Riding the Waves of Depression

The thing about depression is, as much as it hurts, mentally and yes physically, it is a journey. Just like one journeys when they are living their typical normal life, a person with depression or in recovery is riding life’s waves. The difference is often the waves overcome to the point that we are fighting them off or gasping for air. As the days, weeks and months pass, I have unleashed the deepest and darkest parts of myself while surfing. Imagine peeling away at an onion, you know the kind that makes you cry? Now imagine slowly and carefully removing each layer and being extremely careful not to break it to keep it safe it for later observation.

My eyes are burning up

Like a scared girl watching Nightmares On Elm Street on a big screen, I wince away shielding my eyes at the horror or what those dark places look like. YES, it is that scary, and there are times, when panic is high, I feel like Kruger is out to get me. Its time to face him.

I’m not running this time!

Yet, the closer I get to the core of it all, the more painful it is. This past summer, I was feeling quite, good, although the heat kept me inside on most days, I was able to function to keep things together. As the Autumn coolness crept in, I found myself taking more and more walks, enjoying the bright colors of the leaves and taking photographs along the way. I really felt like I was part of something.

Then came Halloween and my birthday. I have to say I didn’t do much on Halloween this year, I just enjoyed it as it came, and rode with the holiday. My birthday, November 2nd, was celebrated. I asked my good friend Caroline if she would mind I popped in with Sushi and wine, which I did, and she even bought me the wine! The next day I asked my children to make me a cake. Not only did they make me a cake but they did some clear-ning (more clearing than cleaning but hey! It was great) and my daughter and her best friend went grocery shopping for me.

I was happy, grateful, feeling the love and at one with the Universe.  Life was great!

What happened between the 3rd and the 5th .. I have no clue!

November 5th (Monday) I woke up, like any other normal day, and this feeling of anxiety came over me right after the children left for school. I didn’t think much of it, usually Monday’s can be a challenge and I let it pass doing my usual meditations and prayers. Tuesday rolled in and I was all ready to go grocery shopping. As I started going down the stairs I felt my legs shake. I didn’t think nothing of it,and continued on my way. Still feeling a bit shaky, I tried to “shake it off” and crossed the street.

I FROZE (and it felt like the world froze with me)

I was not going any further. Not walking anyhow. My body just stopped dead in its tracks as this overwhelming fear just crippled me. I immediately prayed to Buddha, Mary, Jesus, and all angels to allow me to get to my destination. That is when I saw Lisa walk by. Lisa works at the community center. She was going home after giving her workshop. I creeped over and asked her for a ride, and low and behold, she not only took me to the grocery store with a huge smile, she did some groceries herself, and brought me home. “Take you time” she said.

How I love compassion!

Wednesday, I had to go help a friend. I prayed and meditated before I left, surrounding myself in white protective light to get me on my journey. As I walked up the street, I made it to a local coffee shop, and again my body froze. I couldn’t go any further, the sheer fear and panic was so strong I wanted to just burst out in tears. The owner’s husband agreed to take me back home, again after I asked.

“I couldn’t be with people and I didn’t want to be alone. Suddenly my perspective whooshed and I was far out in space, watching the world. I could see millions and millions of people, all slotted into their lives; then I could see me—I’d lost my place in the universe. It had closed up and there was nowhere for me to be. I was more lost than I had known it was possible for any human being to be.”  ~ Marian KeyesAnybody Out There?

Anxiety 3 Kim 0

Home again. “There is NO way I am going out again this week” I thought to myself. I was, and still am, literally waking up unbalanced and feeling lost. The panic attacks are happening daily, and I have to wonder, what the heck is happening? I mean, I was doing so well. I didn’t change anything, still on the same amount of meds, still sleeping the same, still eating the same, still seeing my wonderful psychotherapist.

One thing my therapist did teach me is not to worry about “why” it is happening and just sit with the feelings. That, my friend, is a difficult task when you are frozen to your seat, or holding on to the wall to keep balance. This morning I even tried crying and feared I would lose control doing so. So I stopped.

The Prescription

Swaddle yourself in a blanket and love yourself. There is nothing more comforting than a blankie, at least for me anyhow. As I try to bypass the guilt of doing absolutely nothing for the next 4 to 5 days or for the next week, I lay there watch t.v., meditate, breathe, read and play on the computer. I write, fix up photos, play a few games, all in the name of taking care of myself.

