Monday, August 25, 2014

When I first heard about the death of comedian Robin Williams, my heart broke for him...because I unlike millions of other people KNEW EXACTLY how he must have felt in those last moments of his life... I too have been there on the precipice, wishing darkness would envelope me and all this pain would be over...

I ORIGINALLY POSTED THE FOLLOWING OVER A YEAR AGO...but since some things never change I am re-posting it in case my experiences can help one person dealing with Depression BIPOLAR DISORDER...YOU ARE NOT ALONE!


Howdy, sorry I've been away from my site for several months, but I have been dealing with something personal I have been suffering from all my life.  I've spent my whole life secretly riding a mentally and emotionally draining mood rollercoaster. I can go for weeks or month feeling wonderful, joyful, funny, social, talkative and on top of the world.

Then some small thing can occur and all of a sudden, for the next few weeks or months,(while still able to go to work and take care of my child) I am now depressed, sad, hopeless and unable to engage in or maintain close personal and social contact with friends and family.

During this period, I feel alone and isolated and become anxious at the thought of talking to anyone or spending time with anyone outside of people in my work environment and or my daughter at home.

 I am a good actress, but it is extremely draining when you are in a major depressive phase to find the energy to drag yourself out of bed in the morning, when all your depressed self wants to do is remain in the bed, under the covers and sleep for as long as it takes until depression runs it's course and you're back out of the tunnel and into the sun again. But if you're like me and absolutely refuse to give up your life, career and child to your depression, you just haul your ass up every morning and pretend to the world and to everyone you come in contact with that you are just like everyone else; but inside you know you're not.

 I have spent all my life creating and perfecting the normal,self-confident, funny, bright, calm girl facade I wear out in public every day to hide the real me ( or at least the real me my depressed mind convinces me I am). Behind my facade hides an insecure, anxious, nervous, sad, imperfect person who struggles everyday with pretending to be someone she is not.

It's exhausting and draining trying to hide my depression from the world. Just because I wake up one morning and literally feel emotionally and mentally like my dearest family member has died doesn't mean I can go to work or take care of my child displaying unexplainable grief and sorrow. So it hides behind my daily mask of smiles, sarcasm and calmness. But away work and on the nights when my child is away at her father's, I let down my guard and become a lump of pain until it's time for The Felica Show to begin again.

My daughter is the love of my life and I refuse to be in her presence in any way less than the best, funny, happy, loving encouraging and inspiring mom that I can be. She is my universe and what would hurt me more than anything is if I allowed my depression to affect her childhood negatively. I never show her a sad face, a tear or a use self-pitying word about my moods. I don't ever want her to know what I am dealing with on the inside. This is MY struggle not hers. Momma is bipolar not my child.

My depression began to manifest itself outwardly more as I became a teenager and especially during and after college. I'd be fine for months and something almost insignificant to someone else would happen to me and in 0 to 75 miles flat I was miserable, lost my appetite, wanted to sleep every chance I got.

Outside of class or later work, I isolated myself in my dorm or apt. My home phone would ring and I couldn't bear to answer it because I had zero energy to speak. I could make it through the week fine going to class or my job, but on the weekend, it was like the strain of being normal during the week had exhausted me and I'd spend the entire weekend alone, either sleeping or sitting on the sofa watching show after show until the weekend ended and it was time to pretend again.

All my life, me friends and family could never understand my eccentricities. I have never been a huge fan of the telephone and voice messages, they are things I have to have and there ARE times when I do call people first because I do want to talk to them ( which is rare), but most times I just hate to hear the phone ring; ringing phones make me anxious. I never check my personal voice messages on my cell phone or home phone, I get anxious just thinking about why they called me and what  message they left. So instead, I look at my caller ID and if I recognize the name or number or it's a period where I have been sending out resumes and I am looking for a job, I'll return the call (of course not knowing exactly why they called in the first place, because I never checked my voicemail).

I realize now at this late day and age in my life that after the destruction of my brief marriage which produced my angel daughter, that emotionally and mentally I cannot withstand the inherent emotional up and downs of another romantic relationship or god forbid, marriage. Emotionally the stress of that failed relationship was literally feeling like a circuit breaker full of electrical currents had overload and blown up.

I have tried medications for depression and bipolar disorder and anxiety and sometimes they work until they don't. I have tried group meetings, went once and anxiety kept me from returning. I've had therapist, doctors to talk to...they are great at least this is one person who I can tell everything to and they don't judge me, although I would love to know what they have written about me in their files.

Living with depression can make you feel like nothing else exists in the world but you. You become extremely self-centered because daily, weekly or sometimes hourly your moods swing up then down the up again sometimes within several hours. Imagine the difficulty and strain you would feel trying to maintain a calm, stable facade all the while inside varying degrees of sadness, happiness, despair and mania take turns continually take turns becoming the emotion of the hour. No one understands how extremely exhausting it is and then comes despair or just plain old mental and emotional fatigue. You are in pain, but you can't tell anyone. No one understands unless they are going thru the exact same situation you are going through.

Most people still don't understand depression and what is and how it affects people. Many people still think incorrectly that if you suffer from depression you just have a weak mind or you're just overly emotional or you could just "snap out of it" if you really wanted to. If only it were that easy, and trust me; if I could just 'snap out of it", I certainly would have done this years ago and saved myself alot of tears and pain.

I hate labels, boxes and I never wanted my life or myself to be defined by me being bipolar...but it is what it is...and if by me stating I AM BIPOLAR & IT WON'T BEAT ME can help one other person suffering from depression, bipolar disorder or any other  mental illness, then I'll take the label and wear the crown.

Don't be afraid to ask for help, BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

AND HERE IS LINK TO A POST I WROTE ABOUT ELISA LAM the young Canadian tourist who went missing in Los Angeles a few years ago.. this post about Elisa, the mystery of her death and her bipolar diagnosis was the single most read post in the history of my blog...



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