All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…

31 Days of Bipolar: Day 02. At the severe end of the depressive scale

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Day 02: What is your baseline mood/state? How does that impact your life?

depression

Yes, this is a post about depression, hence the obligatory photo of ‘person holding his head in his hands’. Even though I have never, in my entire history of depression, spent my time cradling my head in my hands. Something seriously needs to be done about this gross (and untrue) photographic depiction of mental illness!

My baseline mood is that of depression, and just so that we’re understanding each other, a depression that is at the severe end of the depressive scale. A depression that is often accompanied with self-harm urges. A depression that is often accompanied with ‘what’s the point in life’ monologues. A depression that is often accompanied with all manner of wails and woe-is-mes. In fact, my baseline depression is so bad that even the most basic of day-to-day activities are difficult for me to perform.

I struggle to get out of bed in the morning; to the point that only needing the bathroom will work.

I struggle to make myself breakfast; to the point that I often skip it.

I struggle to get dressed; to the point I will only do so if I need to venture outside.

And when I do go outside, it is usually only when I need to (such as to go to the GP or the supermarket).

I struggle to clean the house; to the point I will only do so when there is an inspection from the real estate agency.

I struggle to make myself lunch; to the point that I often skip it.

I struggle to do anything at all during my day; to the point I will often spend my hours staring at shadows on the ceiling.

And when I do muster the energy to do something, it is usually only something I need to do (such as take the rubbish out or have a shower)

So it’s a safe bet to say my baseline mood has a somewhat epic impact on my life – and not in a good way! It only adds to the depression that I can’t function on a day-to-day basis. I would love to be the sort of person who leaps out of bed in the morning, brimming with joy and excitement for the wonderment ahead. I would love to be the sort of person who strips off gleefully to hop into the shower, to be the sort of person who whips up Eggs Benedict for breakfast before skipping down the road to perform their job or attend to whatever errands are on the cards that day. I would love to be able to clean my house regularly so that I’m not living in a pigsty or to be the sort of person who can fill their day with all sorts of magnificent tasks, accomplishments or achievements. But alas, it appears that I can only be this person when my mood shifts into the upper gears of my cycle.

In fact, I have long known that I am at my most productive when I’m hypomanic, and even though that state is accompanied by all sorts of craziness (from hyper-sexuality to grandiose thinking to out-of-control spending) I often spend my time wishing my mood would click into this gear. For when I’m hypomanic I’m a different person entirely. I can do all the things outlined above. I’m happy. I’m contented. I’m proud of my achievements.

But alas, it’s normal for me to dream about being in this state rather than actually living it. For I am destined to have severe depression as my baseline bipolar state. And that is something I abhor, for I know deep down that this person isn’t a true reflection of who I am and what I can achieve.

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