Joy lies in the fight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself


Wednesday, November 30, 2011


First I was bad. Then I was great. Now I'm just in limbo. And by that I don't mean the fun game played with a broomstick. I mean that awful nothing state, where the slightest push can send me rocketing either way. It's like being on the crest of a rollercoaster and knowing that the plummet to darkness is just a millimetre away. I feel like if I try hard enough I will be able to get the happy place back.

The three day Ignite Your Life course was amazing. It inspired me, and challenged me, and since then I've been feeling more positive and worthwhile and able to change. I've been less depressed, not at all suicidal and had more energy. Until... Until. Until. Until. There's always an "until" isn't there? Or an "and then/but then". I'm so grateful for the two and a half weeks of strength and sanity but WHY does it have to end? Monday morning dawned and my old friend lethargy was back, with apathy and self-loathing not far behind. Of course I could have, and should have, used the strategies I learned in the course to change my mental state and try to motivate myself... Instead I spent the next two days in bed feeling the old depression envelop me. I guess I felt comforted in some way, it's easier to slip back into old patterns than try to develop new ones, right?

I'm frustrated that I am not "cured".

I know that it's impossible, but I still kind of wanted it.

Even though I am the first to tell people you need to work hard at recovery and illness management, in the end I am a lazy SOB who wanted an easy way out.

The teachers I met at Ignite Your Life would say I'm using the mental illness, depression, suicide "game" to try and gain attention, connection with others, and self-worth. They're right, because while I definitely have mental illness, it's my choice how that illness manifests itself and how far I let it take hold of my life. I definitely had a choice Monday morning and I made the choice to remain trapped in the depression cycle.

All I can do now is try to switch my mental state and embrace happy, energising, positive thoughts. Which might be (IS!) tiring, but is certainly within my capabilities. I'll let you know how it goes :-D

Monday, November 7, 2011

the only way to get there is to go straight down

Lately I've been wishing for a BPD episode. Anything to shake up the dank, dreary depression that's threatening to block out the whole world. I remember hypomania with fondness... I miss anger, rage, fury - emotions of any kind - as lately I seem to be a blank/black canvas. I'm barely managing to keep my job, getting to work about two days out of five, spending the rest of my time sleeping. I used to blame my anaemia for the sleeping... but lately I've realised that the iron infusion must have kicked in by now, and therefore depression is probably the cause. If I'm honest, this spell of depression has been creeping up on me for months, starting before I raised my Cymbalta level to 120mg. Changing that medication has done nothing, supporting the research I keep reading about which says doses higher than 60mg are pointless.

I don't get paid for the days I'm having off, so I haven't been able to afford to see Doc A. But I'm making the effort this week, and scraping the cash together, as the situation is getting dire. I know he will suggest starting Lamotrigine, as that was one of his suggestions last time. I don't know why I'm on the fence about Lamotrigine...part of it is the cost, especially now I'm verging on unemployed, and part of it is because it's always been in reserve. For "just in case". If I start using Lamotrigine, what will I have left for next time the medication fails me??? More Lamotrigine I suppose.

I spent another day in hospital last week, having upper and lower gastrointestinal tract exams to check for bleeding. Nothing showed up, so my anaemia is unexplained. The haematologist believes it's related to my weight loss surgery. Regardless of the cause, I am still as light-headed and exhausted as ever. I have the Ignite Your Life course this weekend, Friday to Sunday, and I'm dreading it. I have no idea how I will manage to be upfront, present and awake for all those hours, when I usually spend half the weekend asleep. I'm desperate for some relief from this depression, though, and anecdotal evidence suggests this course can provide it. My parents and brother have done the course, and found it inspiring and energising and claim there were a few people who were previously medicated for depression (unipolar and bipolar) that now no longer need medication. I'm skeptical. And don't intend to give up my medication for anyone/anything. I'm a true believer, even though at the moment it doesn't seem to be doing much for me.

I was talking to my family about this course a couple of weeks ago and confessed that I really don't think the course organisers will have come across anyone as lunatic as me. Anyone as recidivist and recalcitrant. Are they prepared for someone whose only goal in life is to not complete suicide? They sent out this pre-course questionnaire and it had all these questions like "What are you most proud of?", "Name four emotional states you regularly experience", "What are your motivations for doing this course". Even reading the questions made me exhausted and hopeless. "How would you describe yourself" was one, and my immediate answer was "fat, fucked, failure". I can't decide if right now is the best or worst time for Ignite Your Life... most of me, the hopeful part, believes that things happen for the right reasons, and therefore it must be the best time. I really, truly hope to experience some life-altering changes. I can't wait to update you all next week.

I'm sorry I haven't been commenting as much on your blogs as I have in the past. I feel like anything I say will be negative and pointless, so often I will stay silent. But I'm still reading, and I hope everyone who's going through a hard time right now will soon be on an upswing. Lots of love to all xx