Mixing Metaphors

A while back, I described the effect my treatment has had to date as follows:

  • The ECT treatment put my 'little chuff-chuff' back on its rails
  • The medication cocktail I now take has stopped my 'little chuff-chuff' from behaving like a runaway train. I am now The Fat Controller. Unfortunately, I am that literally as well as figuratively. (When I feel brave enough, I will say more about living with my new imposing figure - honest I will).

Never being afraid of mixing my metaphors (!), I have also described the worst of bi-polarism as feeling like being in a little boat battered again and again by a raging sea storm. Well, before I get sacrificed on the alter of appropriate use of language, we do say that a picture is worth a thousand words, don't we....

When the medication started to take effect it was like waking-up on a calm sea for the first time in months. I was elated. I felt so happy to be stable again. It's amazing how words like 'routine' and 'stability' that we so often associate with being boring take on such a magical mantle after a traumatic episode or indeed a long illness. We may not be happy with the cellulite on our thighs but we can easily imagine being ecstatic about walking again after being immobilised for months. The trouble is, once you get used to walking again, that darned cellulite regains its power to get you down. Such is the so-called wisdom we human beings are capable of. I could have chosen a more masculine example than cellulite because - and unfortunately - my point is just as valid for men as it is for women. Our men may be generally spared the cellulite intrusion but they are not spared from bugbears that feel just as 'down-grading'...

Oh dear! I have done it again. I was in mariner mode and I suddenly switched into cosmetic mode.  Back to the boat: now that the sea is relatively calm - and in fact because the sea is relatively calm - I am now able to see how battered my little boat is. I can now see that it is in dire need of repair. It is taking in water, the sail is broken, the engine is gunged up, and the paintwork is a disgrace.  And you know what: this is really depressing.  Here, I am using the word 'depressing' in its colloquial sense, not its medical one.

I am discovering that part of the recovery process from deep clinical depression is depressing! How about that?!?

I am also understanding that a so-called mental illness plays havoc with our physical being. Right now, it feels like my body is ten steps behind my brain.  I actually want to do things and I can't.  My body won't play catch-up. My sister-in-law gave me a sentence that is helpful to me. She said "Your body has just entered convalescence". I find this helpful because it hadn't occured to me fully how much care and attention my body will be needing over the next few months. Because a 'mental' illness is so invisible, we tend to expect its impact to disappear instantly. However, the way it tells us that we are recovering rather than recovered is by leaving us with a highly visible physical legacy.

It's like the song says: I can see clearly now the rain has gone...  Ooops - here I go again, in meteorology mode now :0)

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