Discussion: the curse of self-doubt after an episode (depression)

After an episode I’m usually left totally exhausted, but also overwhelmed. Not necessarily by things I need to do (although that is sometimes the case), but more so because I find myself drowning in self-doubt.

I must say, I feel much better than I did a few weeks ago. I went into hospital to do a medication change and so far the depression has lifted. I’m on Abilify, Lexamil, Carbamazepine and Fluanxol. Dormonoct is there for my sleep. I feel less agitated and a lot less aggressive.

But I also feel as if something has replaced the aggression, depression and agitation: a nauseating sense of numbness.

It leaves me feeling vulnerable, unsure of every step I need to take, every decision I need to make.

Don’t get me wrong, I also have a lot more energy. But what good is it all if there’s no that I am able to channel it? I have no sense of direction. I am a blank canvas. I’m rid of the ugliness that sat etched into the frame, but now I sit and stare into space, questioning my every skill, my very existence. This isn’t depression. But I’m unsure of what move to make, how to look after myself so that I don’t get sick again. During my depressions, I always believed the lies my inner bipolar monster whispered to me, so how do I suddenly after an episode, pick myself up from that?

How do I unlearn the untruths?

How do I mobilize myself towards gaining traction in recovery and away from this state of stuck?

I need a reawakening. Something to wake me from this paralysis like hell. There’s a heaviness that sits on my chest and although it reminds me of depression, I know that this struggle is something else. It’s like my life changes after each episode: I get a new one. But with it comes the the feeling of being lost. Incomplete. Stuck in limbo. Simple things like not not knowing what to do for the day plagues me.

I can’t write.

I have no vision.

I can function but have no zest.

I have the will to live, but no urge to thrive.

I’ve taken up painting to pass this time. My therapist suggested I look into my past to find out what made me happy- and the possibility is there that this could very well bring me back to life. It’s giving me a glimpse into feeling things again. When I paint, sparks fly and the dull parts of my brain reconnects to the live parts. It’s like fireworks. My good friend, Blahpolar, says this painting thing is going to be good for me. And I believe her.


My version done in oils with a palette knife


Original photo

I’m saddened how one episode of Bipolar Disorder can rob me of time to really live life and the joy of my soul.

Worst part of it all is that I’m stable. I’m “healthy”. So I should be fine, right?

Discuss: How do you feel after an episode of depression or mania? Do you take on (a million) tasks with ease or do you struggle to find yourself?

22 responses to “Discussion: the curse of self-doubt after an episode (depression)

  1. This is an inspiring story Yve. Its good to see you pushing to find a passion, something that can give you a sense of direction in life. I have talked to a few people who said that exercise really helped to give them a clearer sense of where to direct their energy. Im not sure if you have tried this, but maybe it is something that will give you some routine that can keep you in this period of success you are having. Thank you so much for sharing, its great to hear a true story like this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m allergic to exercise. I’m joking. Seriously though, when I went for my last hospitalization, during a gym session, we discovered I had a hernia. It explained all my problems and while I always felt so sick after doing sit ups and certain core exercises. But generally, it does make one feel good. I think, just getting out in nature does it for me too. But I admit I do suffer from laziness and fear of people. I get little anxiety attacks when I go out. I am working on that too.

      You’re definitely right when it comes to routine. It is so so important. And I’m sure it will help me- it definitely gave me some grounding when I was at the clinic.

      Thanks for commenting Michael- looking forward to seeing you around here more often. Share your blog here and we’ll follow.


  2. I don’t think your art is just a matter of passing the time, I think you’re an artist – I think you have that much talent.

    Depressive episode…… Most of my life has been and still is one of those bastards. Mania gets me doing stuff and there are no spaces between the two for me.

    Fuck today blood.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Yve it is mind-boggling to me how someone can “take up painting” and do stuff like that and the other I saw. You clearly have it in you! I don’t know how relatable my experience is, but I feel like you have described quite often, especially since awareness has been growing. You think: “ok, maybe now would be a good time to move forward!” But you know you can’t, or feel you can’t. I have stopped feeling guilty (or am working on it) about not doing absolutely anything. Just “staying put”. Keep some goal further in the future and don’t pressure yourself into reaching it. But in the meantime, you really can paint!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Billy. As a young kid I used to sketch. Skully and Mulder from the x-files, Lenny kravitz etc but I never really took the time to paint. Besides, I was told artists were poor people and it wouldn’t be nice to struggle to eat. :-/ ;)

      I can definitely relate to those exact words! And sometimes The guilt of being stuck is sometimes worse than being stuck. Thanks for the advice- I’ll definitely keep it in mind.

      You make “staying put” sound so normal and something I shouldn’t be afraid of. Thank you for that.

      Hahahaha to the painting thing. I’m going to try to go every week to learn

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What you said about “something has replaced the aggression, depression and agitation: a nauseating sense of numbness.” is EXACTLY how I felt a couple weeks ago after I came down from my first manic episode. You’re right about the post-recovery period where you lose that sense of yourself and you you don’t know where to go next. It’s as if you are stuck in purgatory. It’s an eerie, calm feeling yet it sort of dulls you. Your original photo is both haunting and beautiful! Definitely pick up the brush and paint out your heart. You have a wonderful talent for it!


    • I’m so glad you could relate. As I told my other bro’s and sisters, it’s a comfort to me.

      This sense of stuck bothers me most when I can’t explain it to someone who hasn’t experienced it, people who do not suffer from mental illness. It’s a crippling state to be in Jess, as you’d know. But day by day, we get gain traction and move into the next state: breathing and living.

      I’m getting there.

      And thanks for the support re: painting. :) I think I should do just that. Paint my heart!

      Take care

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Kitt. :) With my second class I got less anxiety attacks, which is a great sign. Last week, I got so flustered, the teacher had to take over. He said he could sense my aura was going crazy.

      Thanks for the support Kitt. :)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. After an acute episode, I’m a useless mess. For months. :( No writing, no nothing. Your painting is amazing, my sweet. You will come out of this limbo, this yuck, this fog and your vision/zest *will* return.

    Look, you are writing a blog post!(I couldn’t even begin to write my name after an episode, let alone a post) You’ll do more soon.
    Much love to you!!! Dy

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s what I feel like, a useless mess. I really think this art therapy is helping get through this slump though. I believe you gals (you, Blah and Billy) and thanks for believing in me.

      It is such a comfort knowing you can relate to EVERYTHING, even this. We know how shitty it (this illness) can be, and that means the world to me right now. Pardon my French.

      Love right back doll :)


      Liked by 1 person

      • XOOXOXOOX You are so not useless. Look at this – you’re doing ART! That’s freaking amazing to me. I just sat under the covers hiding from the world. Please give yourself credit for fighting the shit and for doing artwork and writing blog posts, rather than burying your head under the sand, honey – I love you. You are on your way back even though you don’t feel it yet. You will XOXOXOXOX


  6. Pingback: Looking for that something and possibly finding it | Yve's Corner·

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