|Pulling a funny face - 2010 Venice holiday|
Work managed to settle down a bit as far as stress levels go but on Friday I was relieved when it was going home time. Because we have cash flow issues (thanks to twat customers) it makes it difficult for me to be completely autonomous in my role. That is frustrating. However, I managed to get a lot of other shitty jobs done including cleaning out and organising the stationary cupboard and doing piles of the worst type of filing. You know the sort that has not real home but has to be kept.
On Wednesday I made my weekly trip into Dr T. I sometimes wonder why I go but I do feel huge benefits from it when I allow myself to step back and take a good look how far I have come and just how much I get out of the weekly sessions.
This week we discussed my elevated state. Initially I just said I was FINE and HAPPY and not elevated but as the discussion continued it was really obvious I was on another planet. I talked non stop for half an hour about lots of nothing. Going from topic to topic, asking questions in between, not waiting for an answer before going off on another tangent. It actually hurt my throat to get my words out. At one point I laughed so much that I couldn't say the words and finished the whole ramble off with the words "Oh, I really am truth the the saying that an empty vessel makes the most noise". It was really hard for me to calm down.
I recalled that during work that day I used my outside voice on, had to work extra hard at staying focused and also make sure that I did not say very childish things. It's hard to explain but let's just say I am a like a kid at a party when I am elevated. Somehow though, I manage to do my work in a most exemplary manner despite that.
The psych asked me how I felt about increasing my dose of mood stablisers to keep the hypomanic periods less elevated as, unfortunately, after every high comes a low. The higher the high, the lower the low. I declined his suggestion as I don't wish to risk putting on weight having just lost some after coming off HRT a week prior (due to some very unpleasant side effects including increase in blood pressure).
I said to him "we've had this discussion before haven't we? More than once?". He acknowledged that we had and raised his eyebrows when I said that this time I felt that I wasn't going to be depressed because I felt so good. When I am hypomanic I just KNOW that that is how I am going to stay because my brain tells me this time this is it. That depressed person is gone for good. I do a fantasy skippity skip in my head. I would not be exaggerating if I said it felt like there were different people in me in regards to those extreme moods. It's very unsettling.
Anyway, at the psych's behest I took one Klonopin at night and one the next day to take the edge off the high which stops it going too high and makes the fall less unpleasant. It worked and I managed to recalibrate my thoughts and feel a bit less agitated and highly distracted. This morning, sure enough, I woke up feeling profoundly depressed and fragile. It took great effort to not roll over and go back to sleep with my head under the doona but history tells me that compounds the problem so I got up and just started the day. Now I wonder where that other person has gone, the one who felt jolly fantastic for almost ten days. Oh well. I'll just ride this one out again.
Just for the record, I am so careful with my use of Klonopin. It's an addictive prescription drug and I really think carefully before I take it. I note down in a diary each day I may take it, only take a half dose and this week is the second time I have had to take it two days running. I've never taken it more than four times in one week and usually it's no more than twice. It's a drug that works for me because I am such a control freak. My younger sister won't touch it because of her history of drug addiction in her younger days. The only reason I use this drug and not Valium is because Valium makes me incredibly depressed when I have used it.
In the past I just refused point blank to take any drugs as I believed I could fix things but I'm a bit more open minded now. I'm not interested in spending day in and day out managing severe anxiety, I've been doing it for years upon years and, believe me, it's so mentally and physically wearing. But I have to say that taking prescription drugs is the last step to stability. Exercise, healthy diet, good sleep, routine life, therapy and being proactive in my treatment come first and foremost. The drugs are just there as a back up. I am thankful that they are there when needed.
I have managed to get some good exercise in. Two big walks and two good sessions at the gym. I would have gone for a walk today but it's very cold outside and I just did not want to. Instead I decided to do a few mundane things, one being grocery shopping which is normally a Sunday task. I figured it would be good to get it out of the way and leave tomorrow free for "me" things.
I'm feeling so excited that Spring is just around the corner. It's only a month to go before daylight savings starts and we get more sunshine and longer daylight hours. I don't want to wish my life away but I do want those warmer months to come soon. Plus, I'm so excited that my holiday is coming soon. That will be a strange and wonderful time for me.
On a different note, my son went out with friends last night to a local bar, then they went to KFC and after that they went to a pub that is around the corner from home. He used a pokie machine and won $20. Then a strange man gave him $20 and said that if he was going to bet he should use bigger dollars and not one dollar coins. Weird. So my son felt obliged to bet the money the guy gave him (even though he wanted to keep it) and subsequently lost it. However, he still was $20 up. He found the whole thing depressing and said there was no way he would sit there using them again. Money is too hard to come by in his opinion.
It's very strange having a son who now goes to bars and has a drink with friends. It seems not that long ago he was starting high school. Now he is almost finishing high school and next year is university. I feel notably older. I feel it so much deeper than just the obvious physical places. It's at the core of me and it spreads like some miasma inside, up through my feelings, my outlook, my perception of the world, my memories of life. Not once did I ever think I would feel this way. I don't know how I thought I would feel, more than likely I had not real thoughts about where I am at.
Anways, that's life. The young get older, the older get even older. One day my son may well ask himself random and inexplicable questions about life as he gets older.
That photo above was taken in Venice in 2010. I was pretending to be a very stylish Italian in a funny way. Today I looked at it and my husband said how much younger I looked. Yeah, well, I was younger, five and half years younger by the way FFS. I did have dark hair in that photo and grey hair tends to suggest aging. Plus my hair is now quite curly due to my medicaiton (curly grey hair indicates senility for some reason). Part of me felt wistful for the obvious change. To top it off we were watching videos of when we went to the US in 2011 and I saw some footage of me walking along the promenade at Coney Island. I was wearing t-shirt and jeans and it was obvious that my slender self was on show there.
As I watched it I made some comment (as you do when being shown a younger, better version of oneself) about how FAT I felt now. And how I had put on weight. Blah, blah, blah. God , what a fucking broken record. Then my son said "so, mum, where would you rather be in your head? There in Coney Island or here now?". It was such a practical comment. Of course I would rather my head be where it is now (for most of the time). It never fails to amaze me that I have such an insightful son. He's turned out okay.
You know that saying about wanting old head on young body?
Yeah, well, I get what that means now.
PS I am going to buy a Thermomix. That's a whole new post in itself.