14 June 2012

Finding a precise moment

I'm trying to find an exact moment where things started to go downhill for me.
Psychology wise.

I've been depressed before. I've been moody, I've been really down. But it was occasional. It wasn't so completely pervasive as it is right now.

I don't want to be unhappy but I am enormously so. I want to be happy. I want to be relaxed, I want to enjoy life, my child, my family, my work.

I want to feel anything except irritation, sadness, tiredness, hopelessness.

Those are the things I am currently experiencing pervasively. No amount of pretending changes it. Where previously I spent most of my time happy and some of the time not so happy, I am now most of the time in some kind of depression or mixed state, and occasionally... almost never as it only happens so briefly for an hour or so, I may feel some relief. Mostly it's just less of it. Never none of it.

Intellectually I know it is clinical, and I need the medicine to help, but it takes time. Emotionally I still try my best to do things I enjoy hoping I will "wake up" from this dreariness. Nothing is working.

So I carry on. I stick to my routine, I take the pills, I try to insulate those around me from what I am experiencing. It's hard but I try to carry on.

So where did it go wrong? Where and why did the switch happen? I'm not sure. Obviously a large part of it happened when I stopped smoking. Even before that I was going downhill though.

I spent a lot of time ill, and in bed, and recovering from one illness after another. I spent a lot of time depressed, even though I wasn't as angry and frustrated, and mentally violent. I did spend a lot of down days before stopping smoking.

Stopping smoking just brought on more mixed states, less memory, more concentration issues, and a lot of weird mental effects.

I used to feel quite secure in my spirituality. I was growing a lot and feeling happy while I was there. But then my intellectual honesty took over and I started questioning everything. I think In PART; and I know it will be incredibly tempting for everyone to write of my questioning superficially as a whole, as an effect of this, but really in Part, it took on form and structure with the death of a friend's 4 year old son.

It shook me, and all the subconscious questions, all the doubts, all the critical evaluations that always felt uncomfortable, but that used to be easily subdued, came to the forefront. It just didn't make such easy prosaic sense anymore. Any soft thinking became lies. Christianity I gave up on in my early twenties, but spirituality in itself was still a priority. But as the questioning grew, so I moved away from that

I still wanted it to make sense but it didn't. And then depression also hit at the same time, because this little boy is gone, and his mother and family is in perpetual pain. They are living and trying to survive something so painful, I tear apart every time I think of it. Even now, more than a year and a half later.

That's still not it though. That's still not the beginning. It seems to have happened so slowly I can't put my finger on it. All I know is that what I am going through now is bringing up so much pain and anger I feel like I am drowning. When I allow myself to really immerse in it I almost sink away. I try to only take little bites, but it is so all consuming I want to hide away from it. It seems that every single embarrassing, or painful, or horrible memory I have is surfacing again. Even the ones I dealt with, or thought I had dealt with.

Has my life been so crap? I don't think it has, but somehow I keep going back to the past these days. There seem to be way too many regrets and a ton of what ifs that weren't there before. I hope they go away again. And soon.

06 June 2012

Bipolar Parenting: from the perspective of a child

I'm always slightly scared of writing here about my family and  childhood. As far as I know no one in my family knows about this blog, and I hope it stays that way.

For some fluke reason I seem to be the only one in the whole extended family who believes in sharing everything in order to heal, and be open and honest.
I love open intense dialogue. Even when it is painful. I believe you need to address rather than cover up. Alas I am the only one. So the quickest way I will alienate whatever family remains close to me after the "atheist thing" is for them to actually stumble across this blog.

I once voiced my disagreement about spanking on Facebook, mentioning that I know what it did to me as a child, and how harmful it was. Within a day I got the rudest most insulting and heartrendingly cruel letter from my younger brother accusing me of badmouthing our parents online, and how I had to remove it immediately or face the unmentionable consequences.

It was an extremely hurtful letter. It made me realise I just can't be open and honest around my family. Not if I want to keep some measure of self respect. Of course there is a large possibility that every one of my family falls somewhere on the bipolar spectrum.

My Mother always had severe mood swings. So bad, I actually recognize her in my unmedicated moods now. She even admitted it, blaming it on hormones. As far as I know: and remember this is a family who kept such personal things strictly secret, she went to many doctors about her "hormones" went on many drugs for it too.

Not much worked. I know. I was there. She knew though. It didn't help her control it, but my brother , who was 2 years younger than me (not the letter writer) used to be able to defuse her quite brilliantly.

I never was. I was always the serious one. The drama queen, the emo one. If I knew about cutting at that stage I'm sure I would have gone that route. I did enough other typical self destructive things.

My parents were young, damaged themselves, and unable to really cope emotionally with us three. I think when the little one came along it might have been a bit easier on them as he was further removed in age from us, but it must still have been a challenge.

I felt neglected my whole childhood. I felt damaged, and I felt ill parented. I have no idea of that was true, but that was how I felt

I used to read parenting advice in magazines and ask my mother to please rather try that. Which never happened. Her moods controlled everything.

There were many good days as well, but I still carry the damage. The damage I carried is what has made me so aware of what I pass on to my own child.

04 June 2012

Down down down down again

I've been planning a post on Motherhood and Bipolar disorder. From the perspective of the child and the parent. It's still being formulated in my head.

Today I'm having a very down day. I'm in a lot of physical pain as well. I've been on the slightly low side of normal for a while now, but not anything bad enough to prevent me from functioning. But today is bad. Yesterday I spent most of the day alone, feeling tired. Thought I might be coming down with something. But today I am feeling sooo heavy and down and low and full of doom and gloom, in pain and unable to move. So I'm coming down with a little dark bout of depression.

I've been on 100mg Epitec for a month now, and we were gonna check it out before deciding to move up, but I emailed the psychiatrist now to say I think we need to move it up.

This is the danger zone. I might think I am fine there, I won't do anything irresponsible, but the doomy thoughts are not good. Gotta get out of the danger zone. You find comfy spots there. A Kind of sulky hide away where you don't have to talk or think or be. It can get comfy but it sucks you in until there's no way of getting out easily.

I don't want to be sucked in today so am trying to just fake it till I feel better. I need to get out of this Danger Zone.