Mental Health Diaries?

(I’ve been told before, more than a few times, that my discussing my mental health journey/experiences/crap/whatever, has been helpful for others. It costs me nothing to do, helps me think some things through, and allows me the opportunity to never let suicidal ideation sneak in tricky and secret-like. [To be clear: there is no suicidal ideation currently, nor has there been since I sought help for the depression. It’s just what got me through that door, finally.]) (also, screw you squiggly red lines, ideation is, too, a real word).

I’m not doing super well at the moment. There is no outward reason for that to be the case, and yet. Yet. Corbie is stable, Beth’s doing all right, things have improved in that we can actually afford to use the healthcare we have, so that’s exciting. I had a number of migraines in the last month, two severe ones, one that had me miss a day of work and reminds me I need to see about getting a note re: migraines for my job so that those can be treated as the medical condition they are. I get four to five ‘I can’t move without vomiting’ migraines in a six month period these days, so that’s a vast improvement over what it used to be like. (Late 20s to early 30s it was more like one of those a week, so . . . ) I also had my menses, and there was this neat ritual thing I did, so I’m allowing for that, too, and granting myself a break. But!

I’m not doing super well at the moment. I noticed, in the last week, a need to retreat even moreso than usual, a tendency to shy away from contact beyond my most immediate family (re: Beth et al.) Even the near daily sporadic texting with my seaster (in-law, if you must. I don’t, so much) and less daily sporadic texting with the brother has been mostly avoided. My hypochondria has kicked into high gear (No, Jo, you do not have cirrhosis. No, I don’t think you even have worms. That’s not a UTI or it would be worse by now, and wait, what? No, a UTI is not a symptom of cirrhosis, for gods’ sake, you are not having a heart attack THAT ISN’T EVEN THE CORRECT ARM). I’ve had a pretty intense writing few weeks, and there’s been this mild but persisten

Oregon Coast 2016
Heceta Head in Shadow. photo credit: Mrs. Amanda Dawe

t insomnia . . .

Discovered, read about (and probably shouldn’t have done so) bipolar II, because apparently that’s a thing. It’s a thing that is uncomfortable to read about, and makes me want to cry, and sit in the dark, and be still, and alone, and quiet, and just . . . Alone. Disconnecting from those emotions, putting someone else in my place, I think: I don’t see any qualitative differences between what I see as my clinical depression and what depressive episodes with sporadic hypomania may look like. It’s unsettling to consider that the “I feel like me” phases of being adequately medicated with my depression might in truth be hypomania phases. Like: who am I even, if I don’t even know what ‘me’ is? Thinking about this without thinking about me, thinking about this and imagining it being some other person, my heart breaks, is crushed, by the idea that one could feel so unknowing about themselves. Reading about the hypomania stages — often over looked because they’re mild in comparison to bipolar I, present more in females than in males, and look like moments of living ones life, of even being happy, after long, lingering, dangerous depressive episodes — I see myself after coming on the antidepressant, taking on a bazillion writing projects, being energized, even dabbling in extrovertedness for a bit. Until I crashed, hard, months later, and still have moments of, I don’t recognize me.

It’s moved from being a new oddity, a curious stage of recovery/remission/whatever you call it when you silence the depression, to being . . . Alarming. And I think about how, more and more with regards to my relationship with my Beloved, how I talk about being unmoored, of having no anchorage. In language, in discussion about following my Beloved into His Mysteries, such imagery is romantic, it’s lyrical, it’s poetic. In daily life, it’s scary as hell.

I wish sometimes my mental health issues were more overt. I can pull it together. I pass, right? I have a full time job. I’m the major bread winner in my household atm (YAY! ALL THE BREAD FOR ME!! I’ll take that in chocolate croissants, please . . .) I’m making headway on my projects, and if I’m not the bestest friend ever, I have timezones to blame on most of it, and introvertedness to blame on the rest, like it or lump it.

I’m going to be seeing my dr in the next few months about some things, and I’ll likely bring up wanting to find a therapist again. This time, I might actually be able to afford it! Possibly an actual psychiatrist, if that’s something that can actually happen. Not driving cuts down on where we can get to, so we’ll see. I am nowhere near where I used to be, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t still have some pretty depressed days/phases. And I think I’m in one atm. So, there’s that.



3 thoughts on “Mental Health Diaries?

  1. Kind of a side-note, but it’s very common for people with depressive “cycles” to worry that their “good” phases are hypomania. In my experience it is unlikely, especially if you have been successfully medicated before. Hypomania isn’t simply feeling good and taking on projects, it’s everything Mania is without the psychosis part – compulsively buying 10 hats, for example, because they are necessary *immediately*.
    —Obviously I’m not making any kind of e-diagnosis here, but it’s something to consider especially when depression causes other types of hypochondria and insight-loss. I’m definitely someone who can convince themselves very successfully of having 1000 ailments.
    Good luck with the doc.


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