Which came first?

Which came first… the events or the emotions?

It started off with a down swing.   I’ve been running pretty high for the last several weeks, although it has been getting better in the last day or so.  I’m a rapid cycler, and apparently ‘doing better’ was just a prelude to coming down too far.  I started out with no energy at all yesterday, and as the day went on it was harder and harder to stay awake.  By last night I had drifted into the nether regions of depression.   Everything was negative, and I was feeling hopeless and beaten.  But this rarely lasts long, and this morning I woke up feeling like my old self.

For a little while.

By the time I had my first cup of coffee, the grumpiness had started.   While I was reading my morning email, we had a power flicker that rebooted my computer.  Damn.   My morning routine is timed down to the minute, and waiting for the computer to come back up just threw everything off.  (Is it a surprise that I’m OCD as well?)  Then as soon as I got in the shower I realized my soap was used up and I needed to get a new bar from the linen closet.  Grrrrr…  I should have picked up the pace a little bit to get back on schedule, but my routine is so strict I just couldn’t move any faster.  Then when I went to make my lunch, I discovered I’m out of mayonnaise…   Son of a Bitch!

I’m really cranking now.   We’re having a bad heat wave here, and my coolant had overflowed in my car and coming home last night the radiator warning light came on.  So this morning I knew I was going to have to add some coolant before I left for work.  Now I’m even later, damn it!  I had come into work a little early every day this week, so I could leave early this afternoon without feeling guilty…  THAT’s shot to hell…  Shit!

The drive to work was pretty typical for this kind of mood.   The idiots were out in force.  Either they were going to slow and holding me up, or they were right up my ass, even though there was an idiot holding us both up.   I did manage to keep that in check, and only waved once with the rigid digit.

So…which came first?  Did the annoying events of the morning cause me to be grumpy?  Or was it that I was already angry, and reacting to what should have been normal events.  Speaking for myself, it’s usually the latter.  I get upset over the dumbest things when I am in this state.  And there is usually no rhyme or reason for the anger, it’s just there.  It seems to happen in that time between a down cycle and an up one.  It is just part of the transition.  In a way, it’s a good sign as long as I don’t get stuck in that particular mood.  If given a choice, of course I’d rather be manic instead of depressed…  Mania can be fun after all.  It’s when I get stuck in the angry mood that it becomes I big problem.   The anger can quickly turn into rage, which affects not only myself but those around me.

I’ve tried to develop different tools and skills to deal with this transitional phase of my illness.  Meditation, deep breathing, even self-hypnosis are some of the things I use to try and keep it under control.  It’s not always easy however, and unless it completes the transition into mania I am usually only able to take the edge off for a little while.  I’m finding however that writing seems to be the best way to deal with it.  I feel better already.   Or maybe I’m just manic.

Either way, it’s better than the rage.

Which is what came first.

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