I fell down the hole. 

I was on top of the world and I thought it couldn’t happen, then BAM. 
I should have seen it coming.
I should have seen the warning signs. The losing interest in normal activities, poor cleanliness around the home and personal hygiene, not eating, not sleeping, overthinking, crying. . Ok, yeah I definitely should have seen it coming. It was a slow play.  Around 4 weeks to get to breaking point I’d say. Last time this happened I took myself to the hospital to avoid the spiral. This time I wasn’t as panicked.
Sure, I closed up for a while and didn’t want to talk about it, mostly because I didn’t want to admit that I wasn’t doing well. I’ve come so far in 2 years, I didn’t want to go backward.
The panic attacks and nightmares started up a few weeks ago. 
I should have seen it coming. 
I thought back on the last 6 weeks and watched my self-care fade away.
I should have seen it coming.
I’ve been so tired in this new full-time position. I genuinely thought I could handle it, but in hindsight maybe I can’t. I can do the job no question but I can’t work 45+ hours. I often found I never had the time to do anything for me. Over the weeks’ everything else seemed to break down. I was coming home stressed, and this is my bad, but I wasn’t communicating it enough. I know my team would have worked hard to help me but I was still coming to grips with the early warning signs. I didn’t want to believe that hole was lingering.
It all became too much and the self-doubts start creeping in. You’re a loser, you can’t handle a full-time job, pathetic, absolutely useless, you don’t deserve the opportunity, you don’t deserve the balance. Cue more panic attacks.
That’s when the tears started. I cried at conversations, songs, tv shows, movies, memories. I cried in front of people and I cried when I was alone. I fell asleep crying and I woke up crying. My emotions were so fired up.
When I was alone my thoughts moved with speed but I didn’t want to talk to anyone. 2 zopiclone and 2 Ativan and still nothing. Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts.
My thoughts were racing around my head, not giving me peace, freedom or even sleep. It was a prison of worthlessness. 
Can’t handle it.
Why can’t I handle it? Other people can handle it just fine? What’s wrong with you? Smarten up.

I took a few days off of work to try and get back on track. I spoke with my doctor and my psychotherapist. I increased my meds and slowed down my lifestyle
Steve stepped in and brought out my crisis management plan. 
Step 1: Use the chart and be transparent about what stage you are in.
Mmmm depression you say?
Sadly, according to the charts, the solution was the hospital. I wasn’t going to let that happen. 
Baby steps. Thursday I brushed my teeth. Friday I had a shower. Saturday I washed my hair. 
It took so much out of me just accomplishing those small tasks. I felt so slow moving and exhausted but I felt accomplished and that’s important.
I read through some old blog posts and journals. I can do this. I’ve been here before, choose how you want to deal with it.
I started taking my emergency medication Serequol. I’m not pleased to be turning to this medication but I know it impacts. Last time I was on it my emotions quite swiftly turned off. Yeah, it was no way to live back then but for a couple of days that was the respite I needed.
I’ve tried to challenge my thoughts and overcome them with positive self-talk. 
I HAVE to take control.
Maybe the reality is I can’t do the things I have done pre-diagnosis, pre psychosis. Over the years and without medication, mania drove me to set high standards but that’s no way of life. Mania might be fun but the short ferry ride to psychosis and the come down is not worth it. For me, medication is key to keeping that side of bipolar locked away.
It’s very clear to me though that I don’t yet have enough clarity and or balls to recognize and handle my depressive episodes as well as I could.
Yeah, I have caught the last few before they ran away with me but fuck! I can be getting there earlier right? 
I really need to work on this. I will manage this. 
Future goals.
For now, I’m going to read some Eckhart Tolle and book a massage. 
I’m hoping I can rest and clear my head enough to actually be functional at work by Monday but I think I need to reduce my hours moving forward. 
I need to look out for me.
Take good care of yourself, friends, YOU are important <3

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