Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Better Living Through Chemistry

Well, you all know how I feel about drugs.  I'm not a big fan.  But there are days ...

I had a bad day yesterday.  Well, to be honest, I've been having a bad couple of weeks.  Really, not a great 6 months.  I have not been able to settle my mood.  It's been up and down at least since September. 

Most of the time it's been okay - so it's not like I've needed to be institutionalized.  I've held it together pretty well.  And I'm always trying to figure out the "why".  The truth is, there IS no "why".  At least not a lone cause.  At first I thought it was the job at the library (which probably didn't help anything, but wasn't the cause of any moods), then sugar (which certainly does make it worse), and then it was the stress of Christmas or work, then the stress of getting ready for vacation.  And now I'm pretty sure that the lack of sunshine and the continuation of an already interminably long winter is not helping.  But none of those things is the cause.  Those are the external "causes" that I like to focus on and change so this will go away.  But it doesn't.  Still in denial after all these years and all the awareness.  (I shake my head slowly, wondering when I will really understand all of this). 

On vacation in Florida I felt pretty good.  Except for one day (well, two, really).  The sunshine and getting away from regular life stressors combined to help me feel pretty good.  After coming home, I really had to recover from the vacation - I was not feeling good at all. 

But back to exercise and eating well and I thought I was feeling better. 

Until yesterday.  When I over-reacted to something that didn't even happen.  I spent a good part of the morning crying.  Then trying not to cry.  Then ruminating.  And then I decided that perhaps this wasn't anything but brain chemistry (not aided by the junk food I've been eating the past few days).  And at this point, it is worth it to lose sleep, have a stomach ache and feel like my aura is just a little off kilter (because that's what the side effects are) and take my little white pills.

Psychological relief is instantaneous.  Not because of the medication, but because of the acknowledgment that it is brain chemistry and help is on it's way.  Within 1/2 an hour I can start to feel the physical relief and within 2 hours my mental state is back to a relatively normal state.  But I don't feel right physically and I'm tired.  So that's the price. 

It's a real thing, this emotional disability I have.  Most of the time I have a hard time accepting this, and certainly don't like to think of myself as disabled - but the truth is that I can't do what most people can - I can't work full time, I can't manage more than one child - I have limitations because of my brain chemistry, and that is the definition of "disability".  I think I should be able to control it (I really do feel that way).  But there are times when I am made very aware that it isn't always within my control.  The best I can hope for during the bad times is that I can recognize it and take my drugs.  It is just so hard to recognize it when you are feeling like crap.  And it's hard to take care of it when you feel that way, too.  Experience helps, and so does a supportive and understanding partner (both of which I have). 

But even for those of us who have it mostly in control, there are days ...

1 comment:

  1. I completely understand this. I have moments when I feel the same way. Just forgiving myself for feeling crappy is sometimes more of a relief than anything...

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