Checking in on Depression and wellness
December 6, 2009 1 Comment
I don’t always want to know I am depressed.
I’ll deny it even when I feel miserable.
If I admit it to myself, I have to deal with, the hard to shake notion that” my occasional depression is a weakness of mine”.
If I admit it to others I have to deal with that, that hard to shake notion, that “my depression is a weakness’.
Or I have to deal with other people trying to fix me, or worrying, or giving me there advice on how to cheer up today.
my being depressed…. is scary.
It is the nature of those like me who manage bipolar disorder to deny our unstable moods from time to time.
But this morning, after taking a walk I realized I am feeling depressed.
Because it is difficult to tell how my bipolar disorder affected mood is sometimes, I have a series of personalized tricks to see how I am thinking.
“checking in” is a couple personalized tricks to catch how my mental wellness is at the present moment… at any moment.
1. social checking
I goto a convenience store at least once a day, to by what ever.
My normal personality is to have a short polite conversation with the cashier.
When I leave the convenience store, I ask myself ,
- did I make eye contact with the clerk?
- did I have my normal comfortable chit -chat?
If I answer “no” to these two question I know I maybe becoming withdrawn…
when I am withdrawn I know that my awareness of my inner world of restless thinking is greater than being tuned in with my outside world.
Today I made i contact and conversation, but I felt a bit uncomfortable.
2. Check in with my core.
- I check my head…
do my thoughts seem to be swirling around,
are my thoughts consuming, hazy,
or taking the place of my outside perception?
- I check my breathing…
am I breathing from naturally from my belly or from my chest?
Is my breathing spontaneous and fluid or does it seem choppy?
If my thinking is “loud” and restless and my breathing choppy like today….
than I meditate, do a breathing exercise…. and assess how my mood is
When I know I am becoming withdrawn, I make interaction with others, or outside when i can.
today I am depressed….
I did some writing (journaling), resting, meditating (which is brutal when my thinking and breath are jumping around to begin with)
I affirm myself on my strength and values and acknowledge my limits and fears.
And now I am going to watch the football game on TV.
I maybe depressed tomorrow, or I may have taken enough steps to pull my mood back to stable.
and some days one just let depression run its course.
wellness management is not an exact science.
but I am aware of my health, and taking care of my health.