I find time to cook a little, enjoy the kids, sweep and wash dishes, and take very short walks to get the mojo going.  I write and pray, chat with my FB friends, and keep my blog and FB page up to date.  If you fall off a bike, you must get back on right?

I think I have an Emotional Flu?

It is really scary to return to a place once feared. Its like being forced to go into a Haunted House that scared the crap out of you; thus, vowed never to return. So many understand however, so many do not, and that is quite alright. Seeking to understand in my mind, is what is important. I explained to a friend, who couldn’t grasp what I was going through by trying to compare my fears of going outside (at times) to her fear of heights. I said “Now, imagine that every day, to get to work, you had to climb a ladder up 4 to 5 floors”. She looked at me with a whats seemed to me like a light bulb moment! She got the gist.

Breathe just Breathe (they say!)

Did you know, that during an anxiety or panic attack, the hardest thing to do is breathe? I am so happy I spoke to Fred Krazeise over at Empowering Wellness, he told me to take mini meditation snacks during my day. This way I am practicing for the times when I really need to breathe. When I am having an attack, all I want to do is freeze (some want to run) but I cannot help myself but move because of the fear of losing control. So I rock.. I rock myself back and forth and yes, TRY to breathe deep. My kids help me sometimes (when they are there) by breathing with me. This helps me a LOT , telling me to breathe only makes me panic, breathing with me becomes a slow dance.

So as I take my McMeditations, breathe, dance and swaddle myself. I know that this is one of the most loving things I can do to myself. I have come a long way. Treating myself as I would treat my child.

Who would have thunk it?

Kim

At this time, my family and I are asking for your help. Would you be so kind as to Tweet, FB this link here it would be so appreciated.  Love to you 🙂

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7 Comments

  1. I too go through similar days like this. How frightening riding the waves, or as I prefer to call it riding the rollercoaster can be. Only the guilt I feel for taking time out to look after myself will always stick thanks to childhood conditioning. Yes, I do realise that I am very fortunate to be be able to live in a country that affords me the ‘luxury’ to take time out to ‘heal’ instead of having to slog away working to pay the bills. A ‘friend’ recently said ‘Well you don’t want to work’. Believe me, I would love to go back to work. I would love to enrol in that naturopathy course I’ve been interested in. I would love to simply go down to the shops and buy myself a pretty outfit. I would love to do so many things. But I can’t. And I can’t fully explain why and wouldn’t expect anyone to understand because even I don’t know what brings on the immensely debilitating anxiety that keeps me housebound.

    I feel for you Kim and understand where you are coming from. It is wonderful that you are able to write as you do and create and express yourself whilst dealing with a mental illness. Thank you for sharing.

    • Kim

      October 27, 2013 at 7:30 pm

      Friends who say *you dont want to work* do not understand. I, for example, do not want to work, however, that is because I know I am not ready. We are lucky to live in a country where we can have a certain amount to pay for disability… but it is not a luxury.. our mental heath, like our physical health is more important than a paycheque.

      I feel for you too Chris, and encourage you to continue to heal. I really appreciate you coming here and sharing, it is in sharing, that we help others. So I am sure someone else out there feels the same as you.. as do I!

      Agoraphobia keeps me housebound too.. Lets hang together in this wonderful world of online frienships.

      You rock Chris!!!

      • It’s a bit of a catch 22. I no longer work, yet I need the money to pay for therapy and meds/supplements. So now I am off meds and not seeing anyone because I don’t have the money to afford it.

        I had a friend who tallied up that he’d spent over $50,000 on therapies for his mental health. Instead of seeing it as a burden he happily put it as ‘investing in his health’.

        I am grateful for the internet as it still allows me to connect with lovely ppl such as yourself from inside my fort. You are a part of my healing Kim. Thank you.

        • Kim

          October 29, 2013 at 8:31 am

          Sorry to hear about the meds and therapy. I guess I am blessed that Canada’s health system pays for my meds, and the community center is paying for my therapy.

          Keep your prayers going Chris. Sometimes miracles happen and you get what you need.

          You are lovely yourself and I so glad to have you with me as we both heal.

          Blessings.

  2. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this,
    like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you
    can do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit,
    but instead of that, this is magnificent blog. A fantastic read.
    I will certainly be back.

  3. What an incredibly brave and honest account of how depression and anxiety feels for you. I hope your words help others who also suffer with these debilitating conditions. Big hugs x <3 x

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