Saturday, 3 November 2012

Changing Seasons and a New Disorder

A while ago I said I was going to ease off on discussing my medical situation, I myself think it was going too far and this blog was becoming so one-sided that I may as well change it's name, never mind what the readers were thinking. The simple truth is, my life has become my illness. I haven't written much lately because it's difficult to find subject matter that really stirs my writing ambitions.

The news is in everyone's face everyday, Facebook is getting old, frankly it's now a book club and a vacation picture post site. So nothing new there. There have been new things in the house, I have finished rebuilding two bedrooms, new floors and paint and other decor, Halloween has come and gone and once again we went nuts with the spider web in the yard - 1200 feet of string rigged into webs complete with dropping spiders and a guy in the coffin, and more.

Other than that, it's the life of a stay at home dad. Dishes, dinner, laundry, cleaning, and the like. For a person who had worked non-stop for almost 20 years with graphic design shops and cadets, it's a bit of an adjustment. An adjustment that I'm not taking well. But that's the hand I've been dealt, so life goes on. Thankfully being Bipolar is not the end of one's work world or creative life. I will eventually be back on track. But for now, this is reality.

I haven't said anything here That hasn't already been said in previous posts. Except for one thing, now I'm on Lithium. My medication has been increased quite a bit because the panic attacks, depression and anxiety is actually getting worse. Personally I think the psychiatrist increased my meds because my wife came to my appointment with me dressed as a zombie, but I'm entitled to my opinion.

What worries me now is the change in season. People with mental illness typically suffer from an additional disorder called SAD - Seasonal Affective Disorder. I love getting out into the sunshine on a nice day and going for a long walk. It clears my mind and eases my pain. The sun gives one essential vitamins the body needs, as well as a warm happy feeling. In a word, the depression eases. In visualization therapy exercises when I'm having a particularly bad episode, it's a tree in a warm meadow that I see myself sitting under. In my mind it's real. So in the nice weather, the park, a slurpee and a warm breeze can make all the difference between depression and piece of mind. Come winter, that won't be an option. Only the tree in my mind will help.

I am not looking forward to this winter. I am not looking forward to the new disorder added to what I'm already suffering. The walls will close in on me. In intend to get out as much as I can, but I hate the cold. I hate the winter. So the goal is to keep busy in the house, get some long overdue projects done, spend more time on the drums, blog more, and hopefully get more graphics business on the go.

I have a couple of immediate concerns before I get too far ahead: this month is the tenth anniversary of the passing of my mother. November 13th will be one of the hardest days I will encounter for quite a while. Remembrance Day will not be easy again, no military affiliation anymore means I can't wear my uniform to the services, and it's only been a couple of years since my father - a veteran; passed away. The brightest note will be my daughter's birthday at the end of the month. One event at a time. That's the way I have to take it.

My wife gave me some good advice yesterday; you can't grab onto the future until you let go of the past. I don't know who said that originally, but to me it's profound and full of hope. I don't want to let go of all my past, the memories of who I was still make me who I am now, but if I could go back and change selections of the album of my life, I would in a heartbeat.

So for those who were reading my blog, I thank you, and apologize for the lapse. I will endeavour to be more prolific and more importantly, positive in the coming months. This will be my outlet and my effort to stave off the onset of the SAD disorder.

If anyone else feels they suffer from this, please comment. We'll get through it together.