Hitting Rock Bottom in the Days of Covid-19

I believe in my personal journey through bipolar illness that I hit rock bottom about in 2008. This does not mean I have not had issues with my health during this time – to the contrary. But in large part I have been therapeutic on my meds during this time with adjustments here and there. I believe that mental illness recovery requires a hitting of rock bottom much as addictions do. I don’t know if others with mental illness agree with that premise. If you do, please keep reading.

While my regular mental health rock bottom may have been in 2008, during these days of covid-19 a new rock bottom may be needed for myself. I am not talking about those folks who have loved ones taken by this terrible disease. I cannot even begin to speak to that loss. The grieving of others hit hard so hard by this pandemic with deaths is not what I am getting at. What I am trying to express is that the every day person (not with loved ones lost) with every day concerns may need to hit a rock bottom with covid-19 before coming out of it less anxious, less isolated, less depressed, less alone.

What does that rock bottom look like for me? I am not completely sure. Much of it requires me to be honest how I am feeling from day to day. I have been feeling more depressed that usual and I am tying to be honest with myself about that. This honesty is slowly allowing me to come back on the other side of my depression to a more balanced position. I have not yet gotten a great schedule together to orient my days. This is under development but not 100% there. I am trying to reach out to my elderly Mom once a day to chat since social distancing keeps us apart. I am trying to be honest with my psyche doctor and my therapist where I am with my health. I have raised my meds by a slight degree in order to combat the depression. I am trying to have as much meaningful dialogue and contact with my daughter who is 16 and my husband. This includes watching our favorite TV show after dinner and maybe playing a board game. On the non-mental health side of things, I am keeping a temperature log for myself and my family every day and insisting everyone drink lots of water and get a little exercise.

Also, I am trying to be forgiving of myself if there are times that I just can’t get it together to get something done off my todo list. Or if I am a little late in getting something done. I try to count my accomplishments for the day (baby steps mostly) with forgiveness of self in mind.

I am not certain if I am about to hit rock bottom with covid-19 era depression and anxiety, but I believe I am close. Does any body else think rock bottom for mental illness/mental health is relevant in the time of covid-19? If so, how are you doing with that? Well I hope.

6 thoughts on “Hitting Rock Bottom in the Days of Covid-19

  1. I had a major dip in January of this year, and that really limited what I was able to do, so for me COVID-19 hasn’t changed things all that much. But I’ve seen quite a few people in the blogging world who are really struggling with it and all of the restrictions that have come along with it.

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  2. Interesting question. This way of living isn’t entirely different for me. While that is true I think I have overlooked the bits that are true about that statement. For instance, when I think to do things differently because I’m more stuck in the house – like really focus on my novel as though I’m on some retreat – I stop myself short and say well things aren’t that different. I think that has hindered me, it’s actually helped to keep my in my usual ruts instead of using the necessity to stay home and do more with myself and my environment as a sort of motivation.

    I’m not entirely sure I hit a rock bottom per se but maybe something like it. I had to stop listening to the news as much and keeping up the way I was in the beginning. I have to stay away from Facebook. I have had to be less freaked out but still very cautious. It really helped me that everyone has to wear a mask in public, it feels safer for everyone and less like the virus really is EVERYWHERE. I’m in a place where I have to be focused on keeping me moving forward. But I’ve had some really down days lately, plenty of depression surrounding not being able to see people without worrying and/or wearing a mask. I worry for my loved ones who need more social activity than me and I worry how long until we can just be together. I worry for the people who are high risk. I remind myself of all that I have to do and how being quarantined is not the worst, it can actually help me.

    Sounds like you’re doing a pretty darn good job if not great and keeping yourself and your family stable. You have a lot of good practices in place and are keeping a forward thinking mind. Maybe those of us with mental illness really can help others because we have to practice mindfulness even more. Maybe we will come out of this even stronger because these exercises are front and center. Cheers to you and yours, stay well and safe. 😀 Nice post btw.

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    1. Thanks so much for your comments and your insights. I am also so sorry to learn you have had more depression than usual. The depression has been a struggle for me too since Easter but appears it may be turning a corner. I have upped my meds with my trusted doc and that appears to be helping. Thank God for that. (I am unable to take an anti-depressant because it pushes me into mania. Learned this the hard way about ten years ago.) I too am thankful people are wearing masks (and hoping this does not let up as the economy reopens.) I too limit my exposure to the news every day. I also don’t really access Facebook much anyway. I also worry for others mainly my Mom who is 83 and lives alone. We are planning an outdoor picnic / barbeque at social distance for the day my daughter finishes remote learning for 10th grade. I agree with you that we mental health veterans may be able to empathize with those who are anxious and depressed but who do not carry a clinical diagnosis. I wonder what that might look like – people who have had anxiety or depression for ten, twenty, thirty plus years reaching out to those who have never experienced either until now? What might that look like?

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      1. Sounds like you’ve got a lot of wisdom under your belt. 🙂 I hope your celebration for your daughter went well.

        I’m thinking the best thing those of us with mental illness or experience with mental illness have to offer is compassion. I think it looks like love, compassion, hope, and most especially empathy. We can show others how best to respond with some sensitivity. 🙂


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