Monday, June 4, 2012

The Back and Forth

I hope you will forgive me for dedicated a second post in a row to mental health issues, and in particular for psychoanalyzing myself. This is not going to become a recurring theme. As I have said in the past, however, a blog is great not only as a sounding board but also as a vehicle for self-reflection, and I intend for this update to be a little bit of both.

My whole life has seemed in many ways a constant struggle for happiness, one I sometimes win only to be brought back down again by a crisis, a random event, or reflection on things I've struggled with. Before, I always thought of this in terms of hope versus pessimism, but increasingly I'm wondering if that dichotomy might in fact be a manifestation of clinical mood swings.

My last post got me thinking.

How often do I alternate between low and high? In my depressed moments I'm quick to regard suicide as a solution; but how typically do those depressed moments surface? Is there a usual interval of time between my happy and sad episodes?

This is something I'm going to try and pay attention to for a while, hopefully without unintentionally influencing any cycle that might exist. In the meantime, my journal is proving a pretty valuable resource. Take a look at the difference between June 2 and June 4.

June 2, 2012

Thomas and I made not one but two coffee runs today. I think I need to cut back; I'm starting to get hooked on the stuff.

Other things are happening as well.

My judgement and discipline are slipping. I find myself thinking about my responsibilities less and wanting to drink more. I have the ability, of course, to refrain from doing things I know I shouldn't, but of late I increasingly just don't care. Maybe if hard work were rewarded I would feel differently. It's not, though.

Being dedicated, competent, and conscientious got me nowhere and shows no sign of getting me anywhere in the near future. No matter what I do I can't get a job, as if the entire world were conspiring to deny me any semblance of a real life. Why should I have that? Apparently it's an offense that I ever entertained the idea.

And meanwhile I'm left in this house, in this great yellow mausoleum to rot and go crazy. Like Anne. My birth-mother is borderline and bipolar. Is it that much of a stretch?

I hope to head back to therapy sometime next week. My adoptive mother Marie believes I am manufacturing these issues essentially by overanalyzing, but the story's been the same much of my life: in good times the problems subside, at least partially, only to reemerge with a vengeance when any little thing goes wrong. I can't tell you how many times I decided I "didn't need" therapy because I was having a smooth day. Then I'm back in the gutter and realize I should seek help.

A part of me really just wants to implode and go out after a few epic weeks. Trying to be a responsible adult is so much work and thus far the return has fallen well short of the labor put in.

June 4, 2012

I'm better again, inexplicably and out of nowhere, back in the frame of mind wherein I both conceptualize myself as a responsible adult and enjoy a considerable degree of optimism. It's only now that I'm questioning this mode of thinking and wondering if it's part of a larger pattern of mood swings. For when I woke up this morning it was not in happiness--it was in tears.

My cousin Perfect's recent wedding to her college sweetheart, a celebratory occasion to be sure, had been nagging at me for several days and in my first conscious moments this morning I understood why: Perfect, my one-time friend and childhood playmate, had marked a joyous rite of passage that I was very unlikely to ever experience.

The realization of that soul-crushing absence, of that deficit in so crucial a part of life, made my eyes mist with the day's first light. I thought then that maybe I should just end it, die rather than live a half-life. This followed a depression of several days that I imagined would continue today, but an hour or so later the cloud unexpectedly lifted and I found myself buoyed by hope and self-confidence.

Right now a part of me believes I could have a real job, a husband one day, a real life, all this despite the obstacles. Will I believe that a week from now? I don't know.

Today was a good day, true. I had coffee with Norwegian (visiting from Growing State) at lunchtime and learned in the afternoon that I have a job interview with the Western City Library on Thursday morning. The shift in mood preceded those developments, though.

I wonder if I'm imagining this or if it's a genuine mood swing? I always seem to be on a rollercoaster, in the struggle, fighting, and this would explain a lot. I need to talk about it with the doctor--whom I'm not particularly motivated to see at the moment.  


naturgesetz said...

The leaky roof is no problem on a sunny day.

It certainly sounds like unprovoked mood swings. Of course, there's always bad stuff, if you want to pay attention to it, and good stuff if you want to pay attention to it. But when you can't see the good stuff, there's a problem.

I hope the job interview will go well.

Just Me said...

Looking at everything all at once is enough to depress anyone. You have a lot of stress going on right now. Let life happen one day at a time... in time I trust that you WILL have it all someday. But it takes time. And I know that's not what you want to hear now.

jo(e) said...

I think it's a good sign that you are trying to analyze yourself and figure this all out. A competent therapist could really help you with this.

Anonymous said...

It's never easy to get help for mental issues. I always felt like it was silly, then I'd feel OK again for a while, then when the bottom would drop out and I'd be down in the dumps, thinking I needed help, and not do anything about it. When I finally did get help with coping with the bad times, it seemed that they went away a lot faster with less residual damage. But that's a decision only you can make.

Hope the interview goes well.
Peace <3

Arizaphale said...

It sure sounds like there's a pathology to the mood swings. Stands to reason really. Try to make that phone call when you're on an upswing. If your Dr is anything like ours you'll be back on the bottom by the time your appointment comes around :-)
Seriously though, you don't have to go through this alone. There is help out there. And really good luck with the interview....