You have read multiple times how I will be on top of the world, having all my joy back with being alive. All my routines begin again with a vengeance. I begin my shower, teeth, getting dressed, and makeup routine with no feelings of dread or inability. I make lists upon lists of how to improve myself, I read everything under the sun on how to NOT let depression take over again. This stage usually lasts about 2-3 weeks, then without warning I will wake up one day and its GONE. All my hopelessness and hatred for EVERYTHING returns. I tell myself I am strong enough to combat this, that I have control to not let it take over. But it does. My arms and legs immediately return to feeling they each weight 3,000 lbs., and everything is TOO impossible to do. I regress to bad hygiene and bad homemaker. Everything piles up, I’m incapable of answering the door or phone. I absolutely avoid all social media, even writing a post to my blog is incapable of happening.
Even though the depression returns here and there. I am very thankful that my good days outweighs the bad. Which is the first time in over 3 years of having constant debilitating depression.
If you follow me, then you know 2016 what when I began fighting this horrible disease. I sought out Psychiatrists, Counselors, unbelievable number of visits to my Primary Doc., I even completed one month of extensive Outpatient Therapy. I tried so many new med cocktails since the beginning of last year. Out of all the meds, only two have worked. The first one worked wonders for a month, then completely stopped. So as usual I am told to return to my normal cocktail. The Dr.’s were always scratching their head with me, because on numerous occasions, new meds made me believe suicide was the only answer to save my kids from a crazy mom, and that was always by the 4th day of taking them. After a year of new meds my Psychiatrist told me that Bipolar is a horrible illness, and there is nothing else she could do for me, and that I had to accept my life, and do my best.
YAY!!!!!!! I finally have good news. I decided not to take her word for it and returned to my Primary Doc on my hands and knees for his help. After an hour of deep discussion, he decided to add a NEW medication to my cocktail, that he has had great success with other patients.
WELL……..It WORKS, it has completely changed my life these last 2 months. I no longer ONLY feel joy from sleep. I wake up rested and ready to start my day. I cannot even take a cat nap with my toddler in the afternoon, that I sooooo loved everyday. I have purpose. I look forward to keeping my household in order. I feel joy in my life.
Some days I do have the thought “when am I going to wake up a depressed mess again?” But I fight hard to put it out of my thoughts and not let it consume me.
One major problem with awakening after 3 years of being empty, and sad, and totally detached from reality is Procrastination became my normal habit. It is a very difficult habit to break. Even though I am happy now, I have to constantly fight the urge to “wait until later.” It has been two months of working on this and everyday it gets easier to break.
Do you suffer from procrastination due to your mental illness?
Tips that work for me to end procrastination:
-Take baby steps, do a task in 5 minute increments until you’ve completed it.
-Stop being a perfectionist
-Set a specific deadline for your tasks. (My deadline is noon everyday.)
-Eliminate distractions around you. ( Yeah right… my toddler is my shadow all day with constant interruptions…. Sometimes to avoid the headache I do deep housecleaning while everyone is snuggled in bed.)
-Ask for help. (My husband has been my rock through all of this. I probably would have never been able to dig myself out of especially cluttered (or should I say trashed) house without him sharing the duties and putting everything back in order.)
-Remind yourself of your end goal.
-Think of some rewards to give yourself after you complete the tasks you had for that day. (If I’m done by noon, I allow myself chill time with a series on Netflix, or a good book while I eat my lunch, and I don’t get up for an hour or so.)
-Tell others about your goals…. accountability goes a long way.
-Work on changing your negative self-doubt thoughts to Positive ones.
-Prep. at night for the next day.
-Get up early (I now get up at 4:30am to drink coffee by myself and go over to do lists. It’s early, but it’s the only hour I have that I am completely alone with beautiful peace and quiet. I start breakfast and wake up the school kiddos at 5:30am.)
-Exercise in AM
-Organize breaks throughout the day.
-Use and MP3 player with headphones. (This has been a game changer for me. I stay so motivated, and dance and sing while I do my chores, I love it.)
-Constantly update your To Do list…….You get real satisfaction out of crossing things off.
I hope these tips are as helpful to you, as they are to me.
*****If you need “free”one on one motivation with this very topic, Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will find a form of communication that your most comfortable with whether its via email, Facebook, messenger, or even phone texts.****
My next post I am working on is on Mental Health and your family and trying to let go of all the anxiety it causes.