clearing my throat.
What to say now that I know my father is part of the listening audience?
The temptation to be very very quiet is pretty strong right now, especially considering the number of thoughts that are going through my head (as usual.) I feel like I need to have a Buffy-consult (scheduled for Wednesday, thankfully) before I really get into what's bothering me... but what the hell, this is my blog, right?
Ever since last Wednesday I've been haunted on one level or another by this potential diagnosis of bipolar manic depression. And I guess what it comes down to is just a set of symptoms that are shared by enough people often enough for the psychiatric community to come up with a label and a few zillion ways to treat the problem.
That's what worries me. The possible treatments scare me. And the potential for disaster without meds scares me.
I don't want to be on meds again (can you hear the little kid whining in the background?) My attitude towards medication for mental illness is biased at the moment, because of that one night and that whole bottle of little blue pills, but there's another problem, too. If I am bipolar, it's possible that my taking an antidepressant even at a normal dose may have contributed to the problem (rapid-cycling, they call it, when the mood shifts very quickly from one extreme to the other.)
Then again, it's also quite possible that lack of sleep, lack of food, and lack of basic self-care had a whole lot to do with it as well. So if I take meds and don't attend to the self-care part of it, I could still end up in a bad place. And if I don't take meds and do attend to the self-care part of it, I could STILL end up in a bad place.
I have some other fears about medications that I might as well throw on the table. Lithium is the primary drug of choice for manic depression. But you shouldn't take it while you're pregnant or breast-feeding, and I still cherish the hope of having another child. And if you go off it, there's the possibility that it may never work again. Add that to the probability of having to take an antidepressant on top of the lithium, plus blood tests every few months to make sure the lithium salt buildup in my body isn't toxic, plus being the primary caregiver to a very deserving toddler... well, it's enough to make anyone a little jumpy, isn't it?
I wonder how much of manic-depression is about the label. "Oh, I'm bipolar," she said, as if it explained everything. One of the most intelligent things I have read so far (and no, I'm not going to be obsessive about this and give you the link, you'll just have to ask me for it if you're really that obsessive yourself) said that the presence of any mental illness or condition can be attributed to a kind of multi-layered tapestry of occurrences - genetic disposition and stressful events in life were two of the most often-mentioned. So of course I wonder about Mom now too, and how much of this up-and-down cycling way of being I inherited - or learned - from her. Don't think I got much of it from Dad - he's always been my rock.
Until I met Husband, that is. Then I found a new rock in the middle of a very choppy sea. Someone to hang onto, someone to calm the waves a bit, whether it was using a soft word, a gentle stroke of the hand, or a well-timed margarita.
So now the waves are back and I miss my rock. I'm trying not to crest the waves so much, even though I might enjoy the apex. I'm trying to chart a level course. I'm trying to be aware of the cycles. And I wonder how much the simple act of awareness might be heightening the mental process that brings on the hypomanic stage that I seem to love so much. So am I screwed either way?
I don't know, these are just thoughts.
Duckie did a GREAT job at the new day care today. I am curious to see what condition she's in tonight after I know she has played herself silly all day.
Had good and bad news over the last 48. Two very dear friends of mine have recently been diagnosed with that incredibly life-changing condition, PREGNANCY!!!!! It's not my place to shout the news to the world here (as I've been doing on the phone ever since I heard) but I am inCREDibly happy for them. And of course I try not to think about it too much because it gets me so deliciously worked up.
On the darker side, another friend, who I miss a lot from our Ren Faire and theater days just a few years ago, was involved in a horrific car accident over the weekend that has left him with a gut full of guilt and some terrifying images and memories that I imagine are haunting him as tenaciously as mine are haunting me. I thank God that he is in a loving, safe relationship where, hopefully, the effects of the accident can be felt and released, not bottled up and "saved for later." I hope that every time his wife embraces him, the hug is magnified and stengthened by the love and concern that we all feel towards him - and always will, no matter what. We love you, K.
Pollergies for the lousy grammar today, folks. Not in the mood to edit for another hour and Duckie calls.