Getting Down

I wouldn’t call it depression, but I’m finding myself in a hole. I can be my own worst enemy. I don’t handle the heat very well and we haven’t had a day below 35C for about 3 weeks. I’m fairly much house bound most of the time, when its cooler <30C I get outside and try to do things I like to keep myself occupied doing something but BLAHhhhhh and I find myself stuck going around and around in my own head, beating myself up (metaphorically) for my predicament. I’ve not been in a good frame of mind for a few days. I feel I’m lazy, but I try to do things and over do it. so the tasks I set myself I reduce to be able to manage, then the tasks pile up.
Prior to all this I was working, I was productive, well, that’s all gone and the frustration is massive. I can’t plan 'cos I never know when things will be OK. I drive but only short distances 'cos if get an attack someone (the wife) has to come and get me, my independence has been heavily restricted and that’s damn annoying. Grrrrr
Anybody got any suggestions to get myself outta this funk???

This isn’t much help, Merl, but we’ve had temperatures of -25 in the Canadian bush until recently. And then the temperature rocketed up yesterday, and we got an ice storm, so now everything is treacherous out there. We can’t be satisfied, can we? :wink:

Extremes of weather do impact our mental health, and then adding a chronic condition that plays with our ability to plan and to sustain productive activity is a nasty mix. I don’t have TBI, but I have joints and stamina that have been given a pretty good beating by Psoriatic Arthritis, and I know the feeling. :wink:

Hang in there, my friend. Cooler weather must be on the way for you soon!


Thanks Seenie, I’m OK. Think the heat is giving me the :poop: , my health is giving me the :poop:, my ability (or lack of) is giving the :poop: so all added together and I’ve got me a big pile of :poop: :grinning:
I think for many of us with chronic illness or unresolved health issues having the :poop: is not unusual. It’s how we manage it. Many years ago my management tools were minimal and destructive (or so I was told) I’d crawl inside a bottle, get drunk, tell EVERYBODY exactly what I thought, then wonder in the morning why I had a black eye. DOH. Me and alcohol are not a good mix. I learnt that the hard way :frowning2:
As we all know illness changes lives and for some it can be a simple inconvenience, but for others, like me that change, it can be life (as we knew it) destroying.
So how do others deal with it? How do others manage?
I strongly believe that with us sharing this information we give each other “other management tools”, other ways we may not have even thought of ourselves. My ‘tools’ are old and worn out, they work but only just :wink:

Hi merl i feel the same way.i have no advice but hope things improve

Hello Merl
Your friend chill can understand very well on how the journey of frustration, sadness, grief, anger, acceptance…not really sure how to feel some days…Physically I have terrible neurological problems all day long… they try very hard to control symptoms better , but not good enough.Please do not be so hard on yourself because you are very symptomatic, and you try everything you can…I am sorry you are having some of your independence decrease for different reasons…well…I can relate from so independent to not at all …I have had panic attacks where my sons have sat w me, or I call my sister, doctor for helplike you have…It is beyond hard, but sometimes maybe trying some deep breathing, journal, meds have had to help me deal better because my brain is not a normal healthy brain between head injury and two brain anerysms and surgeries…Try and remember your family and friends who love you…reach out to a friend to visit you…I am homebound pretty much and I relate to the words you had to say…I went from independence to not independent and feeling very symptomatic …we are here to listen for sure… We concentrate on a couple of positive things, and try to take one day at a time…Good advice that I have trouble taking too,but it is solid…We are here for you…I pray we recover even some…take care my friend…

You are becoming your worst enemy. Instead of figuring out why you can not do things figurer out way that you can and write up plans to get stuff done. If heat is you problem now. Get up and do stuff before it gets hot trhen take a nap if you have to and get back at it once it starts to cool off. You can also use AC or a swamp cooler or even a portable mister to get outside yard stuff done. When driveing some plase have a list of things that have to be done and then optional things and leave extra time even hours so if you feel sick you can pull over and look at the scenery or browseuntill you feel better. Hell I have had a dozen concussions plus in dustrial solvent exposure and I still ride motorcycles just because I give myself options and p-lan what I have to get done.

Thanks Chill.
I think that that understanding bit was exactly my point. Others may think they know, but having to travel what I call this “Hellish Route” is totally different. Having worked in the disability sector for many years I thought I knew everything there was to know, but living it, Ohh WOW!!! How little did I know. The adjustments, the alterations to life are massive and this what I am saying to others here to share. What have we, as individuals, done to manage. We’ve all had to alter methods, alter coping mechanisms, alter ideas to meet our needs. I’ve been TOLD by dr’s what I should do and in theory, their ideas are great. But putting those ideas into a practical use is not that easy, hence the alterations needed at times. I believe only us who have been there can truly know comprehend any of this.

I have a TBI and it is just part of it. Suggest seeing a PHD specializing in TBI weekly for a while.

I am sad, too. Here in the US they are trying to make mental health care optional. So I am panicking. We are on the chopping block. Like dead weight to the country despite a texter did me in, not me.

