Relationships are harder when one or both of you have a mental illness.

Relationships are hard anyway but when you add a mental illness into the mix it can be very hard. For example my boyfriend wants me to express my emotions. Well I have a hard time identifying an emotion let alone express it. Meaning talk about it. In my home life growing up we did not express emotion only happiness. And yes anger too. But that is it.

My therapist gave me a sheet with many different words for describing an emotion. Emojis help too. I use them all the time while texting.

There are resources and support groups you can go to and support one another.

Negative and positive thoughts

Do you see the glass half full or empty? I see them both some days half empty other days half full. When I think negative thoughts it is a nose dive into depression or staying there. Even if I have negative thoughts I try to come up with something positive about the thought or situation.

It is becoming harder to get out of my depressed mood, but I still look for the positives, like it was 53 for the high today and I walked to work without a jacket on. I keep trying to change my overall mood to normal for me. It takes a lot of time and effort. I don’t feel like doing anything, but I know what will happen if I do nothing. Even if I got up and took a shower that is a positive step for the day.

So even when your mind goes to the negative remember everything has a positive side too.

Pet therapy

Pets can be very loving unconditionally. It does not matter the day or mood you are in. They are happy to see you just the way you are. I have a cat and we have our morning ritual. We play together then she sits on my lap for awhile and she also watches me get ready for the day. She knows when I am not doing good and I am depressed or have anxiety. She comforts me and stays close by me. So it just helps me when I live alone to have a pet to come home to.

Keeping a journal of sleep and mood.

I have kept a journal since I was 13 years old. I try to write in it daily. I have gone back to my old journals and notice my mood and sleep pattern. I tend to sleep too much most of the time I feel depressed. I feel like I have nothing to get up for. I feel sad, tired, listless, and unloved. Going down and down into the depths of depression comes suicide. And many times I felt this feeling. Like I could not bare the pain anymore and that suicide was the only way out. My first suicidal ideation was when I was in 6th grade. I wrote about wanting to die and who would get what.

I have even written an obituary about myself. And I just have it on my computer just in case I die before my time.

Anyway I write more when I am depressed then when I am manic. But I do write many ideas I have at the time. Things I am going to do and try to do as many as possible before my energy subsides.

So I guess that I do write when I am both moods but in different ways my feelings when I am depressed and lists of things or ideas to do when I am manic. So write your feelings down and you will begin to notice patterns especially over years.

April Showers

The weather of April is usually dark, gloomy and rainy.  Just when you think Spring is here you might get depressed because of the weather.  You can mirror the rain outside feeling like crying on the inside.  Yet, you know Spring is here so you become hopeful that your mood will lift.

I tend to have mixed feelings about April.  It can bring on depression but also bring on happiness.  Sometimes, I wonder if the moods will stay or if is it only for a day or two.  I use my coping skills when this happens.  And I have a sun lamp in my apartment.  It does help me when it is dark and gloomy outside.  I found this lamp on the internet for only 35 dollars.  It was a good investment.  I use it daily in the morning.

My voices are minimal and my moods are the problem area in my life now.  I usually try to be happy but I can put on a happy face too.  I have been told I have such a positive outlook on life.  But that is because I have been through hardship.  And know that I might slip back into depression or mania at anytime.  So I enjoy the moment.