Monday, July 9, 2007

Bipolar Wellness Walking (Part 2)

Just to clarify...this is a story about a depression that took place many years ago...

So...I'm feeling terribly depressed and I can't get better. The medication my psychiatrist has been prescribing isn't working, and neither is acupuncture, St. John's Wort, or any mega-vitamins, minerals or amino acids.

Swimming somewhat helps but I can't afford to join a gym with a pool and my brother has taken away the key to the communal pool (a facility for the people in his non-gated but affluent community) gate because I was late in returning it (he also has a pool in his backyard).

I've spent weeks searching the Internet for success stories and can't find any. I do find the study that I wrote about yesterday. I've decided that I'm going to try and "walk away this illness." My problem is that I'm having difficulty breathing (my reaction to the mixture of medications I'm taking), my face looks like Edvard Munch's painting, The Scream, I have no energy whatsoever, and am barely able to walk around my house.

Still, I'm determined to lick this so I drive to my mother's house and pick up an extra walker that she keeps in her garage. That's all the energy I have. I hide it in our garage because I don't want to tell my husband what I plan on doing.

The next day after my son and husband are gone, I put on my walking shoes, a large floppy hat to hide my face, and sunglasses--hoping my neighbors won't recognize me. I get the walker, hoping that if I can lean on it I can walk at least halfway down the block. But...and this is a significant "but"...we have a steep driveway and by the time I get to the bottom on it, I'm so tired, I think I'm going to expire.

My husband and son aren't home or I wouldn't have tried this because I wouldn't have wanted to embarrass either of them. I sit at the bottom of the driveway beside the walker and pray for the strength to walk back up the hill.

After awhile, I decide that I will have to force myself to walk up the hill because I'm worried about having my husband and son return and find me and my mother's walker at the bottom. As I walk up the hill, I can't remember ever feeling worse (although, of course, I have). I make it in to the house, hide the walker in my closet, and collapse on my bed.

(to be continued)


marja said...

That's SO funny, Susan. Now this story is something that happened in the past, isn't it? I'm not totally clear - you're not depressed like that now, are you?

...and if not - what IS your mood temperature right now? Hope you're well.

- marja

Emilija said...

I have had depressions where I thought I needed I walker (if not a wheelchair). You actually did it! You are a very good problem solver. I tend to walk and then sit down, sometimes on the curb, every couple of blocks.

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Thanks to Emilija and Marja for their comments! Yes, this is a story that happened years ago. These days I'm feeling great--a little too great, in fact--but I'm using the skills I have learned to reduce the hypomania.

In the past few years, I have also learned how to reduce the impact of the depressions so that they don't at all compare to the one I'm describing here.

I haven't gotten rid of them entirely but that is my next step!