One day this week I woke up in a very bad mood and even started to think about whether my diagnosis is not proper at the end (more on the matter of diagnoses can be found on: http://porcupineswisdom.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/to-be-or-not-to-be-in-dialogue-with.html). Bipolar after all is when there is this fluctuation in mood, and I am not talking about spoiling my day once I start reading comments about Russia in the Guardian.
No, I am talking about a really bad mood when you feel like you want to spend the whole day in bed and see absolutely nobody.
Once, when I was properly depressed (this was when I emerged from the hospital for the first time with the whole reassurance from the doctors that something was definitely wrong with me) I spent an entire month stuck in my apartment in Amsterdam. My mom urged me on the phone to go out and do something, and that the best thing to do was to go to the cinema. The advice was actually good, only for some reason I chose to see that movie about the life of Jesus Christ by Mel Gibson and emerged from the cinema even more depressed than ever.
It was a friend of mine who literally saved me. Despite all my refusals to meet with her or her friends or anyone else for that matter, she just came to my house and dragged me with her to a party. And it was there that I had a moment of clarity. I was standing in the middle of a crowd, slightly over-weight due to a wrong medication (it was that bloody risperidone, when the doctor thought I was suffering from schizophrenia), with absolutely no energy, loved by nobody and stuck in the role of a financial analyst of banks, a job I ended up hating with all my heart.
“Wow, you must be so lucky,” a girl told me when I answered her question about my job.
And looking at her I thought: if some people think that my life must be cool then I probably should live up to my status.
In reality, she just made me laugh. She, obviously, had no idea that I was a psychiatric patient, that I hated my job and that I was struggling with my life in general. And so, it was funny. If you are a financial analyst of banks, some people will still envy you, no matter that. In our society of capitalism, it alll comes down to roles.
I changed jobs since then, as well as countries, aspirations, my medication and my weight. But I will always remember that day. Because I learned a very important lesson then. The best way to deal with depression is to get out, even if it seems like the worst idea on earth. Or if you are stuck in the house, then start baking (there is a very good recipe in the Guardian for cinnamon cakes: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2014/may/22/how-to-bake-perfect-cinnamon-buns).
I also found that reading poems can help as well. Especially if it is written by people who understand what it means to be depressed or feel bad. It is not a secret anymore that depression affects a considerable amount of population. I like the poem by Susan Coolidge called ‘New Every Morning’:
Every day is a fresh beginning.
Listen my soul to the glad refrain.
And, spite of old sorrows
And older sinning,
And possible pain,
Take heart with the day and begin again.
And finally, listening to some music does heal the soul. I do agree with Nietzsche who said that “without music, life would be a mistake.”
Don’t stop the music by Rihanna usually does the trick for me.
Watch it on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yd8jh9QYfEs
(picture found on nhs site)