I stay away. I go to the gym all day and if I get dizzy I don’t care. I go upstairs and lay down. I exploded at the gas station (that sentence looks bad, like the gas exploded or something). I mean I emotinoally exploded and went off. No one cares. I am not humilated anymore because people just laugh and pull out a cell phone to post someone in suicidal despair having a meltdown. It’s funny, they think.

A guy was murdered a few towns over and someone actually POSTED IT ON FB!!! What kind of montrous world are we living in?

So yeah, my open public tears…not gonna try to stop them. I stay home, the gym, and maybe one other safe place. Even therapys makes me feel worse.

My dog, my family, (though we fight now because of my disablity, but I still ove them ), and that is all. I am just hoping to make it wihtout ending it.

I am taking SAMe and it helps but it makes me manic. But it will pull me out. I cannot take meds because my neuio issues and the sensory troubles.

I totally agree with many of your comments Okrad, TOTALLY!!! And this is why I say"…only us who have been there can truly know comprehend any of this." Here in Oz, mental health and brain injury are seen as two totally different entities. Sure the mental health can and is certainly affected by the BI, but here in Oz, now, the focus is more on the primary cause. So in my case the primary is the BI, secondary to that is the physical and the mental. Mental health is also being cutback here, which for me seems ridiculous as the result from less services is more demand on our hospitals. Try and manage it early on and the flow on costs are lessened, but our politicians do not see it like that, all they see is $$$$$.
The BI makes mental so much more difficult to manage in the conventional sense. If it was solely mental they may have options with meds, but due to damage this is not always possible. I’ve explained it before like someone opening up the computer and throwing a handful of aluminium foil inside. Take the wrong med and those brain connections all misfire. Having that understanding and being able to function around it is my point. Showing emotion, any emotion has so many ways of being perceived by others and more often than not that perception is negative. Its having that “safe place” where you can let go, where you feel OK with it all. That’s what is needed, but not always available.


Thanks for writing and being open about your circumstances. You express in your first writing, “I wouldn’t call it depression, but I’m finding myself in a hole.” To me this hole is a chasm of inner darkness that has opened up inside and is like the black hole is draining whatever life there is out. This part of me makes it dangerous for my emotions because I want to fight the disappointment and discouragement. I even find myself wanting to escape my emotions with work and I want a purpose. My alienation from work, because my cells do not produce enough energy for my muscles, is a source of torment for me. For some reason it feels like unfinished work and it is mocking me, family is mocking me and then my failures mock me. When I get into this tormented consciousness, my emotions get dangerous, then I have to deal with the negativity and then I become a victim of my emotions.

Because of my emotional immaturity I am now dealing with emotional sobriety. I cannot escape into the bottle or being a work-alcoholic, so it is like I am stuck with these emotions. I may not feel I am going under emotionally, but the essentials I lived by are now gone. In fact, this last year with my cancer treatment I was going around in self-enclosed circles, becoming aware of who I was not more than who I am. Then family communicated I am nothing to the world, nothing true or valuable, and I felt nothing left to attach myself. My family is still getting the cold shoulder from me and I could care-less if I ever see them again ---- bitter point I know.

So Merl, what in the hell are we dealing with ---- emotional sobriety, insecurity and powerlessness, outcast in life, or a worthlessness as a human being? Maybe I am pathetic, rightfully rejected by everyone, and yet I will no longer feel guilty for existing nor will I feel guilty for not being able to contribute anything to humanity. From this and just a small touch of emotional sobriety coming within is to say I am starting to move into a nonattachment. Non-attachment is communicating a radical acceptance of life. This nonattachment feels like water going down the stream and water coming toward me in the stream. It seems this place seems to allow me to not cling to anything inner or outer. It particularly helps to no longer cling to the endless activity of my mind as a source of identity and orientation to the world or family.

This nonattachment allows everything to arise and disappear — water flowing under the bridge and new water is present. In many ways, this water under the bridge is communicated by you within your profound compassion. Your compassion is considerate, supportive, reliable, cooperative and mature. It just seems you may need to turn this compassion toward yourself and allow everything to pass under the bridge where nothing “sticks” in your consciousness. I realize all the glories and horrors, incongruities and inexhaustible complexities of life may feel like a stumbling block for you, but you always have the uncanny ability to see the heart of things. Your ability to see is virtually a symbol of your heart, Merl.

There is something about you Merl that makes you appealing and lovable. I feel it in your heart. Also within your heart appears to be this emotional security and you make it easy to interact with you. Your heart is inviting, an integrating quality and this stimulates a relationship. You being a male and my being male does not make it easy to identify precisely your heart qualities, yet I feel enough clues I can communicate with you and there is no fear here. Your heart and the trust within it is like qualities of trust children display to their parents and a nonverbal message of trust they have toward their parents. Naturally, your wife knows this about you, possibly rather flattering and where trust and affection is given to you in return. I am just saying you are emotionally rewarding for all of us, no one is in a superior position with you and you engage me and others automatically. Your heart is significant, you allow acceptance to begin and you make no apology for being who you are. You are highly valued because you speak for yourself and your compassion is significant because it is helping my emotional sobriety. Maybe this is water under the bridge but your compassion is still refreshing and a quiet satisfaction.

