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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

And the Depression Dragon Comes Calling

Did you know that May is Mental Health Month. May was designated by Congress in 1949 as the month to raise awareness of mental health conditions and mental wellness for all. It has become apparent that mental health and wellness is essential for a person’s overall health. And we should remember that effective prevention, mitigation, and treatment of bipolar symptoms is possible. It is true that people can recover from mental disorders and live full and productive lives. This post is dedicated to the Mental Health Month of May.

Well, leave it to my bipolar depression and its minions to interfere with a perfectly good out-of-town trip. I drove up to San Francisco last week to visit an old friend for a few days. We planned on catching up, hanging out, and discussing business ideas and whatnot (remember, I’m still unemployed yet semi-retired).

Depression Dragon Appears

The depression dragon came calling on the day I drove up to the Bay Area. I felt it descending upon me around 1030 that morn. The sky was gray. I was at my father’s house dropping off my dog before heading out to NorCal. Nothing against my father it just happened that way. Just sayin.
Also, I was very tired from staying up all night. I had spent the night busily reading and thinking about some things that my friend and I intended to discuss. 

bipolar depression It was exciting material, I was motivated, and so I kept on working through the wee hours of the night. Time flew by like it does when you become engaged in something you enjoy doing.

Funky Friday

I slept 18 hours straight on Friday, not getting up until 5 pm. It was one of my marathon depression slumbers. So much for talking shop that day. We’ll catch up this eve and tomorrow I thought.

But that was not to be the case. The bedeviling depression dragon had come home to roost for a time. He dwelled amongst me all evening. The feelings from ruminations over nonexistent yet “impending doom” kept me pinned on my back.


I awoke Saturday at a reasonable hour with no relief from depression symptoms. As per all depressions to this extent I had diminished capabilities, limited cognitive functioning, and a pathetic level of self worth. I was not in a good state for having lively, engaging conversation about future possibilities.

Mother’s Day

The last day of my visit was on Mother’s Day. This didn’t help my poor mood matters because this day inevitably brings up memories of my mom, usually sad. She passed on January 2, 2010.

So, after a splendid lunch with my longtime friend and his family and a short nap I departed.

My thinking about the visit on the drive home was disappointment at first. I was disappointed I didn’t have the needed access to my mind during my trip. I was robbed of important things like memory recall, attention, and a fluid mind. Never mind executive functions like planning and strategizing.

Instead I was stuck with no go neurotransmitters, nasty neural network cobwebs, and gelatinous blobs of gray matter. It’s enough to make a Jewish mother say "oy."

Dragon Departure

After talking with my friend illegally on my cell phone while driving home I felt better. I told him I was disappointed and why. He acknowledged that and was glad I communicated the matter. He knows I fight this demonic dragon each day and I’m stronger on some days over others. This helped me relax.

bipolar depression dragonI slept well Sunday night. The dragon left his roost during the night.

So as things would have it my mind and mood came back on Monday. There is still a little depression, but this much I can deal with.

The wackedness (new word, pronounced wa’ ked ness) of this bipolar depression of mine continues to amaze me. No sooner than when I get a grip and think recovery is moving forward, I find myself wallowing in the mire once again.

Final Analysis

So, was this experience a failure? Not by a long shot. I had a wonderful time hanging out with my friend and his family.

Regardless of the whims of serious depression we managed to discuss several issues and ideas. It just wasn’t to the depth and detail I was hoping for.

The work stuff and ideas will come as they do. I’m trying not to put unnecessary expectations on things. This just adds stress. And stress can very easily become a trigger for and aggravator of bipolar symptoms.

As I said to my good friend, “Sometimes you just got to be the tortoise in the race.” It takes time and patience when you are taking over the world.

So what are you in life? A tortoise or a hare?


  1. I love your description of the depression dragon. It rings true. I got so depressed that I actually deleted my blog. Each time I read it I got more depressed. Self worth simply non-existent. Hang in there. Time will bring about those bipolar hugs instead of the depression dragon. The sequence will not fail you.

    1. You deleted your blog! Oh boy. Things must be terrible. Hope you pull through soon. Remember, you are not how you feel and the negative thoughts in your head do not really exist. Jeff