Monday, May 21, 2012

A Word on Tenacity & Bipolar II Disorder

"This is the nature of my particular affliction; without warning I can change from having the confidence of a world-conqueror to the diffidence (I just learned that word at this moment) of an abused dog. Of course, the underlying issue is the disorder itself, but even with that realization a dn comprehension of the falsity that fuels the feeling, it can seem like a massive undertaking to 'right the ship.'" ~ From Bipolar II and the Role of Tenacity by Steven Pace on To the Edge & Back blog
The blog post from which this quote comes from spoke loads to me considering my current frame of mind. People who know me from before I was diagnosed or when I am "well" know that I can be confident, driven, focused, grounded, etc. and can get things done.  But what many people don't see is what happens when the depression strikes. The severity of my loss of self-confidence, feelings of low self-worth and self-loathing, the lack of ability or the expectation of being unable to complete a task does waver to varying degrees but for the most part I can overcome and maintain at least some sort of tenacity. However, when the depression is overwhelming all that goes out the door. I go from that self-confident..maybe even sometimes cocky...individual to a whimpering idiot who cuts off almost all communication with the outside world and dives head first into a pool of self-pity, negative self-talk, thoughts of not being a life worth living.

I find that the older I get and the longer I have this disorder my ability to maintain my tenacity is growing harder and harder. For instance after two straight years of crying almost daily, being unable to hold it together enough to teach I tired of the fight. I had tried for those two years to hold things together but was unable to. I was ineffective as an instructor...felt ineffective as a human being. I finally came to the realization that I just couldn't do it anymore. I gave in and went into in-patient treatment for suicidal depression for the second time in my life. After about a week and a half in treatment I was discharged and realized that my life/career as a nurse was over. I gave in to applying for a disability rating increase review through the VA and now I'm 100% service connected disabled with an un-employability clause due my affliction being a mental illness. My tenacity for my livelihood of 22 years fell by the wayside. I finally let my nursing license go in January after it expired. For 15+ years I had fought going this route but in the matter of a month I jumped into that decision with no prodding.

I don't know if my drive or perseverance has just got up an left in almost every aspect of my life, but I am thankful that I started running last year and can find the strength to drive myself through some seriously stupid crap that I have done in the name of the run. Running seems to be the one thing that I do not lack tenacity with. Maybe it's because no one is counting on's just me, myself and I. But without the tenaciousness I have for the run I would literally curl up and wither away because at this point that's all my life has become. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I don't know, all I know is that is what keeps me going...

No comments:

Post a Comment