This last month (since switching to a new medication), I have been stuck in depression much more than before. This is good and bad. It means that I haven't had hardly any of the shaking or not sleeping or unbearably heavy chest of mania. But it does mean that I have slipped into a darkness that seems like it will never end, even when some of the symptoms of mania return. With the mania, as unbearable as some of the physical symptoms are, I am able to keep a clearer mind about things. It seems so much easier to keep an eternal perspective, to see that this is for my good, and to find joy in everything around me. With the depression, I feel like I can no longer see that there is good in this, and it is so incredibly difficult to find joy in anything. I just want to lay in bed and sleep until the pain of my broken heart magically heals, and I can wake up feeling like my normal, cheery self.
|My "Crazy Tracker Chart" for May|
Also, the depression makes me question every part of my life. I constantly feel that what I am doing with this blog is worthless and a waste of time (unlike the mania episodes when I love writing on here), so I constantly go back to read old comments or messages to remind myself that there is worth in this. I feel so afraid and nauseous every time I post anything, because it feels almost impossible to be vulnerable anymore. But I try to hope and have faith that what I write can help someone somewhere, even when I can't see clearly that it is doing anything but making me feel very exposed.
Honestly, this battle is so hard, and I wonder every day if I will eventually overcome the darkness, but I am trying my best to find joy in anything possible. Here are some of the things I have found joy in this weekend:
- Yesterday, I felt the very unmistakable and clear impression that I NEEDED to bear my testimony about an experience I had the day before. I didn't want to share, because it meant being vulnerable about my depression and my heavy darkness, but I did it anyway. Later, several people told me that what I had said was exactly what they needed to hear. I was so glad to have yet another reminder that I can use my experiences to help others and that the Spirit can still influence my life, even when I struggle feeling the Spirit in a normal way.
- My aunt and cousins got to visit us at church yesterday. It was so good to see them and to feel their love. They could not have come on a better week, because I needed that extra love, even though it meant lots of crying and hugging :)
- In Relief Society, we had a lesson about service. One thing that stuck out to me is that I can serve in small ways without even leaving my house by sending a kind text or writing a letter on the days when the darkness is too great to leave the safe haven of my home.
- Also, at the end of Relief Society, my wonderful friend, the Relief Society president who taught the lesson, gave me a big, warm hug and expressed that she knows I am trying and that she hoped the lesson wasn't super overwhelming or difficult to hear given my current situation. I so appreciated her thoughtfulness in making sure that I was doing alright and that the lesson didn't make me feel discouraged or upset.
- I have had several small moments spending time laughing with friends that have momentarily pulled me out of my darkness. It has been a welcomed relief every time and has given me so much hope to hold on through the darkness when it has returned each time.
- I got to go camping and spend time with family and friends in nature taking pictures. It can't get much better than that. And an extra little tender mercy, I only got a few bug bites. Yay!
- My daughter has been obsessed with drawing smiley faces on everything. It's like she knows what I need to see everywhere I turn. She is so full of joy and brings me so much joy!
- I'm learning to accept that it's okay if I don't know how I will go on, because the Savior will provide me with the necessary strength every single step I take. He will always give me the ability to find joy in my life through any of the challenges that come my way. He is the one that makes it possible to keep wading through darkness every day, knowing that light is coming soon.