Over the years I have used many “self-help” books to “cure” me from my mood disorders. I have stated before that I was in denial for quite some time that my problem was deeper than I truly let on. I am going to give you a little more in depth timeline of how my mental health changed over time.
When I turned 18 I was elated to be moving out of my home with my parents and in with my boyfriend who became my husband a month later. We started dating when I was 15 and for the most part, my depression seemed to subside a bit. It wasn’t always in the forefront of my mind. I had my 2 oldest children very young and very close together. I was 18 when my first was born and 19 when my second was born. They are quite literally 11 months and 11 days apart. depression seemed to stay away for a while even though I had the “blues” after each pregnancy. I am very fortunate because I absolutely loved being pregnant and had very easy deliveries. My body was made for having children. I kept reading books that said to be on the lookout for postpartum depression… which I didn’t think I had. After my second child was born, I went to the doctor for “restlessness”, “irritability”, “insomnia” (the babies slept fine, I was the one who couldn’t sleep), and feeling “down” even though everything was going great. The doctor told me to start exercising, take vitamins, and have a nightly routine to help with the insomnia. Immediately I began to exercise. It was something I needed to do for health and from what the doctor said, for mental health as well.
I began to notice a pattern…. I would become addicted to something for a short time and then switch it off for another addiction. Not drugs or alcohol… just activities or reading…hobbies… simple things like that. Exercise became my addiction. I worked out 7 days a week if I could… 6 for sure. And sometimes, after going to the gym, I would go hoe and workout there. It was wonderful in many ways… I got into amazing shape, felt my mood lift a bit, and slept quite well.
Out of the blue, I decided to chop my hair off. This wasn’t new to me though because I always grew it long and then chopped it off. Well, this new short style seemed to transform me…or I was transforming regardless. I finally grew into myself so to speak and got a-lot of attention from the opposite sex. This started to be a problem and I came up with “solutions” that were not appropriate for a marriage. Basically, I was in the throes of my first hypo-manic/manic attack. Literally a couple months into the mania, I was divorced. I didn’t have custody of my kids and I spiraled from there.
I always fluctuated from severe depression to grand hopes of going to school and becoming something great… I wanted to make great money and share custody of my children. This Grand thought prompted my 1st move to AZ where I lived with my Mom and tried to go to school. My grades were great… my attendance… not so great. I eventually got kicked out of school because of attendance. My plan failed. Again, I was back at square one… my babies were not with me… I had zero skills for a good job… all I could think of was getting into a horrific car crash with a diesel truck. It consumed my thoughts.
Then I met “B”… the bipolar lunatic with severe suicidal tendencies… and I fell in love with. MADLY. We were a toxic combo. My depression became even more severe because I was constantly in a state of worry that “B” would kill himself. I made my first Psychiatric appointment in the year 2000… after I was taking a bath in which all I could think of was drowning myself in it.
I saw the PDoc the very next day.
I sat in this Psychiatric groups office that was trendy, visually stimulating, and full of people. I was the only one unable to stop crying. I filled out a lengthy questionnaire and met with my Doc for about 15 minutes. He never “told” me a diagnosis, though he did say that based on how long depression had been a part of my life, I had “major” depression. He handed me samples of Serzone and a script and out the door I went. The Serzone caused crazy visual side affects that I called him instantly about… so my prescription was changed to Wellbutrin Sr150 twice daily. It was my miracle drug at that time. But that too changed…
- Melancholy~ Part 1 (bipolarmuse.com)