I’m not sure if I can do justice to this topic right now, but I’m posting about it anyway to explain why I haven’t been around much.
Starting around April of this year, my blog posting slowed up significantly. I confess that my habit of reading other peoples’ blog posts slowed up even more. I don’t even remember where my head was then. That seems like ages ago, but I can say that I was readying myself for a big vacation in Portugal with my husband. It was my 20th wedding anniversary vacation that my husband and I had been thinking about for years. I believe I was getting stressed. My brain was not functioning as quickly and efficiently as it had been before.
Stress turned into anxiety, then morphed into a bit of mania over the course of my vacation with my husband. I feel so horrible that my illness made the trip less than ideal for him. I love him so much and it was supposed to be so special. When we returned home I was starting to recover from the experience. Sometimes when mania is suddenly curbed, it’s like the life goes out of you suddenly, other times it is a slow deflation. I was glad to be home but feeling guilty. Over a period, I slowly crawled into my corner and was quiet.
I started a serious weight loss effort before my vacation. I lost quite a bit in three weeks because of super motivation, which was probably the beginning hints of soon to come mood elevation. I had wanted to at least eat sensibly during my vacation, but I did just the opposite. When I returned home, I did manage to lose much of what I gained, but the momentum stopped with that. Since then, now 11 weeks later, I’ve gained and lost, and gained. I’m further behind than I was at week 3 of my diet. I did promise to post my Friday Fitness and Weight Loss updates, and have managed to continue, sometimes reluctantly, but that’s about it. I’ve posted almost nothing about anything else. Because of that, many of my old followers have likely thought I left or changed into someone else.
Other than my husband, I’ve seen almost no one since April other than my psychiatrist and therapist. I have dwelled in a closed off world. I even struggle sometimes to play with my pet parrot. I do sometimes post on a couple of online support forums, but I feel disconnected to many of the people there. I’m there, but not there.
I think it’s fairly common for people in bipolar episodes to “fall off the map”, so to speak. Either depression or anxiety becomes isolating and muting, in a sense. Or, mania takes us away literally or figuratively in our own worlds. People speak to me, but I don’t always hear because the thoughts in my mind take over. Or even if I am literally chatting with others at 100 mph, the people that I talk “at” are just figures in my adventure or elevated journey.
Lately I’ve been experiencing anhedonia. That means that nothing I used to enjoy seems enjoyable anymore. I feel flat and empty. It’s difficult to be creative. It’s kind of hard to even be me. I neglect so many things, including my own wellness. Managing to do even the basics is difficult. I try my best to be at least slightly productive, but even when I am, the reward is minimal in my mind. When I do feel, I feel so hypersensitive. Sometimes that surge is extreme but ends as quickly as it comes.
Though not going through my head right now, in the past I have wanted to run away, literally, and just be alone where I could do nothing. Or sometimes the desire to run away was in hopes to create a “jolt” that would snap me out of my struggle or feelings of nothingness. Years ago, I even went so far as to book a ticket clear across the country for this type of effort, but luckily, I backed out of it.
Running away is definitely not just an effort to escape responsibility during depression. Actually, it’s often more commonly done when people are manic. The adventure spurs impulsivity. Irrational thinking sends some manic people on wild adventures. Life as it is can seem restricting or boring during those times, making one feel like a trapped animal eager for escape. Running away can also almost be an expression of anger or challenge.
Well, I am happy to be home and have no plans to go anywhere. I am a very lucky lady to have a wonderful husband I love dearly. He is so giving, patient, tolerant and compassionate with me. I do have other people in my support network that know me well and remind me that this tough period will pass, like others have passed before. Who knows, maybe tomorrow I will wake up feeling like the old me again; vibrant and excited, but hopefully level in mood. Actually, I’m already feeling a bit better today than I felt yesterday. I’m still a bit in my hiding, but through this post I’m peeking out the window and letting you know I’m still here.
I look forward to interacting more with all of you soon! Please excuse if any of this post seems disjointed in nature. It’s sometimes hard to squeeze out anything, so when it comes it is good to just let it flow as it may.