So, vacation is almost over. Jared’s conference finishes today and we’ll pick up the boys and head for home soon. I’ve learned a good lesson this trip, a lesson I’m continually experiencing:
I bring my baggage wherever I go. Can’t run away from it.
I really already knew this lesson in theory. And after all, there’s a reason I’m in therapy. Nevertheless, the change of setting this week did not affect my depression one way or the other. I still managed to sleep all day long yesterday while Jared was in his sessions.
Now, I do understand bipolar disorder. I understand that the depression is going to come and go, that’s the nature of the illness. I suppose the progress I’ve made this trip is that I am learning to detach myself from the mood and realize it will pass. It may take an hour or a couple of days, but whatever mood I’m experiencing at the moment will not last forever.
In the case of my depression, I’m getting better and better at realizing it’s just a phase. What I’m not good at yet is not wanting to check out from it. That’s what the sleep all day yesterday was about. There was no energy to be had and rather than plow through, I gave in and checked out completely in the form of sleep.
There’s baggage and there’s checking out, but there is progress. My depression is rarely attached to specific situations in my life anymore. That’s progress to me. It means that I’ve really internalized how good my life is despite my illness.
The progress is measurable and that’s what makes me happy, that’s what gives me hope.
I really want to be gentle with myself without giving in completely to the illness. That’s the balance I still seek.