2013 and all that

Been out of commission for pretty much all of December because I was – ta da! – depressed.

Nothing new there. What’s bad though, is that I’ve finally gotten really really tired of starting over my life after each depression episode. And fed up too.

I could have taken steps to deal with the depression since before Christmas, but you know what – I didn’t feel like having to fix back my schedule again, or reconnecting with my aunt or family or friends again, or having to urgently trim and bathe the dogs again (though they were matted and did smell), or having to fix back stuff in my garden which went overgrown again, or having to try to remember again what I was last doing when setting up the office network, or losing the 10 pounds I put back on again, or cleaning and organising all the frigging paper that has appeared on all the tables again.

I’m tired of having to live the same two weeks of fixing back everything again and again without ever moving forward in my life.

Right. Enough whining. Doesn’t get stuff done.
Give me a bit to settle myself and start back writing. There’s lots I want to talk about, and for people who left comments or sent me mail, I’ll respond over the next week.

Meanwhile, when one of your friends can take photos like this, you know life is just pure magic.

9 thoughts on “2013 and all that

  1. Sorry you have been down. I have been suffering from bipolar disorder for 40 years and can empathize. Saw something you might think about…When you are going through hell…keep going. Wishing you well

    • Mark,
      Thanks for well wishes and I like the comment you wrote. 🙂
      Got any other suggestions for us?
      Hope the new year is starting off well for you too.

  2. I completely understand where you are coming from… it was almost like hearing myself talking as I read your post. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been down; and I know how hard it is to rebuild after each time – “fed up” was an incredibly polite way to put that feeling 🙂 … and you know what? If you didn’t feel like doing any of those things, I think you did the right thing by not doing them. There is no point going to social events etc. if you just have to wear your ‘happy’ mask – that’s just as exhausting. The garden can wait, the dogs can wait, the family can wait… Something I’ve found is that I can only be there and be strong for others when I myself am OK. Just know that what you said at the end of your post is true… no matter what happens, life IS pure magic. It’s a gift, no matter what our hardships are 🙂 My father has always told me that everyday I need to find something positive to hold on to – even if it’s as tiny as the tip of my pinkie finger. Now when I ‘cycle’, he just says “remember the pinkie finger, possum” and it’s just that TINY bit easier. Wishing you all the best…

  3. The single most important thing that keeps me alive is my dog. She’s a rescue & I will never abandon her. In reading your blog, I didn’t catch what breed they are, only that they need regular grooming, & that no matter how bad it gets, you always feed them.
    Have you considered scheduling a standing appointment with the groomer (mine goes every 5 weeks), and having a family member or friend take responsibility for ensuring the dogs get to & from their appointment when you’re unable? Just a thought.

    • It’s interesting that you say your dog anchors you / keeps you alive. Could you clarify. Is it that having your dog prevents you from following a suicide impulse? Or is that the act of caring for your dog stabilises your moods.

      I ask because it has been my experience has been that although I love my dogs dearly and I do spend an awful lot of time with them, none of this makes any difference when I am depressed.

      When I am depressed, the only maintenance I give to my dogs is feeding them. And even that can be variable – although they usually get fed between 5 pm and 7 pm usually, during depression I often put it off until 8 or 9 pm, or occasionally as late at 11 pm to midnight. On two occasions (in the last four years) that I’d rather forget, I didn’t feed them at all, although I had food and I was home with them – I just couldn’t get my act together to feed them.

      My interaction with the dogs when I am depressed is also very basic – a few pats and then I send them away. Or I ignore them when they come looking for attention. And I don’t carry them for walks. If my depression episodes last for too many days, the dogs will get upset – one used to begin to pee in my back porch about 5-10 days into a depression episode, and all of them develop hotspots from licking their own skin. None of this ever happens when I am not depressed.

      Bottom line. My care of my dogs follow my depression patterns. Dealing with the dogs do *not* affect the timing, or length, or intensity of my depression cycles.

      I own 2 Black Russian Terriers – 120lb black shaggy dogs. I used to have 3, but Aleksei died of cancer earlier this year. I do the grooming myself because it is bloody expensive to pay a groomer to deal with three very large dogs (well, two now). And I like the contact time and one on one bonding with the dogs. Though I will admit that my judgment on this may not be the best, and it may be worthwhile for me to revist your suggestion to see if it is now the smarter thing to do.

      jinnah On 5 January 2013 02:37, LivingManicDepressive

      • First and foremost, I’m sorry for your loss of Aleksei.

        I’ve met a Black Russian and my gawd, they’re big! I walk a 2 year old Airedale several times a week for a friend, and he’s a handful at half of their weight!

        My breed of choice is the bench-bred English Setter (the show line rather than the hunting/field line). All 3 that I’ve had all made an extremely strong, emotional bond with me. They’re very human-centered and intuitive. I know that Terriers are quite different and still retain much of their “primitive” hunting instincts and seem to bond less.

        I have had a pair for the last 5 years, and we just lost 1 of them to cancer in June, so I’m left with just 1 now, Ginger. I am as devoted and loyal to her as she is to me. I’ve arranged to have a guardian for her, should I predecease her, & my friends know that a certain amount of cash goes with Ginger for her care and medication.

        However, I would never abandon her by suicide. No matter how bad it’s gotten for me, she’s the one “person” that I won’t leave. My friends may have to deal with the aftermath and loss, but I will not put that confusion and uncertainty and loss onto Ginger. She is, as all of my animals have been, an adopted rescue, and losing her human once (for whatever reason) is enough.

        She’s very in tune with my moods and would be a great therapy dog. I have a friend who has PTSD & when she can’t seem to calm or stabilize herself, she comes over and Ginger sits with her. And that’s all that’s needed – she has an amazing calming and caring spirit.

        I have unipolar major depression, so my moods only differ in degrees of suckiness. I’m pretty isolated, even from the few friends who have inexplicably stayed around over the years, and Ginger provides me with company, attention, and a responsibility. She needs to be let out into the yard a few times a day, she needs to be fed once a day and medicated twice a day. Honestly, if my functionality fell below the level necessary to meet my responsibilities to her, I would have her pre-determined guardian care for her, at least temporarily.

        Then again, if a human and a dog were injured, say in a car accident, I would attend to the dog first, so I suppose my connection and devotion to animals are bit higher than most. My psych team knows that if I were to lose Ginger, all bets are off and I will believe I have nothing left to live for. I think my therapist has the local English Setter Rescue on speed-dial!

  4. hi Jinnah, just a little tip, personally my faith in God is the most reassuring thought to me when in depression..the fact that there is this higher power who accepts and loves u regardless of ur flaws…hope u r doin well now and waiting for a new post frm u!

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