Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Mood Swing

Hope everyone had a happy New Year! I'm just coming out of a terrible depressive episode. It's was so disappointing since I'd been well for so long. I'm not yet sure what to do with this blog but while I make my mind up, I'll continue posting.

What truly bothers me is that when I begin the slide into the abyss, there's no place to go that's uplifting. I'd like to be with people but I can't sustain conversations with friends. And I don't know anyone, except Syd (from Bipolarity but she lives so very far away), who could be with me and realize that I can't talk, and my feelings change from one day to the next, and everything looks bleak until it doesn't.

And yet it would nice to have a support group, but the only ones I've found are so downbeat as to be really depressing. The idea of sitting in a room with people who feel worse than I do and hear their sad stories--is truly depressing.

In fact, I'm not interested in listening to people talk at all. I only feel better when I'm "doing" something. What I wanted to do was to go to a healing ranch for a few days. I wanted to be in a community of highly functioning BIPs (who sometimes have depressive episodes but are otherwise "normal") and do arts and crafts projects, play music, take care of animals, garden.

I didn't want to talk at all but I would have been willing to listen to someone who was uplifting. Mostly, I just wanted companionship in an outdoor work environment. I even checked out some working therapeutic farm communities (which have good reputations as far as I could tell). But, of course, I needed something closer to Los Angeles--and probably just for a quick hit.

The bottom line is that the Internet now has hundreds of resources and my impression is that most of them are run by charlatans. They're expensive. Many of them make unrealistic claims. The population they're seeking seems to have drug/alcohol problems in addition to bipolar disorder. Mostly, the people seem to be in terrible shape. In my case, misery doesn't love company.

So, maybe my real goal should be a true Bipolar Wellness Facility. It's seems a bit overwhelming and I'm not sure where to begin. But it's something to think about!


Carrie said...

Aren't you going to come visit me at SoulScape? I'm working hard to be ready...


ariadneK, Ph.D. said...

GREAT to see a post from you! You've been on my mind since your last post, and I wish you well in overcoming your current funk (sorry, that's what I always call it when I fall into one myself!) and continuing this terrific blog.


Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Thanks Carrie and Ariadnek. I really appreciate your comments. Carrie, the midwest is kind of far for me...but it's still a great idea!

roomalone said...

I've just begun checking out bipolar blogs and ran across a link to yours on Bipolar Planet. I know it's difficult to write when depressed, but keep it up, even if you just spill out a few incomplete sentences. You never know when you'll help someone.

Syd said...

I'm so glad to see you posting again. I'm with you on the Bipolar Wellness Center idea. I wish there were places like you describe that we could all go to when the going gets tough. Perhpas we need to take over some small spas across the country and start a BP Wellness Revolution!

Welcome back, friend.

marja said...

Welcome back, Susan, and Happy New Year! I've missed you.

Why don't you start a bipolar wellness support group - a support group that does artwork, music, writing, etc, etc? It could be the beginning stage of a true facility.

I've tried to introduce playing board games and doing art workshops as alternatives for people at Living Room, but have found that most people want/need the time to talk instead.

The first half of Living Room meetings are always based on topics of hope though. Often this theme is followed through with during the second part when the big group divides into two or three smaller groups. This format has been very successful for us. People go home refreshed. I always go home happy.

If you start something to support others with bipolar disorder, I'm almost willing to bet it will help you keep depression at bay. There's something about helping others that does that to you.

JayPeeFreely said...

Nice to see a new post from you. Sorry, if I haven't been available or wasn't too high lately (and I wasn't) but I generally have to "do something" to keep from being absolutely the pits.

Wellness facility is a wonderful idea. Think about it: just the concept alone might really take off. (How many are structured for BIPs? How many people are unsure about a treatment option - since there is a bunch of fake ones out there?)

Talk about doing something, just the planning of a facility, on-line startup, a "structured, yet unstructured" program for dealing with the cycles, approval, financing and all the pertinent details would be quite the something to do.

With your personal expertise on the subjects and connections to some people (Bipolar CEO, Doctors you know or talk to, plenty of "clientele" via this site alone) this would be a unique opportunity to delve into for a unique change of pace.

(I sound more "excited" than you. But I think you are on to a better idea than the "one treatment center fits all" crap I've seen. In my various short stints in a "medical environment", I have never once talked to an even remotely understanding or considerate individual....Probably why I drank instead, at least, it was "doing something" to me. Unlike the overpriced idiots I talked to or listened to.)

Anyways, if you ever truly consider it an option to make that foray, keep me in mind for some tasks. I'd like to think i am not totally useless. I work cheap too - practically free. ;)

Happy New Year and Good Prosperity to you always!!!!

Merelyme said...

that sounds like such a good idea...a place for folks to go to get back on track. i am still new to your blog and i don't know you well yet, but i am glad to see you posting again. the internet can, surprisingly, offer much respite, peace, and support. i have tried to build a small community of links on my blog which include all sorts of folk...ranging from artists to poets so i can surround myself in creativity. it all helps.

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Thanks Marja, Merelyme, JayPee,
I appreciate all your comments and advice. I'm just really not feeling well these days so it's difficult to be excited about anything. But it's nice to know that you care!


Anonymous said...

I just found your website this morning and so appreciate your honesty and vulnerability about your depressive episodes. I'm having one right now myself. I was also feeling so well the past few months, but there's something about a new year and all the "what if's" that start hopping up and down in my brain, that it sometimes sends me into at least a mild depression. I take Prozac and it helps me so much, but now I'm 47 and dealing with perimenopausal hormone issues and I'm not sure Prozac works too well at certain times of the month.
Anyway...just wanted to say I hope you will continue to write and I pray you will feel better very very soon!
Sandy M

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear Sandy,
Your comment made my day. When I'm feeling lousy, it's always so nice to receive positive reinforcement.

Hopefully, your doctor is giving you a hormone test to see what's happening on that front. I know that hormones and being perimenopausal can make a difference for some women. For some reason, it didn't affect me but I think I may be the exception to the rule. Thanks for writing!