It was the emotional side of depression. I have never felt so deeply sad. I was in a hole. I was suicidal. I thought of like, you know, I never attempted committing suicide, but I did think of like, maybe it’s just better to die. I would sit by my window, looking out, having a cigarette, and it was just like this deep sadness of everything. I couldn’t find a future. I couldn’t find the past. I couldn’t really think of anything that would make me again smile. The only thing I kept thinking was how much I hurt people through my mania.
– Haydn, Episode 250 - Bipolar 1 Psychosis - Supporting a Loved One - The Mental Illness Happy Hour
This episode of The Mental Illness Happy Hour really spoke to me. It's sickly comforting to hear about other people's experiences with similar mental conditions. I relate so closely to when Haydn says, "The only thing I kept thinking was how much I hurt people through my mania."
Even though several people, including my therapist have told me it could have been much worse, and that the actual amount of hurt of other people is magnified in my mind much more than in reality, it's still a feeling that I can't shake. Initially upon coming out of mania, any thoughts of any person that I had any contact with throughout my manic episode were enough to cause me severe anxiety and shame. Those feelings have lessened somewhat, but the shame and thoughts are still very pronounced in my mind.
Having gone through over a year of severe depression, I still feel very much as Haydn said, "I couldn’t find a future. I couldn’t find the past." Try as I might, I cannot see a future for myself. Intellectually I understand that things change over time and that opportunities will arise, but at this point, I can't rely on the intellectual side. Emotionally I have become stuck. The feelings aren't facts, as my therapist constantly reminds me, but they are the only things that feel real, and therefore they are.