleaning is enough to make me depressed! lol)
Take advantage of every sunny day - Flood your home with it, open blinds, lift up shades, let it fill your home or at least the room you spend most of your time in.
Spend at least one to two days a week outside of the house - This forces you to shower, dress and participate in life. You can meet friends or family for lunch, dinner or shopping. Or you can just spend the day out there by yourself.
Call an old friend - the kind of old friend that you can laugh and I mean really laugh with over silly stuff you did when you were younger. Once you re-establish that old friendship call on this person every time you could use a giggle. Make plans to get together with them when your feeling up to it.
Most important TALK ABOUT IT! you would be surprised to find out how many other people have experienced some of the same things that you are experiencing now. It doesn't always have to be a 'down' conversation, we all have the capability to laugh at ourselves.
The 'Blues' always seems to catch us off guard, but it's a natural life experience. Some people's 'Blues' are just a lil deeper than others. Reach out to someone else having a bad time of it, it will be good for your own healing and you might be just reaching that person 'IN TIME' in their own battle with depression.
And when you feel that old feeling creeping up on you, just think 'bring it on!' let it wash over you, let yourself have a few 'down' days and once you accept it as a part of your life, it's easier to deal with. For me this helped to speed it along, now when I do have a bout with it, it only lasts for a few days at a time instead of weeks and weeks and I find myself able to work through it.........life is good and I am thankful!
Just remember you have felt this way before and THIS TOO SHALL PASS.