I am depressed so often, that when I’m feeling good, it’s rather suspicious.
I have not been officially diagnosed but it is very likely that I have borderline personality disorder. This is not self diagnosed, and I promise I didn’t google this and say, “that’s me!”. Unfortunately, where I live healthcare is in a very bad place. There is an extreme shortage of Doctors and an even worse shortage of psychiatrists.
I’ll never forget the day my therapist whipped out the DSM. She said the words “Have you ever heard of borderline personality disorder?” I told her that I have because I work in mental health and she told me she very much believes if I saw a psychiatrist I would be diagnosed with that. She then proceeded to go down the criteria to be diagnosed and I checked off almost everyone. The biggest thing I struggle with, though, is mania and depression. My mood changes suddenly and before I know it, I’m quitting my job, applying to school, or being overly ambitious. On the more negative side of my mania, I sometimes don’t eat, can’t sleep at all, and my anxiety is higher than normal.
I don’t remember who it was that said this, but it stuck with me. Mania is not only extreme happiness, just as depression isn’t only extreme sadness. Depression sometimes feels like you are so exhausted and unmotivated and of course, sad as well. Mania is like this wave of impulsivity, self sabotaging, feeling energetic, I mean REALLY energetic, like you can’t kick it no matter what you do, motivated, but not for the right things, confident, but too confident, and yes, sometimes even happy.
My episodes can last a long time or sometimes just a few days. When they stick around for a while I get used to it and sometimes, no, most of the time, I can’t tell it’s an episode. Like recently.
For almost all of January I was in an episode. I didn’t realize that until a couple days ago. Let’s go through all of the things I did that I should have caught on to.
– Quit drinking (a great thing, but something I would only do when feeling impulsive)
– started waking up every day before 9:00 am (also great, but depressed Jessica does NOT do this)
– my sex drive went WAY up. (unfortunately, this isn’t really the norm.)
– Started taking a lot more shifts at work (my job is a serious trigger for my anxiety so if I wasn’t in an episode, I would be avoiding work)
– Bought the following : a Nintendo switch, a new bed, an expensive rug, about 5 new outfits, lots of trips to restaurants, I tried to buy a new couch but my boyfriend stopped me.
– Threw out almost all of my old clothes and shoes, including ones I definitely still need
– cleaned my apartment top to bottom (depressed Jessica does not do this)
– literally ran around my apartment trying to burn energy
– started writing blog posts at least 3 times a week
– became overly ambitious with school
And, I was happy. Suspiciously happy. Yes, my heart was racing 24/7, and my anxiety was high, but for me, happiness is included in mania.
Until about a week ago. I woke up and felt… different. I didn’t get out of bed until 11:00, and even then, I wanted to roll over and go back to sleep. I came out to the living room and sat until about 4:00 pm. I did nothing. I had no motivation to clean the house or even get up, and my negative thoughts were starting to creep back in. I forced myself to do the bare minimum, but the rest felt impossible.
Honestly, there is something that feels so much worse about going from manic to depressed, than just remaining depressed. When you feel SO good, and then SO bad, it amplifies the bad. I know for a lot of people, mania is worse than depression, but I’d welcome mania any day (minus the impulsivity and bad decisions), over wanting to sleep for days at a time.
I wish I had tips to feel better when this happens, but the truth is I’m still learning because it fucking sucks. Pardon my French. I wish I could do some quick tips and feel better but that isn’t realistic, and it would be hypocritical of me to spit out tips when I’m struggling myself.
As simple as it is, I’m having a hard time right now, and that’s okay. This blog isn’t always going to be tips and tricks to feel better, sometimes it’s a place to just vent, and hopefully someone can relate.
I’m going to feel better when my next blog post comes out, I’m sure of it. But until then, I’m going to take care of myself. And I hope you take care of yourself, too.