The Return

I lost my way, and I didn’t know how to talk about it—not here, not with my friends, not with anyone other than my journal and my doctor.

Every thought that entered my head felt meaningless. Depressed, I’d decided that I was a failure, worthless, stupid. The infected thoughts paralyzed me with worry and weighed me down. For much of July, it was difficult to get out of bed in the morning. It was seemingly impossible to stop ruminating.

In mid-July, I wrote this in my journal:

You wonder when you will stop worrying. Will it ever go away? That feeling that you have failed yourself? You wonder if you will ever find a partner. The thoughts repeat endlessly in your mind. You obsess. You stagnate.

It’s time to change. To realize that you’re doing the best you can—you’re doing what you know how to do. You are trying.

You have to believe that your life is meant to steady its course. You have to believe that all of this isn’t a mistake. You have to believe, as Brene Brown says in her TED Talk, that you are “worthy of love and belonging.”

I got through the depression. I came out the other side. I am back to feeling like myself. I wish I could say it’s because I went on a special diet that fixed my broken mind. I did, in fact, go on this UltraMind diet for weeks. I cut out processed foods and sugar and dairy for a while. Suddenly, I was eating like Gwyneth Patrow and I thought that the deprivation would solve my problems. And of course it didn’t hurt. I’ve kept up with no sugar and no caffeine, and I feel better for it.

But what brought be back into myself was not dietary modifications; it was a change in my medication. So often we hear about bipolar people—or most people—complaining that medication clouds their thinking and makes them feel separate from themselves somehow. While I’ve felt this way in the past on certain cocktails, right now, I’m certain that, in the same way an antibiotic helps you fight an infection and return to good health, so can an antidepressant, a mood stabilizer. This shouldn’t be news to anyone, but even today, there are prevailing messages—like what I read in that diet book—that a person can eat her way to a healthier mind. This may be true for some people. For me, I needed the medicine.

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4 thoughts on “The Return

  1. Hi bipolar girl

    I am glad you have pulled through.
    In my side of the world its winter in July
    and season wreaks havoc with my moods but after increasing my chronic medication I too am doing much better.
    I am thankful for good medical support and good quality medication.

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    • I’m glad that you are doing better as well. Winter is so hard for me; I use a sun lamp to help with the darkness. xo

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  2. Great courage. Thank you for this blog. I agree re the point about the book. Those strategies are all secondary to the meds and they are important. For me the key is to create stability in my life, the basics, exercise, medication, food, sleep, therapy. When I get those pieces balanced and stable the rest is about understanding my triggers and knowing how to manage the complexities of life. Everyday I’m learning how to manage. Everyday I find new things that trigger me. It’s the journey of recovery and treatment. Glad your back and ok.:-)

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    • Thanks so much for the great comment. I love that phrase: “the journey of recovery and treatment.” Yes, indeed. <3

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