(September 29, 2008)

When you’ve been doing well for a long time, it’s hard to believe that you could ever be depressed again. But with bipolar disorder you’re never totally in the clear. It’s bound to come back. Here I am with two books published on how to live with bipolar disorder – how to cope – how to be strong – and I have depression looming again.

I feel down, weepy, tired, not up to doing very much. I’ve also been overly worried about some things – overly negative. This is discouraging.

What makes it harder is that my 94-year-old mom isn’t doing well. She’s terribly confused and did something to the phone so that she can’t use speed dial anymore. Last week she got over-wrought, not able to call anyone, feeling isolated and anxious. I think she has forgotten to go down to meals a few times, which means she doesn’t get fed. This is not a care facility. The only people looking after her are those who give her a bath twice a week and those who do a bit of cleaning once a week.

So, on top of feeling depressed I feel stressed, wondering what we will do about Mom.

I’m going to have to simplify my life as much as I can. Re-prioritize a few things. Allow lots of room to try and get some care for Mom. Allow for extra time with her.

When I told my friend that I was into a downward spiral she asked me, “What are you going to do for yourself?” That’s a very good question for a supporter to ask. It made me think. Made me think I need to strategize a bit instead of just complaining and feeling sorry for myself. I need to reach outside myself instead of staying caught within.