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  1. Glad to hear that you are recognizing and experiencing the "simple, peaceful and enjoyable"! I have made it a point to "journal"/record those kind of moments and experiences specifically so that I can go back to them in those moments when the dark and negative is present. When you can't seem to remember ever feeling better, maybe this kind of written proof would be useful? I think of the phrase "finding purpose in your pain" as you talk about learning how to struggle in a "better" manner. I always hope that the struggles and hard/dark periods will serve some purpose even if it is simply to be able to understand and encourage others who are in the same place. Your analogy (or is it a metaphor?) of the shade and the sun is very well written. If you have a gift of words, that is certainly a wonderful way to give purpose to the pain. Being able to give words to the thoughts that others cannot express is such a gift. Do you or would you consider this a gifting of yours?
  2. just thought I would check back to see how you are doing?
  3. I am sorry that you are anxious about what the "AA" people might think. If the "AA" people are truly trying to make progress in their 12 steps, then they should be putting into practice the principles they have learned of being accepting of others instead of judging others. And if they are judging instead of accepting, then they are not the kind of people you want to have a relationship with anyway, right?
  4. I am sorry to read of this constant burden you are carrying. I don't know that I have any specific words of wisdom or encouragement to offer but I did have a few thoughts and questions to engage you in if you will allow it. You mention that no one really understands the darkness and I think that is an accurate statement since the physical and emotional effects of BP depression are unique experiences to each person. That which is intolerable for you may be no source of irritation for me and vice versa. So while there may be some shared understanding it is likely never complete understanding. Maybe accepting the reality that others will never fully understand, might help? Thoughts? You also mention that you are seeking lasting happiness. To me that implies that there is such a thing to be had and that other people have it. I think that is a fallacy that our culture perpetuates. We live in a broken world with which lasting happiness cannot coexist. How could any of us be happy on a lasting basis when pain, illness, grief, suffering, injustice are a part of everyday life? I rather think, the emotions we should pursue are those of contentment and peace. Thoughts?
  5. Yes, actually the one I am familiar with in the U.S. can provide a free phone consultation with a licensed counselor. If you are interested, you can call this helpline at 855-382-5433. I am sure you will be encouraged.
  6. Yes the world is definitely unfair, always has been and always will be, but I believe that we are each able to do something to make our part of the world a little better. What do you think of that idea? For example, what could you do that would make life a little better for your mom as she is fighting the cancer? Or what could you do to make life a little better for your wife in her daily responsibilities? And yes, it probably is true that you can't forget the past in your own ability. Forgetting is generally not the goal, but instead the goal is learning to deal with it and move past it. Since you never answered the question about whether you would consider counseling, I will ask it again with respect to working on this.
  7. I'm sure the rapid cycling can take a lot out of you. I am glad to hear that you have family with you to be aware of where you are in the cycling. And very glad to hear that this medication plan has worked against the suicide attempts. Would you consider meeting with a counselor about some of the negative thoughts, regrets, past memories?
  8. I am sorry to hear that you are struggling with all these thoughts. Are you currently under the care of a psychiatrist or counselor? It sounds like the depression days are quite difficult for you. Do you feel like you tolerate the manic days better?
  9. Sorry to hear about your mom. It is definitely a challenge to switch to being the "parent" for your parent. I'm in the midst of that as well and even with siblings it is exhausting for me because I find that I have little tolerance for the hospital environment. I have jokingly been reminding people that I never wanted to be in the medical field but these past 2 months have seriously proven this is no joke! I have had a couple of experiences recently when it was noticeable that a doctor/nurse was directing their conversation and interaction with whoever they deemed to be the most "significant" person in the room. And appearance can definitely factor into how someone assigns "value/significance" to another person. That whole concept of how we make assumptions about people based on our first impression of them really is proven by behavioral science. Though it is not the right thing to do, it is definitely the way it generally happens. So keeping up appearances probably is beneficial in advocating for the care that your mom needs. Do you feel like it is an extraordinary effort to keep your appearance "put together" or does that come easily for you?
  10. Just thought I'd check back to see how this week is going for you?
  11. Hey Kleigh, I am sorry that this sadness and depression remains and that you are isolated from family and friends. These boards are definitely a great place to get some support and encouragement. I agree with JessiesMom that finding a person/group who can also be supportive would be beneficial for you. We all need a real person present for a smile or a hug once in a while. Do you know how to look for resources available in your local community?
  12. Just wanted to add this comment. First, you are in no way coming off as a jerk! Your concern about the stress of caring for a parent with dementia is completely warranted. It is called "caregiver stress" and it is a very real concern. Second, you are wise to recognize that carrying this mental stress for any length of time will have a negative impact on your physical health as all prolonged stress does. One of the basic recommendations for "caregiver stress" is to ensure that you have a good support system - whether family, friends or professional counselor to help you maintain the necessary boundaries in a situation like yours. Do you have that in place?
  13. I am sorry to hear that your new job experience was so stressful. Stress/anxiousness is certainly a normal response for many people when trying to learn or accomplish something for the first time. I am glad you had the courage to call your supervisor back and explain your actions. Even though walking off the job was not the best action to take, making the call demonstrates your ability to admit your mistake and your desire to make the situation right by trying again. It is very kind of your supervisor to give you this second chance so I'm sure you will make every effort to do your best. What coping strategies/techniques do you use when you start to feel the stress or anxiousness taking over? Have these ready in your mind so you can take action right away when you go back to work tomorrow!
  14. A couple of things come to my mind with the question you have raised. 1) I think the line is likely drawn in a different place for every single person. I could be having a very productive day and still find other people who are working circles around me and producing 10 times what I am. So I wonder if we just have to get to know what is a reasonable expectation for ourselves and NOT compare this to others and NOT allow the expectations of others to dictate what is healthy and reasonable for us? 2) regarding your depression manifesting itself in physical pain, have you ruled out other causes of the physical pain like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome...?
  15. If I may ask, what are you doing to get free from the drinking addiction?
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