Yesterday sucked. Nothing terrible, no injured (or dead) neighbors (that was a joke, corpse was discovered in a house up the road couple weeks ago), or emotional calls or texts about job loss or flooding (always on the verge of catastrophe somewhere), not even a bird hitting a window (we are the house of death). Made a beautiful roast in the crock pot, chewy oatmeal cookies for Scott to take to work this week. All the rest was me sitting on my hands and falling into the abyss where the old stabby furniture lurks in the corners waiting for me to stumble.
I expected it. The pressure dropping on the first day after a week of high energy performance/alert levels is always a head grinder for me. I'm not on head meds, so the shifting brain chemicals dripping acid through the ol' coils is familiar. Still, the snap back into place got pretty rough.
Those of you living with OCD and severe depression can imagine the plunge. It starts out with the typical background chatter that makes no sense- I'm ugly, my hair is stupid, I'm never going to get this effin book finished and without warning crashes a person into I may as well be dead because I'm a waste of space and then the panic attack starts because the OCD/bipolar combo (especially if one has ever had previous dissociations during medical or med crises, both of which I'm familiar with) becomes so overwhelming that you fear for your own safety. My coping strategy yesterday was stop trying to do anything (and feeling like I was failing), ENJOY going back to bed, ENJOY finding silly stuff on youtube, ENJOY some good food. I could feel when the chemical crisis started ebbing away and I was able to start functioning again, took about six hours. But it was definitely a crisis. I'm really good at managing depression, but when I'm in the dark and bump into the furniture that starts mocking my existence, I take it seriously just in case a euphoric compulsion popping through my head becomes a live action scene that I stand back and witness like a doll.
One year I kept the patio door locked for a week while Scott was away so I wouldn't go outside in case I flipped off the upper deck onto the jagged river rocks below (I have no desire to die or feel pain, but that doesn't mean those things couldn't happen), and kept the shade drawn so I wouldn't look outside. That year 3 doctors and a psychologist supervised me through a double hormone crash that took a couple of months before my body reset to a new default, and I split apart into several bubble worlds for about a week where I talked to someone that wasn't there, and couldn't tell which bubble was the 'real' one. I got through it without head meds, but only under the strictest supervision. That was the most intense episode I've experienced.
My brain chemical problems are very genetic. I won't go into details, but some of the things my people have dealt with, besides general chronic depression, include OCD, severe post partum, manic/bipolar, personality disorder, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's. And I make no secret of my Asperger's now, which isn't a mental illness, but you can imagine stirring that pot with brain chemical imbalances. So far my daily stuff is mostly just medically-related depression with some mild PTSD (anxiety is noted in big letters throughout my medical history) and for the most part I'm able to live pretty normally without head meds, but I do have to be vigilant. My psychologist thinks I'm mentally and emotionally pretty healthy and has 'turned me loose', since I've learned how to self monitor and make and follow self care plans.
|I got this from the bravest person I ever met.|
Part of mental health is being honest. It's very hard to touch base with others for help when we might need it the most. For me, simply telling Scott I'm having one of my bad days is enough, he knows what those are and switches gears with me. When he walked in the door after work last night he asked how my day was, since I'd very much been looking forward to a quiet day after a week of ruckus, and was surprised when I said terrible because readjusting crashed me into the depression real hard, but then I laughed and said "You were stuck at work jealous of me having a day to myself, and it was awful, so thank goodness you were at work." I always feel better when Scott comes home. He's not a mean person, plus I had awesome food waiting for him (a very good priority to keep in mind is rewarding one's personal caretaker), and the crisis was abating by then, so I didn't have to say much.
Today is much better. I don't feel so scattered, I'm not being hammered with inner negative chaos, the quiet feels wonderful now, and I slept good. Doesn't mean it couldn't blow apart again, but it's a good start.
This is my first ever full on admission of all the stuff I'm dealing with in my head on a daily basis. I've been mocked in the past, plus I know real people who trigger easily, so I tend not to bring this stuff up very much. I really don't care what other people think of me (thank you, Asperger's), but sometimes it's important to share. I have a tiny little flashlight in a big, dark world, and I'm moving forward every chance I get. I refuse to stay stuck in a rut. Yesterday's post was me dealing with my head. When I posted and walked away, I had every intention of never coming back to this blog. Yeah, right, it's called "blog addiction". It's the healthiest addiction I've ever had (I've been through numerous very real addictions), and the important thing is I'm still here.