Clearly Clicking Ahead

Three weeks ago, it was Entirely Too Soon to tell you all just how much better it seemed that life was getting.  Now that I have had three weeks of relative (gasp!) happiness, steadiness of mood, positive feelings, and lack of severe depression, I am here to confirm that I am quite giddily at a (fairly) solid, maybe slightly elevated baseline.  After over a year of soul crushing depression that never let up for longer than a day during that period, what I feel most is sweet relief.  Over the past year, I was fairly positive that I was never going to ever, ever, ever experience a “happy day” ever again.  Thankfully, I was wrong.

lifeislovely

I feel clear-minded, I feel optimistic, I feel like issues can be worked on, I feel like my toolbox is full, I feel as if I have great love in my life.  I feel so good that I worry my mood is getting too elevated.  This feels a lot like hypomania, building into mania, but I would really like to believe that it’s just good, solid, level, positive feelings.  Bipolar disorder is cruel in that it makes a person unable to trust their own feelings, their emotions, their behaviors.

So, I choose to believe this is happiness.  I choose to believe that a combination of a happy home with LarBear and satisfaction with learning new things and the addition of quite a bit of mental health groups and programs has resulted in a happy Rosa.  It doesn’t hurt that it is Spring, and the weather has been beautiful.  It doesn’t hurt that I have finally crossed the line from willfulness to willingness, and that I am really and truly being honest with myself about my feelings and thoughts.

I have been keeping very busy, between DBT and individual therapy (both talk and art) and art groups and the newest addition, a peer mentor.  My mental health maintenance and my art are now primarily my “job.”  And really, I am working on it all several hours each day, but not so much that I am getting burned out and not so little that I am just sitting around wasting time.

I find that, the more time I can spend being creative and creating things, the happier I am.  For the last several months, it has been jewelry, and more recently, I have moved into papercrafting.  I find that I love learning new techniques and skills, and I find that I am quite good at working with my hands, which surprises me to no end.

I feel that, to make the creativity complete, I need to get back to writing regularly, even if it’s just a 300-word essay on the blog.  I miss it, and I miss the connections I make with other bloggers.  So, I’ll try once again and write semi-regularly.  That’s all I can do, is try.

My main goal, or the goal overall, is to not wallow in my misery.  That is easy to say when not depressed, but super terribly hard when in the depths.  For as long as I can, though, I am going to face any issues head-on, I am going to be effective, and I am going to use every skill I have to keep my mood relatively stable.

This happiness thing, whether it be hypomania on the road to mania or just true happiness, is something worth working for, something worth putting all of the eggs into the basket for.  To have felt the lowest of lows for so long, and to now feel like life is worth living and that the world around is so amazing and beautiful, yeah, I want to hang onto that.

happiness-flowchart

 

 

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22 thoughts on “Clearly Clicking Ahead

  1. Keeping busy and doing creative stuff (usually writing, but at times painting, beading, and photography) have kept me sane. Focusing on something outside myself has made a HUGE difference. In the end, for all of us, there’s a bottom line: there’s only so much medication you can take without screwing up the rest of your body’s ability to function. At some point, you have to find something — anything — that isn’t a pill that helps.

    I think those of us who are creative are lucky. There are things we can do that we enjoy and keep us focused on something other than the big black hole. Eventually, I learned to find my way to “the other place” and the black hole’s pull grew less and less potent. I also think getting older and losing a lot of the monthly hormonal rush helped too. It think (just my theory, of course), that hormones in tandem with bi-polarity enormously aggravate our problems and when the hormones decrease, so do our swings.

    It’s GREAT to hear you being you. I missed you!!

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    • I agree about being lucky to be creative. I know people who are less so, and they have very little to turn to that can bring them any relief or distraction. I’ve always felt sorry for people who dealt with issues such as being “bored” or there being “nothing to do.” Seems like I can always come up with something! I’m glad to be back, and have missed you (and this version of me!) too! 🙂

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  2. You seem to be a wonderful, brave woman, struggling to manage the ups and downs of depression. Thank you for sharing your successes and challenges. I will share this across my networks knowing that there are followers who will profit from your wisdom. Be well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hooray, dear Rosa. Every time you have a good day, you pick up and move forward in some way. I am delighted to read this post, and thank you for it. Be KIND to yourself, my blogger-friend. You inspire your readers such as me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. First, I’m going to be selfish and tell you how wonderful it is to see you do a post. I came back and you weren’t around much so I was sad. Wonderful to hear about your turn-around.

    Thinking of the things you have to do each day is great. That’s what I do and it gives me structure, which I definitely need. I hope you find that to be true.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is the sweetest-sounding comment, ever…thank you, Bradley! I know I certainly missed you when you were on your break, even though I wasn’t super regular during that time.

      Yes, the structure piece is absolutely crucial, isn’t it? I think, more than anything else, that is what helps me.

      Liked by 1 person

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