And here we go again.
I’m beginning to think that I’m headed into another downward spiral. Of course that’s a nice way of saying, I’m getting depressed. Again. It’s odd, really. Winter is my bad season, almost guaranteed to bring on a bad cycle. And this winter wasn’t bad at all, in spite of the fact that it was unusually wet and rainy. In fact, I believe that today is the first Monday in over a month that it wasn’t rainy and dark. Rainy days and Mondays always get me down, right Karen? (That is a line from a song by Karen Carpenter for those not old enough to get the reference.) But I came through with flying colors. Even Christmas was nice, and that never happens. So now, coming into spring, down I go. And spring is my absolute favorite time of year.
I can’t say that I’m feeling depressed, but I’m seeing signs. Nothing is fun anymore. My sleep cycles are changing. I have less and less energy. And my annoyance trigger is getting awfully quick. Experience has taught me that if not actually depressed, it’s at least coming.
Down the rabbit hole, Alice.
My job is driving me absolutely bonkers. It’s never been a challenge, and lately it’s become so mundane I just want to scream. Nothing changes day in and day out. I’ve mastered all the nuances and learned pretty much everything there is to know. And I’m in a form of customer service, and customers are a pain in the ass. I’m fortunate that I don’t work with the general public at least. My customers are business executives and technical subject matter experts. It doesn’t stop them from being a pain, but at least most of the time they are somewhat reasonable. It’s our sales people who really raise the bar of annoyance. They tend to be much more demanding and unreasonable than the people I’m trying to help. I know I should be grateful I have a job, and I am. There are a whole lot of people in this country who are either without work, or doing menial labor far beneath their skill level just to survive. That could easily be me, and no matter how bad things get with my mood, it could always be worse. But dealing with the same old crap sure makes for a long day, and I can’t wait to get out in the afternoons. I’m wishing my life away.
And I don’t care.
I’m a neat freak. Well actually, I’m completely OCD when it comes to keeping my house up. Until lately that is. Normally, I barely have time to finish eating before my dishes are washed and put away. I have a dishwasher, but I never use it. I don’t need to. I might have a couple of pots, one plate and one glass to clean. And I do. You can never find dirty dishes in my sink, and my dishwasher sits empty. Until now. I get home and throw my Tupperware from lunch in the sink, and there it sits, sometimes for two or three days. I generally wash my pots, because I’m going to going to need them again for my next meal. But my plates sit there with my lunch things until I can’t stand to look at it anymore. My floor gets swept only when I can hear the dirt crunching under my shoes. I can draw in the dust on my furniture. And sometimes I do. And there it is, weeks later.
That is so unlike me.
I believe I finally have a healthy, sustainable relationship with a wonderful woman. She seems to be a near perfect fit. She brings out my best qualities, and helps me maintain my bad ones. And she’s in a position where I can help her, which admittedly feeds into my ego in a positive way. She’s awesome, really. And I’m bored with it. Actually, I’m not bored with her, but I am getting tired of her situation. She’s going through a particularly nasty divorce. It’s been going on for years now. Her ex had his own business, and it’s taking forever to sort through all that to figure out how to divide it all up. Not to mention, he’s fighting to delay the process every step of the way. But now things are starting to come to a head, and it’s consuming her. Now, when it comes to divorces, I’m an expert. Or at least I should be as many as I’ve gone through. And it’s been gratifying to be able to give her support and empathy like no other could. But it’s almost like it’s just another divorce I’m going through myself. I’ve been sucked in emotionally, and am suffering the frustrations and anger along with her.
It’s something I never wanted to go through again.
Honestly, I know that none of it is as bad as it feels right now. That’s the nature of depression, isn’t it? There’s no rhyme or reason, especially when it comes in a bipolar swing. The brain chemistry changes, and the mood follows suit. If someone could figure out how that happens then the disease could be cured. At least it could cure that aspect of the disease anyway. So here I am, in my favorite time, with a great relationship, and a good job, and I’m not enjoying it a bit. And it’s so frustrating and can really piss me off.
Well, it would if I gave a damn.
But I have the antidote! I’ve broken the code! Experience has taught me the signs, and I’m not too far gone. My medicines can be adjusted, and I can focus on my therapy. I know, I KNOW I can beat this. I think that’s what makes the difference when it comes to living with this disease. It’s also what makes living with someone who has the illness possible. There is a responsibility for those of us who suffer from being bipolar. Not only do you need to learn to recognize your own mood swings, you need to take ownership and seek help before it’s a real problem. It’s easy to convince yourself to stop taking your meds. You might see the signs, but you have to do something about it before it’s too late. I can’t help having the illness, but I can help keep it controlled. And it’s my responsibility alone. No one else can do it but me. It IS springtime, I DO have an awesome relationship, and I CAN pay my bills. I’m not going to let a little chemical imbalance take that away from me. The healing starts today; right here and now. My disease is strong, but I am stronger. I’ve proven that before, and I’ll prove it again. I still have choices, and I know which choice to take.
You know what? I feel better already.