I believe the biggest lesson I have learned from having bouts of major depression is don’t make important decisions during a depressive episode. I have learned that depression makes things seem worse than they are. One of the symptoms of being bipolar is poor judgement. I made some terrible decisions during that time, and they have caused me a lot of personal pain. The hurt and scars are still there, but I have learned coping mechanisms in therapy to help me get past these bad times.

As far as my anxiety, I have also learned coping mechanisms, but what works for me may not work for someone else. Each person has to decide what works best for them. Writing, photography, reading, gardening, and listening to uplifting music are my therapies. When I start feeling anxious, I will take deep breaths and exhale slowly. This has helped bring my anxiety under control most of the time.

My husband has gone through a lot with me and my mental illness. God bless that man, he deserves a special crown in Heaven. He has never threatened to leave me like a lot of husbands have done because they just couldn’t handle it. My husband just loved me right through it. I have written about it before, but I can’t say it enough, he loves me unconditionally. I don’t think anyone has ever loved me like he does.
During the worst depression of my life, he could see how unhappy I was. He said to me, “If you are not happy, I will let you go, and I won’t hate you.” I broke down when he said that, and I told him I did not deserve him, but I sure thank God for him. I had been contemplating leaving him. I am so thankful to God that I didn’t. To me,the depression magnified our problems. We have always been able to work through things and we have done it together, but when my “thinking ability” was compromised due to mental illness, it prevented me from being able to do that. My mood swings would cause me to absolutely lose it. I would scream at him and be shaking I was so out of control. When my husband told me he’d let me go and wouldn’t hate me, even in my depressed state, I knew that was true love. He put my happiness above his own. It made me realize the caliber person he is. He is a moral, God-fearing man, and I love him with my whole heart and soul.
I knew I had to get help, and I did. I am happy to report that I am doing very well, and I have been stable since August 2014. Therapy and medications have helped me get back to feeling like a normal person. As long as I remember to take them, I am fine. I sometimes get messed up on them, and some of my prior behavior will come back. Have you ever written something and sent it to someone, and then later regret it? That has happened to me a lot. You read it and think, “Did I really write that?” Fortunately, my true friends have been like my hubby and loved me right through it. For that, I am deeply grateful.
As far as anxiety and the panic attacks, they are usually related to my family. Particularly, if I am expecting one of them at a certain time and they are late, and it gets later and later, my anxiety and panic start building. It gets worse and worse. All sorts of horrible scenarios run through my mind until they walk through the door or I reach them on their phone.
If I could change anything about me, it would most likely be to think things through before reacting. I have lost friends because of this trait. I do feel like my medication has helped curb my mood swings, and for that I am thankful.
I would also change the way I look at myself, and be more positive instead of having such a low self-esteem. A friend told me I need to learn to accept compliments without adding, thank you, but…after that but was always something negative about myself. I am so deeply grateful to friends like that. I prefer friends who will tell me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear. The ones who do that are the ones who are friends I want to keep, and I will cut loose the fake friends who try to pacify me.
I have changed by getting rid of negative people in my life who only bring me down. No one needs “friends” like that. Cut them loose!
I believe I have rambled on enough in this entry, so I will bid you all adieu now. May you all be happy and blessed, as I am!~

© 2018 SJ Mullins