I had crippling postpartum depression for four years and for two of those years I blogged about what I thought was my journey to wellness. I went off my meds for Bipolar Disorder, did Crossfit, ate nothing but meat and vegetables (Paleo Autoimmune Protocol because I decided my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis was the cause of my deteriorating mental health and don’t you know, food is medicine!), did tons of yoga, meditated like a motherfucker and took 800 million supplements a day,
Surprisingly, that journey ended up being a highway to hell. I ended up in and out of mental hospitals and almost killing myself in 2014. Everyday was torture.
I just turned 44 and I’m stoked. I feel great. I finally get to enjoy being a mom. I can get out of bed. I’m a stand-up comic. I laugh all the time. I have amazing friends and family. Life is better than I ever, ever could’ve imagined.
So I decided to take a look at my old blog to see if I made any birthday posts. I present to you where I was mentally and physically 5 years ago.
. . .
My 39th Birthday
My 39th birthday is tomorrow and Iâ€™m in day 3 of a very heavy bipolar depression. I love my birthday. Itâ€™s my favorite day of the year. My own personal holiday.
And Iâ€™ve never, ever been depressed on my birthday before, which makes me even more depressed.
And Iâ€™m getting a sore throat. Not shocking.
Trying to get out of this one feels like trying to pull a huge wet comforter out of the washing machine â€“ no matter how hard I tug, twist and pull, itâ€™s too heavy and twisted to rescue tonight. Maybe in the morning, when I have the strength.
Mornings are better. Waking up is never lovely for me, but I have enough energy to get to about noon before the tingles come â€“ then I know the morning was a lie.
I hate the tingles. They feel like the shivers feel on the outside of the skin, only just under the surface. Tingles are from the inside out. I havenâ€™t met many other people who get tingly depressions, but individuals with different brain chemistry have their own separate internal experiences. Perhaps depressions are like snowflakes, only a hell of a lot less pretty.
And my brain chemistry makes me tingly for some reason.
My severe depressions are just as physical as they are mental. Thatâ€™s why even if I can force myself to exercise â€“ which is very difficult in a depression â€“ I have to take it easy because I have injured myself badly in the past. Mental injury is bad enough, adding physical to it truly blows.
I really donâ€™t want to share what Iâ€™m about to share, but I feel compelled to do so. Super ugh. Iâ€™m not a big fan of being vulnerable. Although my life seems to be an open book, Iâ€™m well aware that I choose what I want the world to see.
I feel defeated.
Iâ€™ve worked so hard and here I am again.
Iâ€™m doing everything right and here I am again.
Itâ€™s been almost 2 years since I was well.
Maybe Iâ€™ll never be balanced again.
How much longer can my husband handle having a sick wife?
Everyone has their breaking point.
Because I have hope and faith and a big, fat carrot. If I believe the 3 week remission I had in September wasnâ€™t an accident and the 3 year remission I had a few years ago wasnâ€™t an accident, then this depression, as much as it sucks, isnâ€™t an accident as well.
Now, my everything hurts so goodnight.
. . .
I no longer believe in remission from bipolar disorder. Being stable for the past 2+ years doesnâ€™t mean that Iâ€™ve been in remission. Iâ€™ve still had mania and depression, but Iâ€™m out of the bog I was in for four years. Living with bipolar disorder is a day at a time and takes an incredible amount of self-love and acceptance. And work.
Also, I’ve learned that “tingly depression” is Chronic Epstein-Barr and Lyme Disease flare-ups, but I wasn’t diagnosed with both until early 2019, so I mistook it for depression. And it does coinside with depression as well so there’s that. Let’s just say, it’s a balancing act. A delicate, complex balancing act.
Back when I wrote this post, I was in the middle of postpartum depression which is an entirely separate beast, in my opinion. I wasnâ€™t just fighting bipolar disorder. Of course, I didnâ€™t know that at the time.