Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Feeling Pretty Low

Stupid bipolar disorder.

It's hard enough to keep my optimism up against the interminable pain when I'm feeling okay mentally. When I'm depressed, it's impossible. The pain just lubes up the downward spiral.

Like, will I be in pain for the rest of my life? Will I ever have normal sex again? If I'm ever in the position to have children, will I be able to create them without using a turkey baster? Will it hurt every time I pee until that last and final pee that happens after I'm already dead and my body lets loose?

Seriously: in 1996, the day before winter break of my junior year in high school, we had my dog put to sleep. She had kidney failure. That morning, I woke up and threw myself next to her on the floor of our den where she was convulsing. Later, right before leaving for school, I walked down the gentle slope of our backyard to where she had wandered trying with every step to pee. She hardly noticed me as I petted her and kissed her head and murmured my sobbing whatevers to her. She probably couldn't even hear me. She just kept trying to pee.

I've reflected on that moment often when analyzing death and illness. In extreme illness like that, a being's world narrows to this moment, this moment, this pain, this pain. If, somehow, the hand of the universe had touched Sunny's head that morning and freed her of her sickness, she would have climbed back up the hill and back into the range of awareness with which we all function while well. Instead, as her illness drew her towards death, it sealed her off from the rest of the world until all that existed was her pain.

I do not have kidney failure, and my illness is not terminal. But pain and depression are both narrowing conditions. When they overtake you, you seep down into them like through a cloth that can't hold you. You're focused on this moment and this pain, whichever kind of pain it is.

Well, I brought my TV into my bedroom and now I'm feeling better. My bedroom is tiny, making it super warm in the winter, and my bed is much better for my body than my couch. If I'm going to be a couch potato, I oughta do it in style.


  1. hey-
    as i've told you before, i relate to the depression part of your angst. you know it'll go back the other way. ride it out-i approve of the take the tv in the bedroom method.
    hang in there :)

  2. I'm sorry you're feeling down. On a bad day, the pain can seem endless. I understand your wandering thoughts.

    The best thing is to find ways to get outside of your head. Those thoughts just make you feel worse. Focus on the good and stay in the moment.

    Feel better.

  3. ((HUGS)) Esther! I hope you are feeling somewhat better! Hang in there! I think the TV in your room is a great idea!


  4. Thanks Quinn and Kim! I am definitely feeling better. There's nothing like a little Oprah in bed to improve your mood.

  5. Hey Esther!
    I'm glad the tv is helping a little. Rent some musicals and have a marathon! :)

  6. Thanks Jennie! Musicals sound great right now :)