Dragon of the Scribe

{June 26, 2012}   Misery Needs No Purpose

This topic is much more difficult to talk about.  Not because it upsets me, but because of it’s difficulty to describe.

Mood swings are a part of my every day life, and I’ve always accepted this notion.  I knew what they were, as most of my friends and we have all just brushed them aside as it just being part of who I was.

Several of my moods I can now classify and describe.

Episodes – periods of extreme emotional distress caused by a ‘trigger’.  Episodes cause me to spiral destructive thoughts, anxieties and lack of self-worth.  Memories of the good, accomplishments and pride are forgotten.  I’m unable to eat or drink, communication is near impossible and even the slightest gesture of good will can be interpreted as insulting, cruel or plain ignorant.  Very few people have witnessed these, and those who have are often confused.

The process often happens like this.  When something reminds me of my fears, bad memories – or self-doubt that has been building up without me realizing it – I become overwhelmed by it.  I can no longer think about anything but that, unable to stop crying from the pain of my emotional overload.  Nothing makes me happy, nothing distracts me, and I feel guilty about people trying to help me.  Chris has dealt with these for years, and has a system for it.  When there are others around, he’s programmed me to focus on him alone.  He talks to me quietly, and is very careful of his wordings.  He even takes the time to explain the situation to those who don’t understand.  To get me to eat and sleep, he encourages me to smoke weed – knowing I can’t feel hunger in the best of moods – and during an episode I’m unable to force myself on my own.  This herb is probably what has really saved my life during these attacks.  Not only does it help me eat, it helps me calm down, and allows me to focus on something different. Episodes used to last for days… now I’m able to pull myself out within half a day or less.

Episodes are rare – happening about once every few months.  I often describe them as seizures, as they have a similar unpredictable pattern – and often black out retention of what happened.  This is also why my condition is so dangerous – as without proper care – this could easily become deadly serious.

Luckily, most of my mood swings are much less intense – and because they’re not as catastrophic, they’re often ignored.  Undocumented mood swings is probably one of the reasons why people have a hard time believing they can get better.  People often think that their hard day was caused by outside influences, strokes of bad luck or just because.  I have a different theory based upon myself.  As with all my articles, everything I write is about myself and actually holds no medical value as far as treatments.

Yesterday was a good example of one of my mood swings that I often ignore, and really shouldn’t.  My lack of caring.  This is a mood swing, not a personality trait.  Why?  Because I do care about a lot of things.  It’s when I stop caring about things that I have interest in, there’s a problem.

Yesterday, for the first time in months, I spent the day with my husband together, alone.  This was extraordinary, we made love in the morning, we had tea and talked to each other – watched shows and enjoyed our energies mingling together. It was a perfect day – at least it should have been.  What went wrong?  He wanted us to go to co-op to get some food.

Now, before people go “WTF, seriously?  You had a mood swing because you were made to go out?”  this is a known fact.  It’s also why Chris forces me to go out, even when I really don’t want to.  It’s not that I’m spoiled, and it’s not that he’s being controlling – he’s pushing me to get better.  This mood also pisses him off like nothing else, it should be noted, but I don’t blame him for it.  Actually, it’s probably good he does, otherwise I wouldn’t have taken the time to figure out what this mood swing really is.

When I love something – and suddenly I hate it – it’s a problem.  Role Playing is a great example of this.  I get interested in watching people make characters, and listening to their stories – but as soon as Chris tries to get me into it – Fuck no.  I won’t even listen, and often tell him to shut up.  He asks me why suddenly, and I basically tell him it’s boring, I don’t care, it’s stupid… and put him down for it.  I never really listened to myself before, telling him things like that.  It made me think about how I felt at that time as well.  I felt… heavy, withdrawn, empty and lost.  I didn’t really feel depressed, upset, angry or happy… I felt isolated within myself.  I began to think about why I felt that way.  I began to think about how it affected my husband.  While I still don’t understand the root cause, or a course of action to correct this – I do understand that the acknowledgement of how it affects me being the first step in fixing it.

It’s one thing to tell people “Just be happy.”  It’s another to actually live in their lives.  For those of us with the chemical imbalances – or those who have depression from a traumatic event, the first step to getting better is admitting it.

The second step, is of course, visiting a doctor about it -as like I said – this can be a very dangerous illness.

The third step, figuring out yourself what’s wrong.  Taking the time to evaluate your moods, write them down, and think about cause and effects.

The fourth step, experimenting with ways to overcome them.  Little steps first.  My episodes are still very severe, but we have over the course of a few years, figured out ways to deal with them.

This disease is not cured by people telling you “get over it.”  or “It’s all in your head.” or “You’re full of shit, and looking for attention.” In fact, these misunderstandings of what the disease is causes more deaths then the depression itself.  It’s not something you can cure over night, and it’s not something that’s your fault.  It’s not my fault for having bad days, it’s not my fault for not being able to do everything I want to.  It’s not my fault my brain cannot process information as easily as it should.

It is my responsibility to try and correct it.  It’s my goal to use my process and help others.


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