Last night T and I were watching some Haunted History episodes when it occurred to me that the vast majority of "true" ghost story TV shows, documentaries, and books I consume seem to concern ghosts from the late 1800s. Why are there not more ghost sightings from other periods in history? By a simple years-on-this-continent standard there should be far more Native American ghosts than there are rich people from the 1800s. And yet. Was there something about the late 1800s that produced more ghosts than other time periods? Do ghosts wear out after a time, so in the late 1800s there were primarily ghosts from the late 1700s, now we have the late 1800s/early 1900s ghosts, etc? Does that mean that circa 2085 there will be nothing but ghosts with big bangs drinking New Coke? Inquiring minds want to know.
My wife tends to get a bit annoyed* when people put Christmas decorations up before her birthday (November 28th), but I never thought I'd see Christmas ornaments, even in retail, quite this early.
(*I would use stronger language than "a bit annoyed", but she reads this blog and I do have to live with her.)
Thanks to a recent rash-induced medication change, I may be getting a new diagnosis for my particular brand of crazy-cakes. Personally, I don't care much for diagnoses. I understand that a diagnosis gives my doctors (in three different offices) a common language in which to speak, and I certainly don't resist being diagnosed as whatever for that reason. But I don't particularly care what my diagnosis is. I am never a fan of "boxes" and "labels", preferring instead to put myself on a continuum. I don't care if someone diagnoses me as depressed or anxious or suffering from panic attacks; I care HOW depressed I am, HOW anxious I am, and HOW MANY panic attacks I'm having, and that's how I want my treatment to ultimately be arranged. And I'm lucky in that I have found doctors and caregivers supportive of that.
But anyway, this pending potential change in diagnosis has brought a new term to me, a new label, that has been astoundingly useful. Since this whole mental downslide and recovery process started I've had trouble describing exactly what it is I am feeling. I thought it was because I'm just not particularly good at that, having had more practice at denial and avoidance than emotional expression as a kid. And while that certainly plays a part, I'm finding that a big part of the problem is that I was missing a key word that would make things a lot clearer.
See, the best description I had for my caregivers before this was that I flip between super anxious and super depressed in a heartbeat, and both are always RIGHT THERE. I didn't get that they could co-exist, and that that had an actual name. So after a year and a half of working at it, here is my best description of what hypomanic feels like. Welcome to my head.
First, start with the dazed and confused fuzzy-mind like when you wake up from a really deep sleep, so deep that upon waking you don't know your name or where you are or what day it is. Add to that so much caffeine that you can't stop your hands from shaking and your stomach is upset. Throw in a solid dose of general anxiety and worry and a big pile of apathy. Then remove all motivation for things like "eating" and "breathing", forcing yourself to resurrect the internal cheerleader normally only needed to push yourself to do things like exercise and use said cheerleader to help accomplish such amazing feats as walking all the way to the bathroom without lying down on the floor, chewing and swallowing at least 1/3rd of your breakfast, and taking a drink of water. Then add in a few songs that will play on repeat in your head 24/7, preferably songs that clash with each other. Yesterday for me it was the theme song to Mr Ed, the McDonald's Menu Song from the mid-80s, and Ave Maria. Throw in a rapid-fire never-ending slide show of random memories and pictures of toys you haven't thought of since you were five, an inability to concentrate on anything for more than three minutes, and a profound lack of ability to sleep AT ALL, and you have my hypomania. Sounds fun, huh?
Uncomfortable? Absolutely. It hurts to be in my own skin right now. I'm actually writing this a full two hours after I should have been sleeping, but after staring at the ceiling for an hour and a half I couldn't take the boredom anymore. It sucks. But you know what? Maybe a new diagnosis, and a new treatment plan, will finally make this all a bit less crazy.
I miss just being me.
Happy (late) 4th of July, everyone!
T and I had a nice long weekend, full of many naps, much relaxing, and some very, very cool amature fireworks at a park near our house. Of course I only had my iPhone with me, and fireworks are hard to photograph anyway, but the pitcure above shows well enough that these were some SERIOUS fireworks, and not the "amature" show I was expecting. They went on for well over an hour, eventually obscuring the park in so much smoke that I couldn't even see the polls of the streetlight fifteen feet away from me. The glowing orb in this picture? Is said street light.
I really don't have anything else of interest to share, but I knew if I didn't make myself post SOMETHING that the apathy would continue to eat my life, so a few random iPhone pictures it is. Just be glad I'm not photographing the rash I just showed to my dermatologist or something. It could be a lot worse, trust me.