Retreat! Retreat!

The past few weeks I’ve been in retreat mode. What I mean by that is I have been hiding away from society. It sort of feels like I’ve been failing. The beautiful life I envisioned after leaving hospital suddenly disappeared and I have lost all motivation for doing anything.

I think it was a crash. What goes up must come down and I came down hard. People keep telling me how well I am doing, but I don’t feel like I have been doing well. I feel like I have been failing. I lost momentum and ended up trapped by old patterns; losing all motivation to do anything. I need to break out of this pattern of being a vegetable all day. I need to be able to pull myself out of bed in the morning. I need to find that sweet spot again. When I came out of hospital I had all the motivation to keep going, to get active. To get out and see the world. It’s easier said than done.

One of my main problems has been embarrassment. I’m finding it hard to connect with friends who have my best interests in their heart but who I felt rejected me when I was manic. I’m struggling to come to terms with the things I felt and believed when I was manic. I’m finding it hard to trust myself and even harder to trust others. I feel like every word I speak is being judged and checked to make sure I’m not delusional again; but I don’t know what was delusion and what wasn’t and it’s hard to talk about with the people closest to me. It’s suddenly become hard to share myself and my experiences because I am scared that I won’t be believed. I’m terrified that my experiences and insight will be written off as “crazy.” That people will see me as a mad woman. That every word I say can be legitimately doubted. So I retreat.

Going from feeling so certain and confident about myself and my abilities to feeling so unsure has been hard. I feel like I am letting opportunities pass me by. This time off work is a gift and I’m not using it properly. This leads to guilt, which leads to less motivation, which leads to more guilt in an endless cycle. Doubt and guilt have been ruling me for too long.  Fear really is the mind killer. I wish I could say “no more” but I can’t. I can’t make that promise.

I don’t think my medication is helping. Getting out of bed in the morning is hard. Once I am up I start the day so groggy. Hopefully I will get my dose reduced soon because I feel at this point that my medication isn’t stabilising my moods at the right level.

To say I don’t miss being manic would be a lie. There are lots of things I miss. I miss having the ability to just get up and go for it. I miss feeling joy at just being alive. I miss feeling the need to be busy most of the time. I miss being fearless. I know that I can’t be as high as I was all the time, but I’d like to find a better balance between high and low.

So, at the moment I am feeling a little bit lost. At times I feel like my own worst enemy. I want more than anything to be functional. I want more than anything to find that confidence and self-love again. I want more than anything to be able to look after myself properly and in turn look after the people closest to me. Sometimes it’s all too much and when I feel over faced I let my anxiety control me. I’m finding it hard to reconcile that when I felt good about myself people told me I was ill, and now I feel bad about myself people tell me I am well.

To the people who care about me that are reading this. Sorry for the distance. Please don’t let this post worry you. I’m not looking for sympathy or advice. I am just feeling the need to express these feelings.

To the people who are reading this and suffering from the similar feelings. From the same cycle of self-doubt, isolation and lack of motivation. We are not alone.

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