If you're depressed then you're depressed. It's got nothing to do with what your doing or not doing. I agree that having a routine and things to do helps. I agree that shutting yourself away can make things feel worse but depression is an illness. If you have sickness and diarrhoea, carrying on with your daily routine doesn't stop it. Yes you can help yourself by drinking plenty of water and resting but the illness has to take its course. Yes you can help yourself with depression but it's not as simple as just "keeping busy". There's a big difference between being sad or lonely or bored even and being depressed.
Whenever I've been "high" it's inevitable that a "low" period follows. The more I learn about bipolar and how it affects me the more I can try to do things to help myself. I think the medication is slowly kicking in again. I'm much less irritated. When I saw my psychiatrist, if he didn't tell me once he told me about 10 times to make sure I keep taking my medication! My GP was the same. Of course now I know that the consequences of no medication are not good I will stick with it. The Lithium at least.
So, I decided to get a pet. I've never been much of a dog person but my son had the most beautiful Rottweiler and I loved her. My best friend has a puppy and he's brought her so much pleasure. Both my sisters have dogs. Nearly everyone I spoke to thought it would be a good idea. I live on my own and I have so much time on my hands. With my mood so unstable lately work hasn't been a option and it's been doubly hard to get into any sort of "normal" routine. I thought getting a dog would help give me a purpose again as well as some company.
Well I've had her for just over a week and I have to say what a huge difference she has made to my life already. I just love her. I haven't found having her easy. In fact I have felt quite overwhelmed at times by taking on such a huge responsibility. I am petrified that I'll get really ill again and not be able to cope. I know from experience that I start something and it's all good but then my mood changes and it all goes haywire. I need a back up plan in case anything happens to me but I can't quite work it out yet. The thing is, I am coping now. I have to. I can't let her down. She is totally dependent on me. My mood is low but I am 100% certain that without my new little friend things would be worse. I have to get myself at least partly organised. She has given me a reason to get out of the house, a reason to keep going. Even when I've wanted to shut myself away I've had to do things. She seems to sense if I'm down and snuggles in on my lap and when I cry she snuggles in closer. She helps lift my mood just by being there. I've found myself laughing and smiling at her antics. She's such a clever little thing and each day as I teach her something new I get a huge sense of satisfaction.
I'm still not sleeping properly but I am going to bed and getting some sleep, which is an improvement. I'm finding it hard to keep on top of everything that needs to be done and sometimes even the simplest thing seems like such huge deal. I get upset that I find life so fucking hard when to most people it seems like I have it easy. I get frustrated with myself for not being able to do everything I think I should be able to do. I have to keep telling myself that it's ok and that I am doing well. I know that it may take some time for my medication to reach its full effect. I also know that medication is only part of what I need to keep me well. I know I have done the right thing by getting my dog. She can't take away my symptoms. She can't "cure" me anymore than medication can but she's definitely been great "therapy" so far. She's definitely playing a huge part in my recovery. She's definitely given me something to think about other than myself. She's definitely a friend already.