Depression Might Make Me Lose The 50% Of Willpower I Need To Put In, But A Christmas Tree Brought It Back

Depression Might Make Me Lose The 50% Of Willpower I Need To Put In, But A Christmas Tree Brought It Back

Sometimes, a little holiday cheer is all you need to function.

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I have bipolar 1 disorder which basically means my depressive states are a lot worse than my manic states and a lot longer. This is not a clinical definition by any means, it's just me describing my version of my disorder to you all, but the point is I am more often depressed than I am not. I could go on forever about how bad depression feels, but here's a plus point: I'm currently sitting at my computer writing this article as opposed to popping a Klonopin and deciding to do absolutely nothing. There's a reason for that.

My psychiatrist and psychologist say that 50% of recovery is the medication and 50% is willpower. Whether that be exercise or just doing something like going to museums or the zoo or painting or singing or just anything. Something to keep your brain active. Today was a particularly rough day. I woke up and took my medication and the Klonopin 0.25mg just wasn't working. I was pessimistic, didn't want to do anything, and kept kicking the box that contained the brand-new Christmas tree that we had to assemble. After about thirty minutes of pleading my mother reluctantly got me to take a Klonopin 1mg pill.

The thing about taking higher dosages of Klonopin is that it tranquilizes you and the only thing I could do was go to sleep, and I pretty much slept the entire day. This is a problem because the 50% of willpower that I was supposed to put in was nonexistent and then I felt bad about not doing anything. Then I caught sight of the Christmas tree box. As a little backstory: Christmas time is my favorite and my favorite part of Christmas is the Christmas tree.

I was extra excited to put up the tree because we got rid of our old seven-foot tree and ordered a nine- foot tree. That's more tree to love. When you're depressed it's hard to do anything, but that tree just called out to me and on a whim, I tore open the box and began assembling the tree. This was my first year buying an unlit tree, so I was a bit hesitant about the whole endeavor, but after a quick trip to the store I ended up with 600 lights and about 100 new ornaments. This was the willpower I was missing all day.

We put on Sinatra's "Ultimate Christmas" playlist on Spotify and began to assemble and decorate this tree, and let me tell you, it felt great. The tree came right on time, and I don't mean Amazon Prime did their duty, I mean to say that some higher power knew I had been in a depressive episode all week and delivered that tree right before I saw the doctor.

I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, and I intend to show him that although the medication is not doing it's full 50% because it needs to be titrated carefully and slowly, I found the 50% of willpower I need to keep me feeling happy for the time being.

It may not last, but these moments of happiness are what I live for in the midst of depression.

Update: I wrote this article before my medication, Lamictal (a mood stabilizer), was titrated to 50 mg from 25 mg, but after it got titrated my depression has gotten a lot better, however, in the time that it was being titrated, in that transition period, the Christmas tree was truly only one the things that helped me feel better and more energized. That's to say, despite the fact that the 50% willpower I'm putting in is finally back on track, it was the Christmas tree that helped me get there. Happy holidays everyone!

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6 Ways People With Major Depressive Disorder Live Life Differently

The trauma I experienced in my early teens has prevented me from having close relationships with new people. I want to be friendly and outgoing but sometimes it seems damn near impossible.

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Being told at the tender age of 14 that you have major depressive disorder is not how you want to start your freshman year of high school. I've missed some of which was supposed to be the best years of my life. I have written and probably deleted this article at least seven different times due to the fear of judgment. There are no words I can put into this article on how to describe the daily struggle myself, and a majority of people struggle with major depressive disorder have to deal with. How do you explain to strangers, the reason I'm being standoffish is that I automatically think you're judging me. "What could possibly be wrong in your life?" is a common phrase I'm tired of hearing. People who haven't struggled will never understand.

It's time to educate the "normal" people on this topic and why it doesn't define us as people.

1. Wanting to be social, but you just can't

The trauma I experienced in my early teens has prevented me from having close relationships with new people. I want to be friendly and outgoing but sometimes it seems damn near impossible. I'm not intentionally trying to be a bitch, but that's just how it comes across when I am feeling shy. If you feel as is if I'm being standoffish, don't assume, just ask and I'll explain.

2. Freaking out over situations that haven't happened yet

In my friend group, I am notorious for this. If someone close to you is experiencing this, instead of telling them to relax, explain to them it's all in their head and hasn't even happened yet.

3. Missing out on sleep

I normally only get around three and a half hours of sleep at the most during the night, which is why I'm always so tired during the day and sometimes a little grouchy. So when you tell me I look rough, I'm well aware. When you tell me I'm moody, I'm most likely groggy and just not caring about the day anymore at that point.

4. Having a bigger heart then most

Being in this state of mind, I will always be sympathetic with others feelings. I am normally a friend who can relate to just about any situation. I will never judge anyone when they confide in me.

5. Not always being in that state of mind

This is the biggest missed conception of being depressed. I have my moments, days, or even weeks but this doesn't mean my whole life is a depressive episode. I do have really great days.

6. Feeling harder for other people's emotions

I've only been in two relationships in the last four years, which made me feel very good and then very bad. Even in friendships, I tend to be more charismatic. I never want someone to feel underloved. When someone else is feeling an emotion, I will feel it with them. This can be a great thing in friendships, or it can affect me negatively depending on the emotion being felt.

* * *

These are all just qualities that come with this disorder, but not one single one of them define me as a person. Next time someone close to you has one of these symptoms, stop making them feel like it's their fault. Try to understand them better. Always check up on your friends and family.

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10 Reasons Why Having A Boyfriend Is Especially Awesome Around The Holidays

No better time of the year than Winter break to make all the memories with your honey freezing in the weather or sweating by the fireplace.

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A date for looking at Christmas lights is on the top of the list, for sure.

1. You have someone to do all of the activities with

He's like your built-in partner for everything. Wanna watch a movie? Take a nap? Need someone to help you clean your room? You've got your person.

2. You can steal his hoodies when its chilly outside

It doesn't even have to be cold for you to want to. Chances are its a size or two bigger than you need and his cologne is all over it.

3. Chances are he's more willing to drive in the snow than you are 

Guys typically have a little more of a heavy duty vehicle. If you've got a good man, he might even rescue you an hour away in a blizzard if you think you're tougher than the weather.

4. Christmas movie partner!!

Do I need to add more?

5. He can always keep you warm

Bear hugs. Cuddles. His trucks dual air 90 degree heat on your side. He'll find a way to keep you warm.

6. Your family holiday events partner

Multiple Thanksgivings and Christmas' are a breeze with your favorite person by your side. Plus, no one to ask you where your plus one is or why you're single.

7. Matching Christmas pajamas

I don't know about you, but my family has matching Christmas jammies every year. You can even get your favorite person in on them too for a cute insta picture.

8. Your errand running partner

He's your built-in Christmas shopping partner so you aren't bored standing in line forever or while you're still shopping and he can act as your place holder.

9. You aren't the only single one in your family on Christmas Eve anymore. 

It's awkward when all of your siblings are taking pictures with their others, but when you've found your person, you can do all the same things, including looking forward to your new year's kiss.

10. Making more memories

No better time of the year than Winter break to make all the memories with your honey freezing in the weather or sweating by the fireplace.

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