I am so grateful to all of you who have followed my journey in this blogging community that I have come to love. I want you to know I write this blog for you, not only for me, it is not solely mine. It is a blog for those who ask for guidance, but it never seems to come. I write for those who want to have hope but find it is ever so fleeting. I write for those who simply want to be understood, but the cost of seeking out this understanding runs too high. So this is not just my blog, it is yours, too. My wish is to be a good steward and provide you with information, guidance, and understanding. In return, I welcome and receive all that you have given me. Your time, your comments, your blog posts. I am so lucky to have found this community!
Thank you so very much!
I Tripped Over a Stone. ~Kim
I took a bath. I ran the water for the tub, and this time, along with my Epsom salts, I put in bubbles… a bubble bath! I was feeling irritated, emotional, and just Done. I made sure the bath water was hot. As I started to carefully undress, noticing what was invisible under my clothing was so visible without.
Fibromyalgia is called an invisible illness as are so many other conditions. But really, they are not invisible if you pay attention. I think I am relieved that so many people just do not have the time nor the interest to pay attention.
I pulled my sweatshirt over my head. Ouch! That right shoulder has been jamming on me for a week. I turn to put the sweatshirt in the hamper… OUCH! My lower back is always a buggar. I slid off my slippers and sweatpants then the rest of my undergarments… I started looking at all the bruises. Some from falls, some from running into things, a few from merely using my massager on my legs. Then I peered at the hole in my stomach, healed now. I had a stomach tube protruding out of my belly for a while. Now, I just have two belly buttons.
I walked towards the tub but stopped, I turned around and looked at my face in the mirror. It was not the face of a healthy person. The lines of pain are present, the skin color is grayish, the eyes that once sparkled blue were dark, almost black. No, this was not the face of a healthy person.
I slowly crawled into that bathtub welcoming the searing heat. I slid down and let my whole self-fall beneath the water. It felt so good. I eased myself up and blew on some of the bubbles.
I was still here in this world. With all the bumps, bruises, and pain. I am still here. And I am enjoying my bubble bath.
Depression. It is said the third week in January is the worst for depression. I believe it. Also, I think once you have depression, a debilitating depressed mood can move in on you at any time of the year. Sneaky little mind trap just waiting to pounce and pull you into blackness.
What does an increase in a depressive mood feel like?
Fatigue! Fatigue is an excellent indicator of an increased depressive mood as is lower back pain! Did anyone else know this? (I always have lower back pain when I am feeling depressed, I never thought it had anything to actually do with depression.) I just read an article on The Mighty where the author talked about back pain and/or neck pain accompanying an increased ‘flare’ of depression. The whole idea of a ‘depression flare’ struck me as well. A depression flare. Well! I know how to deal with flares!
If we experience flares from chronic pain conditions, why would we expect not to suffer depression flares? This makes so much sense to me! I have really been struggling for the last few days with an increase in my depression. Putting this into a flare mindset has helped me greatly!
A flare is an increase in symptoms that is temporary. The comfort in knowing that you are experiencing a flare is that you KNOW it will pass. You realize what is happening and you know if you can just endure it, it will subside. Do what you would do for a flare and just get through the depression flare! Just get through it… endure it and remind yourself this is temporary.
Now, as with chronic pain flares, if a depression flare gets too bad, you need to go to the hospital to get help with getting through the very real emotional trauma and physical pain a flare can cause. If you can handle it on your own, safely, then get through it the best way you know how. Have your ‘toolbox’ ready. A toolbox is a few items set aside that will help you pass the time when you are unable to sleep. Sleep is our most significant healer, but there are times when we cannot sleep. We must occupy our time as best we can until we get through this temporary increase in a very uncomfortable state of mind and pain.
Be safe, know your limits, and remember you are very likely thinking irrationally during a depression flare. If at any time you feel unsafe, call 911 and get help. There is no shame! Depression is a very real, and severe invisible illness.
Did You Know About Depression Flares via I Tripped Over a Stone.