Aiming to see the bright side

For someone who recognizes the swings of bipolar disorder reaching back into late adolescence or early adulthood, I have had precious little acquaintance with depression. Unfortunately I remember it best as a stepping stone on the way to hypomania and, at worst, the door into a hallway leading up to eventual mania.

Now, on the heels of a drawn out period of manic and mixed state agitation I am settled into a pit of anxious depression. Bone weary I find it hard to sleep. With long days to fill I find it hard to focus. Plans and decisions loom on the horizon but I find it hard to concentrate. I make an effort to go out somewhere everyday but before long I feel nauseated and eager to get home.  And now my psychiatrist is unavailable so my faithful doctor has set about looking for someone else to help me assess the effectiveness of the medication I have relied on for so many years, just in case it is time for a change.

And the thought of a medication change is about as comforting as the thought of having the carpet pulled out from under me without warning.

Copyright JM Schreiber 2014  No sign of last week's storm
Copyright JM Schreiber 2014
No sign of last week’s storm

Today I made my own small effort to take back some control. It was a glorious warm September day, with only the piles of branches that litter the streets, sidewalks and parks giving testament to last week’s unexpected snowstorm. I made my way downtown to the offices of Wordfest, our annual literary festival, to see if they might still have a need for any volunteers.

One advantage of my current inability to work is that for the first time in years I am free to take part in this major festival. Typically it coincided with the busiest time of year at my former job, so volunteering or attending events was impossible. Now I am committed to helping out with two events on the 14th of October. I was cautious to warn them that my energy reserves are uncharacteristically  low at the moment but it is my sincere hope that in a month there will be a little more juice flowing. I can’t quite picture it getting worse.

In the meantime I have a plenty of reading to occupy my time in advance of the special visiting author events I hope to attend over the course of the festival. The support of my doctor and therapist is vital, I know, but Wordfest gives me a tangible goal to look forward to – an essential light at the end of the tunnel when everything else seems so uncertain.

Author: roughghosts

Literary blog of Joseph Schreiber. Writer. Reader. Editor. Photographer.

7 thoughts on “Aiming to see the bright side”

  1. Scary … I wish I had good advice, but you are sensible and experienced and you’re doing all the right things anyway. And btw you take beautiful photos too. That one is surprising; all nature and then you loom closer and oh hello city …

    Like

  2. I totally relate– though I had depression and mania for most of my life. But leaving the house has become an ordeal and once out I feel sick and can’t wait to get back home. Tough, isn’t it? Kudos to you for volunteering!

    Like

  3. It’s great that you are able to attend some things that you couldn’t really attend before, especially when you feel passionate about it (the writing, reading). It does suck being off work, but the freedom to do those things in the meantime does help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I loved my job and drew so much from it but I don’t imagine I will go back to that particular environment. I have some disability benefits for now and I know I am a long way from being ready for any full time work at this point.

      Like

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