Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. And I made it. Compared to years past it was a pretty good holiday. I had Thanksgiving dinner at my sister’s house with her family and my youngest daughter. Then I spent the evening at a friend’s house playing cards. And I had a very nice date on Saturday. Even more importantly, I spent time alone without being depressed or lonely.
I have to wonder though if I’m doing as well as I think I am. I did make it through what is traditionally a very rough holiday, but there are signs that all is not good. I did spend a fair amount of time alone that wasn’t miserable, but a majority of that time I was sleeping. I spent almost the entire day on Friday lying on the couch drifting in and out of sleep. I didn’t have plans for Friday night, but in spite of all the sleep I got during the day I went to bed early and didn’t get up until about an hour after my normal time. Saturday wasn’t much better. I needed to do some work on my car, and even made it to the auto parts store to get what I needed, but when it came time to actually do the repair I found the slightest excuse not to do the work. I took the parts back and it was down on the couch again until it was time for my date. The excuse I found was that I discovered I didn’t have a jack in my car, so instead of going out to find a new one, I just quit. Not having a jack in the car is more of a problem than not doing my car repair; if I have a flat tire I’m screwed. I just couldn’t find the motivation to take care of it, sleep was more important.
Even more disturbing than my excessive sleeping is my obsessions. I am consumed with finding a girlfriend. I joined an online dating site and spend all the time I’m not sleeping on the computer, browsing potential dates and corresponding with women I’ve managed to connect to. I’m asking people out after just a few emails, and accept all invitations regardless of attraction or interest. I tell myself that you just never know, I might just like them after all and need to give everyone a chance. A week ago I even had three dates in a single day… coffee in the afternoon, dinner at 6:00 and met a third for a nightcap at a local bar. Between the sleeping and the time spent on dating I’ve been neglecting even the most basic responsibilities. I’ve been late on bills, haven’t been taking care of my car and by my standards my house is a mess. I’m normally very OCD about keeping my house clean, but I haven’t dusted or vacuumed in weeks and I’ve had dirty dishes in the sink since Saturday. That’s just unheard of for me. It’s not bad to want to meet people, but this has become unhealthy and disruptive. I know that this isn’t normal behavior, especially for me, but I just haven’t been able to control it. At least I’m finding women who are willing to go out with me. It gives me hope that once I stop the obsessions I have a hope of developing a new relationship.
I don’t believe I’m becoming manic. My thoughts aren’t racing, there’s no anger or exuberance, and I’m certainly don’t have any excessive energy with all the sleeping. I don’t think I’m depressed either. There’s no sadness or gloomy thoughts and my mood seems to be upbeat and optimistic. But then again, there is all the sleeping. I have no interest in working and find it difficult to focus on any tasks. I suppose it could be a form of agitated depression, but I really don’t feel anxious or nervous at all. There’s just the sleepiness and obsessions.
I have my weekly therapy session tonight; maybe she can shed some light on this.
I think my recent change in medicine may have something to do with my current state of mind. The Zoloft I began taking a couple of weeks ago is supposed to be very good controlling OCD, but we’re still building the dose up and I doubt I’m at a therapeutic level yet. I also understand that the dose needed to treat OCD is higher than what’s needed for depression. I just need to make sure that I stay in touch with my Doctor to let her know what’s going on.
There’s nothing easy about being bipolar. I’ve finally been able to come out of a brutal depression only to develop new symptoms. I’ve tried to remain positive, but it’s frustrating that there seems to always be something disrupting my life. I haven’t given up hope though. I’ve made it this far and have more awareness than ever about understanding this disease. I’ve got a good treatment plan and have every reason to believe that the medications I’m on are eventually going to be effective. There has been a great improvement in my mood over the last few weeks and things could certainly be a lot worse. My challenge now is to try to limit my obsessions and focus the best I can on working and taking care of my home.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to check my email. I’m expecting some responses from my latest connections.