Happy belated new year to the troopers actually still willing to read my sporadic ramblings.
For me it’s mostly been a good one. I’ve realised that blogging, for me, is like praying (which is wrong on so many levels); when life is good, there really isn’t much to say (except for the occasional ‘thank you’), but it’s when things start going pear shaped that we (I) feel the need to reach out, express what I’m feeling or not feeling, look for understanding and kindness and someone to say that it will all be okay.
The last two weeks of December I found myself in a remote location on holiday with no working electronics to speak of, and no electricity for the most part. This recharged me like I couldn’t have imagined. It really put life into perspective and brought about peace that I had not felt in a long time. But then we get back to reality and have to face the world and we fall back into old habits and hangups.
As I mentioned in my last post, my psychiatrist told me to just ‘get over’ this little, ‘mild’ bipolar problem of mine. So I decided, skrew you, I will do exactly that. Which also means that I won’t see you again and not that it really matters, but you will lose my money so HA. I did give it an actual try though. My meds were working in their higher doses and I felt fine. So I decided no psychiatrists, support groups, blogs, forums, no nothing. Just taking my pills morning and night without thinking about it. And it actually worked, sort of. I really wasn’t giving much thought to this little ‘like high blood pressure’ problem of mine. I would talk about it freely with those who asked, but in a detached manner, like it was just something part of my past.
So I was almost two months in with this and it worked pretty well. In the meantime I met a very nice man, who it then didn’t work out with (men hey…). But shame, it’s not his fault that I’m depressed now. Maybe just a little bit. But I think it started a week or so before we broke up. Today I was extremely irritated and even a bit bitchy. I had one of those days where you just want to lash out and scream. And while I was lying in the bath tonight, while I was actually suppose to be at a dance lesson, it hit me. I am depressed. Not suicidally depressed, but it’s definitely there lurking underneath the surface. And I realised it’s been 3 to 4 weeks. And I wasn’t surprised as it seems like my period of calm is two months. It never lasts longer than that. Being older and wiser and being better at recognising things for what they are, instead of thinking it’s all in my head, I can now see some of my early signs of depression, which I will gladly share with y’alls.
The conversations in my head sound roughly like this:
- ‘I am so bored. My work is so totally unstimulating, I can do it in my sleep.’ Followed by job searches.
- ‘Once <insert event here> is over, I’m going to start tapering off my meds. I don’t FEEL anything anymore’.
- ‘I have become such a boring person. Where is my sense of humour?’ (misses hypomania)
- ‘Why bother getting up early when no one even cares if I’m an hour late for work.’
- ‘There is a fat man standing on my chest.’
- ‘I know it’s not really true but today it feels like life isn’t worth living’.
- ‘Chocolate! I need chocolate!’
- ‘I’m so fat!’
- ‘Fuck I hate pms! This is the worse in my entire life!’ Followed by the realisation that I will only be having pms in a week or two.
- ‘Take me back to the clinic where I can sleep all day and people feed me.’ Followed by looking at the clinic’s website and reminiscing.
Other signs include:
- Easily sleeping 12 hours, being awake for about 7, and then sleeping another 12.
- Drinking to get drunk.
- Throwing all my good quit smoking resolutions out the door.
- Being permanently irritated with my colleagues (but in my defense, some of them are chronically annoying)
- Spending most of my time either watching series or staring at the roof.
- Feeling like I have achieved nothing in my life and that I will die alone.
- Guiltily stuffing my face, in a way that feels like I’m punishing myself.
- Not showering over weekends.
- Having unreasonable fits of rage or feeling like a friend/family member is out to get me or hurting me on purpose.
- Obsessively worrying about something or someone.
- Being totally unreasonable in general.
You get all those websites that list a bunch of symptoms about sleep and appetite and not enjoying things, but what I have listed above is what it FEELS like. The practicalities of it.
Luckily I have caught myself before things got out of hand. As always when I go through some kind of mood episode, I’m almost crippled by the thought that it isn’t the first and it won’t be the last. And frustrated that the medication that worked so well a few weeks ago has seemingly stopped working. And of course the horror of imagining riding out a depressive episode.
But chin up! This is still quite manageable. I compiled a shortlist of psychiatrists to research and luckily there is a support group next week. I don’t feel it, because I feel nothing but dread and horror, but cognitively I know that I can be proud of myself for spotting the signs early.