Bouncing Back

ImageI’m recovering – Bouncing back!  It usually takes a certain level of recovery before I fully grasp the magnitude of any “relapse”.  That was quite a bad one and I know only too well that it won’t be the last.  That’s not all doom and gloom, but an acceptance of my journey towards healing.

I’m experienced in the cycles of my own depression.  It comes from years of being up and down like a yo-yo.  Relapse is not failure and it doesn’t ever mean we are back to basics. It is merely a re-emergence of our symptoms.  It’s something we do get over in time and usually take up where we left off.  

I recently had a change of diagnosis from Bipolar to Recurrent Depressive Disorder. Image Either way, bad bouts of depression seem part of the illness.  Part of me has been accepting of that self-perpetuating theory, another part is searching for an alternative.

Lately I’ve become more aware of these recurring bouts of depression as being a time of great healing and growth.  Perhaps there is no start or finish in recovery.  Maybe “relapse” is actually part of that healing process rather than a bunch of devastating symptoms.

Of course, we all know the warning signs; the things we are told to avoid.  That’s all good and well, but if you have some monsters in the closet, sometimes there is no avoiding those ‘triggers’.  If we don’t exorcise the past, how can we attain ultimate healing?

While preventing ‘relapse’ plays an important role in recovery, sometimes there are unavoidable circumstances or conditions that deem complete prevention impossible.  Should we be surprised or disappointed when the despair and emptiness re-emerge?  We’ve all been there – beating ourselves up for relapsing, feeling guilty, ashamed and full of doubt for any kind of recovery.

Recovering from depression or any other mental illness is an on-going process and incorporates different aspects of our lives.  The journey is paved with bad and bloody awful days, but it also has the better times.  The days, weeks, or even months, when we appreciate our growth and catch a glimpse of the spirit that is emerging. 

I read a lovely blog post by my blogger-friend, KarenBeth from Finding the Grace Within.  I’m clueless on how to do fancy pingbacks but here is a link to her post, “Healing is a process – not an event”

http://www.findingthegracewithin.com/?p=10699

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23 thoughts on “Bouncing Back

  1. ziggy40

    Thanks for sharing. I love your reference to ‘never back to basics’, in my experience each step backwards, I think about what I know from previous episodes. I also follow Karen, and it was a lovely post, I felt about the process, and learning skills to ‘bounce back’, hopefully more quickly and referring to prior experiences! Just to let you know , I’m logged in as a WP blogger and there are ads for ‘weight loss’, on this current post! I follow other WP blogs, there , this morning [I’m ahead as I’m from Australia], have been ads on three other WP blogs that have termed up today! I personally just ignore them! Sorry to give negative news! Sending sunshine and multi-colored rainbows…lol
    Love Ziggy

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  2. kat

    i think you may be onto something here. i think rather than strive for ‘no symptoms, no relapse’ maybe we need to instead accept that the ups and downs, recurrent as they are, are how (our) life is. that we will always have these, even when we work against relapse. life cannot always be what we want it to be–can’t always be without depressions. and if we accept that, perhaps we will have less difficulty when it happens, instead of feeling devastated when it recurs.

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    1. Cat Post author

      I try to prevent relaps to a point and then I try to be accepting and not beat myself up for being down…. that only adds to the problem. My biggest problem is ruminating and explosive anxiety when depressed, to the point of not really realising I’m down….

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  3. Susan Irene Fox

    Lovely Cat, so glad to see you back. Your truth is a blessing. Yes, I get those relapses, and it’s never all the way back. Someone once said (or I read somewhere) that every year has both a June and a December. There’s no preparing fully for those rainy times, but if we know they are going to come, at least we’re not surprised by them. Always good to have a carton of hot chocolate on hand, and a journal with empty pages. Love that you continue to move forward. All my love and prayers are with you.

    PS – my follow fell away, so I will follow again.

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  4. CHope

    Cat, as always, I’m proud of you. Rather than glossing over your aches and pains you are working through them. It’s not easy. I know I have had so much pop up in my brain since divorcing religion and my parents. Memories that I either had forgotten or had spent most of my life thinking “Oh, that’s not a big deal, I’m just being over dramatic.” However, I know that I need to deal with them because when they pop up in my mind now I begin to cry. I’m then taken back with great horror when I realize the weight of my issues. The good thing about it is that it shows me that I’m not crazy. It is with good reason as to why I struggle sometimes, even with simple daily errands. I’m not bad, my abusers are. From my memories as a child, teenager and single adult, I can change things around by treating my two little boys differently. Unlike me, they will not go without food, they will not be spanked or abused in any other way and they will not be discouraged from being who they really are. They will be kissed, hugged, cuddled, clothed, clean, fed and encouraged to be whoever they want to be and do whatever they want to do in this life! They are and will continue to be loved. If I have to go through what I’m going through in order for them to have a MUCH better life than what I have, well, so be it!

    Keep up the good work, my dear. I’m hoping for the best for you. I care about you, here’s to great strides in healing!

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    1. Cat Post author

      Thank you CH. I spent many years out of touch with my parents and it was imperative for accepting and healing from the abuse. Be proud you have broken away from that cycle

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    1. Cat Post author

      Sometimes that great attitude flounders under the weight, but it is good to bask in it for a while

      Thank you for dropping by and commenting

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  5. RisingSong

    I’m glad you’re doing better, Cat. It feels good to be a bouncing “Tigger” sometimes. I think that not beating ourselves up over the lows in our cycles is part of acceptance, which ultimately leads to healing. It’s wonderful that you’ve been able to do that. I am impressed by your healthy attitude.

    I love the cartoon at the end also…so appropriate 🙂

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    1. Cat Post author

      My healthy attitude wavers too much. Unfortunately, the very next day after this post, my mood started slipping again! However, you are right, acceptance does bring about healing.

      Thanks for commenting, Rising

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  6. Athena Brady

    Hi Cat, I am pleased you got rediagnosed. As you know I have been through something similar lately (my dark night of the soul) and probably will do again in the future. Though it is hard to cope with when in there, “the pearls of wisdom” can be found on our way home. Healing is a journey and no one knows where it will end but it is important to keep the hope alive, that it will end one day.

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