Every Episode Is A Bit Different

Every Episode Is A Bit Different

I have been through many depressive episodes as well as several manic episodes. When I was 24, I first started going through a major manic episode, then a huge depressive episode; I had absolutely no control over either. My job was trying to help me through it. They let me work from home for a while, but my symptoms just kept getting worse. I went on short-term disability, then long-term disability, and then finally on social security disability. I ended up moving across the country to go live with my mom because I couldn’t take care of myself.

After I made it through a pretty big depressive episode when I was approximately 25, I got another tattoo to remind me of what I went through. The tattoo is on my left hip and the drawing is actually based off of me (I was skinnier then). I stayed with my mom for approximately 2½ years. I moved back to Arizona in 2011 when I started dating the guy who is now my husband. We were best friends for years before we started dating. He always said we would end up together, and I always told him he was wrong. I had to admit that I was wrong and he was right. Most of the time, my husband or my mom notices when I’m beginning to go through another episode, and when I’m beginning to make noticeable changes and come out of an episode. They recognize my symptoms and do what they can to help. Every episode and all of my symptoms appear slightly differently every time.

My depressive symptoms generally include some mixture of a lack of energy, over-sleeping, overeating, feeling worthless, and physical pain. These are only some of the most common symptoms that I can think of. There are many more symptoms that I can’t think of at this moment. My manic symptoms are often more easy to see. They include no sleeping, excessive energy, easily distracted, racing thoughts, and more. I make sure that the people close to me know what my symptoms are and what normal is like for me so they can help me catch my episodes early. We don’t have to go through our episodes alone.

My Tattoos Remind Me

My Tattoos Remind Me

I use tattoos and jewelry as reminders for myself that I have gotten through these times before and I can do it again. My aunt gave me a personalized bracelet that helps me when I’m dealing with suicidal ideations. It reminds me that my family loves me and that I can get through this.

The picture for this post was based on me. The artist was using me as a base of the image. I decided to get this tattoo done after I had gone through a horrible depression. I had also just lost a bunch of weight that I gained during the depression. This tattoo is to remind me that I’ve gone through this before and I can do it again. At this point in life, I do know that I’ve gone through depressions and weight gain before, many times. I do believe that I can get through it again, I just have no clue how long it will take. That is the hard part. It’s hard when you don’t know how long your life will be this way.

I have other tattoos to remind me of other things. I have my father’s plane in flight located between my shoulder blades. On one rib cage is some of the sheet music for Fur Elise, which is also a reminder for my father. On my other rib cage is a quote that reminds me of my friend who was also my AA sponsor. We are still friends, more like family. On my thigh, my tattoo shows my transformation from addiction to sobriety. My back tattoo represents the metaphorical hell I’ve been through with my bipolar episodes and PTSD.

For me, tattoos are a great reminder. They remind me where I’ve been and how far I’ve come. Maybe I should get another one. I think I’ll wait a little while before doing it. I like to make sure I really want one. I don’t want to be impulsive. My old artist is back in Connecticut, but my cousin is a tattoo artist and lives near me.