Chatty Lady, you're so right. I have to learn to say 'no'. I have to learn to put myself first and recognize the signs that make me sick. I have to set limitations on my activities when it comes to the level of "excitement" I can handle...It's all about managing my environment. Finding life management skills....I'll learn these "life management" skills I need to cope so hopefully I'll know how to handle my symptoms next time.
Vicki, I remember after my first major breakdown (requiring 3 months of hospitalization), I was devastated by what was happening to me. And for years after, I was terrified of a relapse. One day I asked my psychiatrist how we could make sure it would never happen again, and he answered that there was no way we could know if it would or wouldn't, but that what we were doing in therapy was giving me "road signs" so that i would know how to find my way back more easily the next time. He also said the most important thing in managing chronic depression was to know the signs, know myself so well that I would know when it was time to get help.
I think it takes courage and inner strength to dare to delve into ourselves to the extent that we meet those limitations and acknowledge them so then WE have the power, not the symptoms or the disease.
Knowing the need for therapy, whatever is necessary to find our way back to solid ground is critical and inspirational to others going through the same journey.
My prayers and care are with you.