and yesterday didn't suck as bad as the day before that.
In depression world, this is progress.
I get points for making it to church today. I get extra credit points for hanging about after church today long enough to get asked out to lunch -- and then I actually went. Normally I slip out the door FAST, and I almost always come in late. Some days I just can't handle people being nice to me, and at Calvary United Methodist Church, there are always people who want to give me a hug or smile and say hello (oh, jeeeez). It's just too much to take.
The extra credit points are for CONNECTING, which does help me get out of my head (which right now is not a very nice place to be). The depressive urge is to ISOLATE, which feels safer, but actually is not. And lunch was a lot of fun. Which was good, because I wake up with a lot of fear about what the day will be like. Ok, yah, I made it to church, but what will happen after that? When will the anxious ugly scary brain take over?
In her sermon, Pastor Laurie took us through the loving kindness prayer today -- one version is to pray for health, happiness, wholeness, and something else (I know there were four) first for yourself; then for a person you feel neutral towards, then for an enemy, and then for the whole world.
To be depressed is to be self-involved (in my opinion), but even so -- the worst enemy I could imagine was my own depressed brain. I'm so angry and scared by this depressed part of me that to pray for it felt dangerous. I'm not sure I would have tried it alone, but I was in community, so I gave it a go.
There wasn't any miraculous healing (now that would have been a good story) but prayer doesn't necessarily lead to obviously miraculous results. I'm still figuring out who is this "I" that tries to fight/work with/outwit my depression -- who fights and fails, or struggles and has moments of ok-ness. At lunch I may have even felt good for a bit, which is no small thing.
So after lunch, I walked my dog, and then went with my parents to see The Soloist -- the movie about the homeless schizophrenic brilliant musician befriended by a LA Times reporter. Great movie, if a little intense for me at this time. The connections between brilliance and mental illness are perhaps a bit overstated; where is the movie about the average musician with schizophrenia? You know he or she is out there.
While I might not use the word brilliance (though my mother certainly would) it is difficult to separate out what of my creativity, drive, passion is connected to bipolar illness. I've written and thought a lot about this idea lately -- bipolar disorder as a part of me, something that cannot be cut out without losing something else about me, something of value?
Time to watch the hockey game. Go Hurricanes!