Double Whammy

I didn’t really think this whole surgery thing through.

I planned on the discomfort, and the limitations, and the loopy effects of the pain medication.  I stocked my cupboards and laid in supplies of crossword puzzles and movies.  I lined up folks to help me with chores.  But, I really didn’t consider the possibility of having a bipolar episode during this recovery period.  Oops.

This morning I woke up with depression. It exaggerated all the ickiness—my belly hurt more, the narcotics spun me in tighter circles.  But, worse than that, it blew apart my Zen space.

Even though I’d been nervous about the surgery, I purposefully cultivated peace going into it.  As a result, a solid level of acceptance and compassion came home with me, a restfulness in the Now of each moment, gentleness in acknowledging my limits.  Pain was simple and easily tended to.

The depression turned all that calm into suffering.  It twisted my thinking just enough to introduce feelings of abandonment and isolation.  It made me doubt my family and my friends.  It did what depression always does—focused on the negative and took me prisoner as it dove into the dark.

I’m working with it this afternoon, using my mantra to get some distance between me and the faulty thinking (It’s the illness talking, not me.  It’s the illness thinking, not me…).  I’m making cards and cutting bits out of magazines to keep the forebrain distracted.  And each time the depression shoves me into the future or wallows in the past, I come back to This Moment.  Right now, I am comfortable enough and safe enough.  There’s nothing I need to do, no one I need to answer to.  I’ve got a hankering for cherry pie.  I’ll call a friend and see if they can take me to Perkins later.  One step, one need, one healing at a time.

11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. patricemj
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 16:39:15

    hugs from a stranger who understands that blind alley…your art is sweetness to me and I am envious you get to make it, but so thankful you share it. please eat a slice of pie for me, cherry, my favorite…


  2. Deb
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 16:41:06

    Cherry pie applied to anything is medicinal. Highly recommended!


  3. Kathryn McCullough
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 16:51:32

    I actually think the cherry pie could be good for several reasons. It will get you out–change of scenery. It will give you contact with a friend. It will allow you to treat yourself without bringing a lot of junk food home. Sounds nurturing all around.

    Hang in there, Sweetie. Wish I lived close enough to take you for pie.



  4. DeeDee
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 17:59:44

    I’m so inspired by the way you’re handling this stumbling block. I hope I can eventually get to the point where I can keep focusing on the current moment, distract myself from negative thoughts, etc. It’s no mean feat!


  5. carlarenee45
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 18:15:48

    just remember honey, at least now you can tell yourself that the worse part is truly past and the future is healing. and I am thankful things went well and that there weren’t any complicatons. When you feel down, try and think of all the good things if that is possible when you are all pilled up 😉


  6. littlesundog
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 22:39:45

    This is the frustrating period… I was depressed too. You want so badly to feel better, but the body takes time. I tried to find little comforts and go on simple outings (like cherry pie with a friend!) to focus on something good and positive. Somehow my discomfort at the slow recovery actually bolstered me with confidence to work a little harder to gain strength and wean myself off of pain meds. I had one good friend who took me for drives after work each day, who cooked for me and brought me magazines and movies to watch while I was alone. That was the hardest for me… the lonely hours. I wish I lived nearby. I’d make the pie for you and we’d visit until you became sleepy – are you sleeping a lot?? It’s the best thing for you, you know!


    • Sandy Sue
      Mar 20, 2012 @ 06:57:55

      I have friends and family who offer to help, but in my state of mind I misinterpret what they say/do. It feels like I’m an obligation and a chore they have to deal with before they can get on with their day. It’s easier to just be by myself and do what I can without asking for help and feeling like that–even though I know it’s the bipolar making me feel so awful.
      I already decided to switch to Advil today and save the narcotics for bedtime, so that feels like a good decision. I do sleep a lot, with my cats curled close.


  7. pegoleg
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 08:48:16

    I’m sorry about the whammies. Hope you’re feeling better, in body and mind, very soon!


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