Last week I hurt my hip. Prior to that I had been exercising consistently 5-6 days a week for 45 minutes at least. The two weeks prior I was exercising every day and feeling better for it. I found that I had better concentration, better sleep, less mood swings and was happier on the days I exercised. I did some reading and discovered as long as I didn’t run 7 days a week or weight train everyday that I should be physically able to tolerate that much exercise. Even the gp ok’ed it. So I surged ahead feeling better each day, feeling more in control and more able to cope with everyday. Then I hurt my hip.
I had to keep it elevated for two days and was on anti-inflamatories. It hurt just to walk. I thought I might be able to swim a little – that didn’t go so well. Everything I read said bike/xtrainer could just make it worse. So I sat. I can’t keep my leg elevated on the lounge so I moved back into the bedroom. I spent two years hiding out in my room and had managed almost five weeks out of it. I managed to visit the Love Vintage Fair on Saturday with a friend, but by the time I got home I was emotional and frazzled. I was crying over nothing. At first I thought I must be coming down with something as one of our twins had been quite unwell. The next day, after weeks of getting out of bed by 9:30am…I slept until 3pm. Hubby came in a few times to try to wake me but I just yelled at him and went back to sleep. Same thing happened the next day. I didn’t leave my room. I stopped showering. I stopped helping out around the house. I stopped responding to emails. I cancelled my personal training appointment even though I had no more pain. I cancelled a drs appointment. I stopped doing the morning pages. I also binged on junk food. Not just lots more food (though I did that) I ate all the stuff I have been so diligent in avoiding since my diabetes diagnosis in February. I watched my blood sugars sky rocket…when I could be bothered testing, which wasn’t often (I normally test 4x a day).
Hubby started to demand what was wrong. I was yelling and crying and avoiding everyone and not wanting to do anything except sit in bed and watch tv. I don’t even like tv.
I had to face the facts…regardless of how long it “normally” took for me to become depressed, I was in fact really, really depressed.
I emailed my personal trainer and explained the whole situation. She was already up to speed on my personal health/mental health history. She was so great – she offered me an afternoon appointment…so even if I slept til three I could still go. She was fine with me rescheduling (I get a lot of anxiety over the fact that I can’t make it to a lot of things…and after I reschedule a few times people start to get cranky – fair enough – but that just makes my anxiety worse and I avoid them more. She saw a different person when I walked in today. One filled with fear and just not happy. I told her what I needed was to be smashed. I needed to be pushed back into the one thing that has made the most significant impact on my mental health in years. I needed her to be nice to me while I did it though. I don’t think I could cope with having someone scream abuse at me while training. So push me she did. She put me straight on the cross trainer (I hate those things…first time I used one I made in one minute and 19 seconds and then fainted) which saw my heart rate jump right up. Then she put me through the ringer. I gave it everything I had for three rounds (which is what we normally do) and then she said we were going again and I almost cried. I felt like I had nothing left to give, but I did it. I felt like I was moving through mud…but I did it. We finished up 10 minutes early as there was nothing left in me. I barely managed the 100m walk home – my legs were jelly. My face was red. I was sweating like a pig.
I fell into a shower and had to sit down in there as I was so tired. I then dry heaved for a little while as I have been eating shit and eating like crap and then smashing yourself apparently don’t go hand in hand. I went and sat back in bed and fretted. What if I went too hard and just exhausted myself more and was unable to exercise again for days? What if I was just tired and no endorphins followed? What if it didn’t work and I was spiralling back into another horrible depressive phase? What if this is what the rest of my life would be?
Then I realised I have been avoiding the problem. Since my bipolar diagnosis 2.5 years ago (and subsequent total mental breakdown that saw me in the psych ward 9 days and then in a facility for 3 months) I have been looking for the “cure”. I hate that I have bipolar. Not because I hate people with bipolar or that I think they are crazy or not normal. But because I dread more than anything becoming my mother. My mum has bipolar and my early childhood right through to a few years ago was spent caring for her. I have sobered her up too many times to count. Left my sick kids to fly up to try to sort her out after she went on a “speed” binge. I watched her treat my brothers so horribly. I knew how she treated me. What if that was all “bipolar” and not her fault at all? What if I am destined to follow.
Of course rationally I know this isn’t the case. When I was diagnosed I went on medication (she has never medicated with prescription drugs…just with illegal drugs and loads of alchol). When I realised alcohol could react with my medication I gave up drinking entirely (2.5 years sober and counting). I have never taken my anger and frustration out physically or verbally on my girls (and lord knows there have been days when I was at my worst and so were they).
I’m still clearly coming to terms with it. And I’m still coming to terms with the fact that there is no cure. I can exercise and it helps. I can sleep better and that helps. I can see my psych and that helps. I can run when I’m frustrated and angry. I can read. I can journal. I can give up alcohol. I can take a shit load of fish oil. I can take my vitamins. I can create. All these things help…but it won’t ever be cured. There will always be ups and downs. There will be good days and bad days. There will be days when I can’t get out of bed. Then there will be days when I can run and bake and play with the girls and email my friends.
Now my endorphins have kicked in, I’m feeling more positive. Here’s hoping there are more good days than bad.