Wednesday, March 30, 2005

I freaked out


Yesterday and this morning I just freaked out. Last night I had crazy mood swings and today I had to go back to bed, I didn't feel depressed, in fact I felt fine, I just couldn't deal with what is ahead of me.This is something that happens to me, but hasn't for awhile, I think it is a throwback to the instinct we have as infants, that we fall asleep if we are over-stimulated. I have been SO happy to start feeling happiness again that I forgot the behaviors that got me here. I also forgot that when you start feeling feelings again, happiness is not the only emotion you will feel.

I have not been depressed my whole life. I have had anxiety and social phobia my whole life, but the depression started when I was nine and my mom died. In between my long depressions I would have periods of a few months of not just non-depression but glee. I have discussed this with my doctors, no-one has thought I have bi-polar disorder, but there is a definate cyclical thing going on. Dr. T used some cool long word to describe it. I will edit it in later. She brought this up when I explained I that during my non-depressed periods I am not manic, as someone with a bi-polar disorder is, I am just REALLY happy to finally be happy!

During my non-depressed periods life is so cool. It feels like tons of people like me and want to hang out with me. I have the energy to get things done, and the social phobia is reduced so I get to do my favorite social things comfortably, like DANCING (an anti-depressant in itself) Every time I would get out of a depression I was so glad to be alive again! I wanted to do all of the things I had missed. In high school and college I would join a bunch of activities, not to mention the new activities of hanging out with the new friends I had just made! I was so happy to feel human again that I wanted to do all the living I could!

Not surprisingly, I wore myself out. I am half extrovert and half introvert, during these times of energy I was only attending to the extrovert side of me, putting no time aside to be alone. For that matter, I wasn't good at managing time at all. I signed up for too much, hung out with too many people, and had too many plans for the amount of hours in a day. I would effectively balance this busy life for a couple of months, but the pressure would become too much. I would start to get tired, and feel like a failure because I couldn't keep this life going.

I make fun of myself and my navel-gazing but I do think it is part of my success in dealing with my health problems. If you pay attention and recognize patterns you can see what needs to be changed. Some patterns I need to break that are punctuated during my non-depressed periods are respecting and tending to both the extrovert and introvert parts of me, coping with (not ignoring) problems, and realistic expectations!

I expected too much yesterday and this morning. My house is messy. My room is a disaster (has been most of my life, partly depression/anxiety partly learned behavior) and I have other non-cleaning things to get done. My new improved mood makes me wants to take action a better life for myself, but I made the mistake of overwhelming myself by thinking about everything at once! it is a good thing that I have more energy, but I need to keep realistic expectations on how much I can accomplish with this energy.

I think what also happened to me yesterday and this morning was I got overwhelmed by my new, more healthy brain activity. Depression is as physical as it is mental. A good friend asked me advice on dealing with a sister-in-law who wouldn't get out of bed. She said "I just get so pissed off! I don't wan't to get out of bed in the morning either but I do because thats life!" To anyone dealing with a depressed person, there is a physical thing going on in the nervous system. The signals are not being effectively passed from one neuron to the next. This makes all nervous activity difficult, not just thinking, also moving! Watch a depressed person, sometimes they move slower. I remember when I was severely depressed trying to lift my arm. It was as if my arm was 100 pounds! The will and energy it took to lift my arm was the will and energy it would take a person with normal brain activity to lift a very heavy weight.

Lately my nervous activity has improved (my depression is lifting.) I have a lot of memories coming back, some good, some random and neutral, some bad. If you have had a life of loss and worry and your feelings shut down what feelings and thoughts will come back when the nervous system starts working again? Happy ones like puppies and sunflowers? Maybe, but the other feelings will come too. Yesterday I got hit a little hard with emotions of anger, grief and sorrow. I think finally feeling these feelings is a good thing, they just surprised me yesterday.

All in all I am proud of myself on how I coped yesterday. My moods were out of control, but I kept my thinking under control. This road to recovery is not going to be easy. It is going to hurt alot because I am going to have to finally feel the feelings of what has happened in my life. Happiness is a wonderful thing, but constant happiness is not a realistic expectation, it is an ideal advertizers use to sell us stuff. The film Garden State illustrates this beautifully. I have learned something from the unpleasant experience I had yesterday and this morning. I am not disappointed that I felt unpleasant feelings. Unpleasant feelings are healthy reactions to unpleasent things. The big thing I am going to have to change about myself is accepting this, and coping in a healthy way with these feelings when they come, not running away from them.

Thank you universe for giving me back my feelings...the bad ones too.

mood: calm, accomplished

1 comment:

SpiderSolitaire said...

That's how I am, remeber the talk of being bi-polar. I don't get in manic states, but sometimes I am not depressed, and just happy. Then I go back to feeling like shit.
I'm glad you're putting it all together tho. Perhaps there is a almost full time happy medium we can be at. I'm glad you were happy. I'm glad you are learning more on how to be happy. I am proud of you :)