Toolbox

The depression has been pretty bad the last couple of days.  Again and again, I reach into my “toolbox” for the skills, behaviors, thoughts, reminders that keep me from falling into the gravity well of my illness.  It all feels very counter-intuitive.  When my body and my brain feel so tired, exercise seems exhausting.  When tears are close to the surface, calling a friend or getting out of the apartment seems humiliating.  The animal seeks easy comfort and avoids pain, so thinking of healthy distractions instead of my usual bingeing and spending or being quiet enough to feel where the depression resides in my body seems overwhelmingly difficult.

Since I’m dipping into my toolbox so much, I thought I’d share the one on my altar, the one I made so I wouldn’t forget.

There’s no doubt about it—this illness is hard work.   And we’re called to be the most diligent when we are at our worst.  Courage and strength in the face of adversity—isn’t that a form of heroism?

I want my own action figure.

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Fiddle gal
    Apr 10, 2011 @ 09:14:44

    What a great idea, your tool box is beautiful! Blessings as you sit in your depression, may the light shine through the darkness, at some point!

    Reply

  2. Cheryl LaVille
    Apr 10, 2011 @ 09:31:16

    Hard work is never humiliating–it IS exhausting. Friends are the people you call when you need a life line. Tom and I always say–you know the person is a friend when they ask something of YOU, not when you ask something of them. So, use your friends when you need them. They’ll feel needed and loved. Didn’t say it was easy. Oh, it’s exhausting. But, never let yourself believe that it’s humiliating. (You’ll call them when you’re feeling good, so it all balances out!) I think having a tool box is wise. Using it, even wiser. If you CAN use it, you’re still holding onto the reins. I don’t know anything about being bi-polar, personally, but I do suffer from clinical depression and I know I need a tool box, too. Maybe just not as many tools in it! 🙂 Cheryl

    Reply

    • Sandy Sue
      Apr 10, 2011 @ 14:56:43

      Humiliation is a common dark twist my thinking takes. My ego gets invested in my *progress*, so, inaccurate or not, the downturns back into depression or the jumps into hypomania feel like personal failures. Character flaws. The task for me is to feel what I feel, accurate or not, and use my tools anyway.

      Reply

  3. Kitty
    Apr 10, 2011 @ 12:42:56

    “Courage and strength in the face of adversity—isn’t that a form of heroism?
    I want my own action figure.” Well, you’re already my Super Hero, but if you wanna go nationwide… I’ll call Hasbro.

    Seriously, though… Today you bring me to two places that we have been in the recent past… I said, “Teaching the body to know a new way, since the mind cannot be counted on in these moments.” And you said, “I’ve quit trying to understand and now just feel it. Maybe that *is* the body coming to the rescue.” And then I go back to the conversation about practicing taking the sharp points off the top (mania) and how that helps take the sharp points off the bottom (depression.) In that conversation we saw that, during the depressive phase, we are not capable of much active work at all. The real progress and inner depth stuff happens when we are not in the depths of despair. However, we also know that the darkness is important and teaches us, just in a different way. So, putting all this together, maybe all we can do when we’re in the dark is to DO NOTHING. We don’t feel capable of doing the healthy things… so let’s simply try not to do the unhealthy things too. Become inert until the darkness passes. Just wait. Just feel it. (I pray a lot in this phase.) We won’t be getting a lot of positive stuff done, but we also won’t be hurting ourselves and that is a beautiful thing.

    Reply

  4. ManicMuses
    Apr 10, 2011 @ 22:12:59

    Yes, of course you can have your own action figure! What is your superhero name and (besides putting up with this Bipolar crap) what is your superhero power? 🙂

    Reply

    • Sandy Sue
      Apr 11, 2011 @ 12:25:57

      Ooo! She shall be called Dyadica! Faster than rapid cycling! Able to leap the highest manic episode! Strong enough to lift the deepest depression! And with the power of her mind, she triumphs over her enemies by making them think they’re psychiatrists who’s session is OVER.

      Reply

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