Lately I have been tired. I’ve been struggling to find motivation to get moving in the mornings. I’ve been struggling to find my balance. Every day lately has been a game of “what kind of mood am I going to be in this morning?”
I know that looking at things in the long term, I am definitely coping better than I have in the past, and though down, I know it’s not catastrophic, and I know time will get me through this dip. From that perspective, it’s definitely better, although no less annoying.
I don’t like constantly feeling the urge to withdraw from friends and family. I don’t like forcing myself to go out and be pleasant when I’m not feeling it. I don’t like feeling constantly annoyed over trivial matters. I don’t like the wild swings when I start sliding, where I can go from happy to pissed off in what feels like a heartbeat. And then back just as fast.
I swear that my wife has the patience of a saint when it comes to dealing with me. She knows, as I do, that time will pop me out of the foul mood. Time is my nemesis.
When I am up, the it feels like I crash all to soon. When I am sinking, time seems to stop. It drags on and on. The coping skills I have learned over the years help me ride through the lows, make them at least survivable, if not bearable, but they still suck. No medications I have found seem to help completely. At least I don’t self medicate. The only thing that gets me through is time.
The trick I have learned with my struggles in mental illness is this: Time is a thief for those with mental health issues. Always waiting for the next appointment, always waiting for the depression to lift, always waiting for things to get bad again, and always managing from one crisis to another. Time can feel like an instant and an eternity at the same time. Time can be a crutch as well. It can in fact save your life. I know it’s saved mine.
As part of my down swings, my thoughts do go dark. Suicide becomes a go to thought for dealing with the current crisis. When I am there, it is damn scary, waging the battle with my mind. I know fighting the suicidal urges can be difficult, bordering impossible. However bad you may feel though, just because your impulse says to kill yourself right now, don’t listen to it. Set yourself an easily accomplished goal. Tell yourself that you will not act on the urges for five minutes. Once you make it that five minutes, push for ten. Push for longer. Your brain cannot physically remain in that heightened state for long. The impulse will subside. Things, while still not looking great, won’t have that impulsive, urgent hue on them. As insurmountable as it may seem, time will keep you alive. It has me.
Mental illness is a demon that impacts too many people in the world around us. Statistically we die younger, and have more medical complications. We deal with a lot of waiting. Unfortunately time only moves one way. As hard as it is, we need to take advantage of the time we have.
If you get nothing else from reading my blog, get this. Life can improve. It has to right, right?