Sunday, 12 October 2014

Spiritual Health and Labels

I haven't taken my medication for going on two weeks. I have been doing a lot of thinking - when I can. I have been trying to identify things that have caused my illness(es) to get worse, and what could potentially help me fight them and get better.

I realized and have been wondering if that actual act of being diagnosed with something has convinced my brain that something is wrong and thus it acts accordingly. I don't remember (thanks ECT) how my depression really started. Andrea tells me things were bad and I spent a lot of time in the bedroom staring out the window - I don't remember this. I don't remember what led me to try Tap Therapy, or talk therapy, or then why I felt desperate enough to try a psychiatrist (who is awesome). I don't remember a lot of my illness even from this year. I don't remember what led to my previous (I believe 3) hospitalizations, and one of them took place 7 months ago. I wish I had these memories. I wish I had the ability to go back and examine what led me down those very desperate roads. What I'm left with is wondering why, say 6 years ago, I wasn't remotely where I am now. Yes, life has changed - but life always changes. There are always life stressors, relationships are always adjusting, things are always happening. Scientifically speaking, bipolar usually rears is ugly ahead in the mid-twenties - which is when mine hit - so I guess that could make sense. And when bipolar gets vicious, aspects of borderline also get worse - so maybe they are feeding off each other now.

I'm trying to distance myself from the label, distance myself from the drugs, distance myself from that whole side of things and see where my thoughts and actions take me. I will be honest, some days are scary - really scary. Most days are met with a general down mood and then if I can distract myself enough they get better. When I am interacting with people ('peopling' as we call it in my house) I get an adrenalin rush and that seems to hold me for a while. When I'm not distracted or busy my thoughts and feelings quickly head south - and when they are there any little thing (moving, career, relationships, the kids) can send me into a spiral of self hatred, suicidal ideation, and thoughts of running away and becoming addicted to some street drug to escape the world. I have managed, thus far, not to react to any of those thoughts.

Then there is the spiritual side of things. Not the religious side, but the idea of thinking of myself not just in terms of a physical body, and a scientifically functioning brain - but rather as something else as well - something intangible. That is one method of healing I haven't tried yet. I don't know how, though, to work through that side of things. I have done a lot of reading on meditation, especially vipassana meditation, and how that is supposed to help you get in touch with your more inner self and manage those negative emotions in a constructive way. I would love to try that, unfortunately the retreat that you go on you have to apply for, and given that they ask about mental illness I had to answer yes, which meant they sent me a form to be filled out by my doctor, and given the recent stream of emails I have sent him, I don't think he would fill them out in my favour. So I'm kind of stuck. I could try meditation on my own, but I really feel that given how logical and proof driven I am, I need something more intense, and someone to really sit down with me and direct me on how all these things are supposed to work and what exactly it is that I am supposed to be doing.

I have also considered bikram yoga again. I did it years ago. Yoga in and of itself is arguably a spiritual experience, but, again, you have the intensity of the extreme heat pushing you. I need something intense, it's the way I roll. Unfortunately for that, bikram yoga classes are quite expensive and we are not at a place where we can afford it.

So I am stuck. Big decisions need to be made regarding the direction our lives and our physical bodies are going, and I don't feel confident in making those decisions. I feel like I am along for the ride in my own life. Part of that is good, in the sense that i feel I will adjust and be the same wherever it is we end up, but part of that is bad in that I can't form any real opinions or feelings on what it is we should do.

So do I start taking my medication again? I mean, for the most part it kept me more level - but when I did get a down it felt, at least looking back on it and comparing it to now, that the chances of me acting on one of those negative lines of thinking was much greater, and that's a big risk to take. Without the medication, my moods are much more all over the place (at least so far), but the downs seem easier to handle, albeit more frequent.

I'm a prisoner of my own mind it feels. 

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