Thank you Merl.

PS: Oh yes I wanted to say when I first read your first writing I was nervous and anxious, complex and exhausted, my brain was going haywire and everything seemed dangerous, and yet your trust is given Merl, so I walked onto your bridge. Something new and something fresh is enough to be grateful for you.

Hi Merl. We probably all get in a funk, right? And they are nearly identical right? But there is some part that they are different, too. And you should give yourself a break for that. Give yourself some breathing room. I agree that people who write a gratitude journal are more grateful and people who write a misery journal are more miserable. But it is a free country. It is a free country. Maybe give yourself a chance to figuratively write in either journal. Maybe it will help. Maybe decide how much mad you need? Do you need 1 second of mad? 2 minutes of mad? 1 hour 1 day 1 week 1 year of mad? Options are great. I love options. And it is nobody’s call to tell me which one I choose. However, it is my call to choose. And I feel like I am in control when I make the choice, a human being, me, instead of what happened to me (the TBI). I am a person and not an event. I am a person who makes my own decision under my own control instead of an event trying to take control of me against my will. It feels better when I decide to be grateful or miserable and for just how long. Absolutely don’t take my word for it. Instead experiment with it yourself and see what helps and what doesn’t help. If you find things that help and don’t, we would love to hear about them.

Hey Syd,
You state ‘…this hole is a chasm…’ I have been in that chasm previously, prior to all this brain stuff, and I know I cant and don’t want to go there again. I know where it leads, so I avoid it at all costs. I do still get down, just not that far. I try to vary my day so that I’m not going around and around in the same pile of excrement. I think ‘powerlessness’ is the right word, none of us have control over our injuries, they have occurred, we can’t change that fact as much as we may wish we could. Others outside of our reality are going to make judgements. It is easy/simple to stand outside and point out other people’s shortcomings. It is a totally different story to turn that around and point at ourselves and look at our own shortcomings, that can be very confronting. I believe only people who have truly been here can truly understand.

Hey Occipital,
I think you’re right, I think we all (at times) get into a funk. I must say I try not to stay there, as I’ve said to others, I know if I stay there I wallow around and around in my own excrement. I get what I call the ‘poor me’s’ ie ‘Poor me, ohh poor me, ahh pour me another drink’ :unamused: Not nice
I do try to give myself a break and not focus so much on the injury and it’s results. But it’s there in the morning when I awake and it’s there at night when I ‘try’ to sleep. Then during the day I have these little reminders, like standing from a sitting position, getting all dizzy and having to brace myself due to the fear I’ll collapse again.
I have tried your journal idea and initially it was good, I could see the improvement, but that all seems to have stagnated a bit. Sure I have good days and bad, but I’ve not seen a pattern of symptoms to be able to manage around or alter to gain any great improvement. The medicos tell me this is about as good as it’s gonna get and that simply pisses me off.
I think all of this and my head got me in a rutt and like I say "going around and around in my own excrement’. My head can take me to some AWFUL places if I let it, so I try not to get that far down, but not being able to get back to ‘life as I knew it’ is very disappointing hence my statement “…My ‘tools’ are old and worn out…” and "…Anybody got any suggestions to get myself outta this funk??"
I don’t believe I’m stuck in that rutt, well, not all the time anyway, but I am very interested in how others manage

I am pleased with your writing Merl and how you recognize how the chasm drains whatever life we have out. You also express that powerlessness is the right word. For me powerlessness has changed not only my many states of consciousness but is changing my stage of consciousness, both physically and mentally. This stage of consciousness is like powerlessness is its own value, without reference to anything or anyone, and is in reference of everyone and everything. This stage of powerlessness, which you appear to be communicating, is like a serenity without falling into this despair and hopelessness. The hard part for me is I am still obsessed with defending myself from my powerlessness and is a mental process of still wanting to find security or power. Because I lack acceptance of this stage of consciousness of powerlessness it brings about more insecurity and powerlessness. Maybe this awareness of being on stage in powerlessness is learning to be okay in what feels unsettling and irrational and this awareness is enough to have the courage to accept this empty stage or my empty brain.

After writing this, I am uncomfortable, moving around in my chair, I want to cuss, and I know I cannot bring this to a conclusion. I hate this stage of consciousness, as it brings out my “ugly-duckling” symptoms and my mind cannot compensate for what is missing. I am extremely high-strung right now and my nervous system is tuned to a high pitch. So the courage to accept the endless stream of negative and positive is the depth of powerlessness that is extremely uncomfortable for me. My difficulty is it creates physical symptoms, my unconscious impulses erupt in my mind, I boil inside and I get nervous. It seems I need nonattachment before I lose perspective and I find hidden meaning and causes everywhere. I can just say powerlessness is obscene and it truly is not worth the effort defending myself from it. In many ways, I feel, you are saying this also Merl.

PS: Powerlessness is like finding Godot as a stumbling block, horror and uncertainty, but it feels like this need for nonattachment in order to have any peace. Then my wife says my nonattachment is like indifference but who cares seems to be the best for now. Missing parts maybe after all are the stumbling block and in the fall there is a peace — strange.