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May 14, 2015

Mental Illness is frustrating.

It frustrating to everyone around the person that is ill. But as frustrating as it is for the people outside, the one with the illness finds it even more frustrating.

Mental Illness tends to ebb and flow, especially Bi-polar, which is a given…

I mentioned to my therapist (who is on to a different job… which stinks for me, but is great for her… oh well, thus is life…) awhile ago that I have noticed patterns in my life. Not routines that I can break or change, but patterns. I have Bi-polar (have or am… which ever), and a fairly set yearly schedule. At Winter’s change (spring and summer) I dip down into depression, just as I am right now. Its been this way since I can remember. Spring and Autumn have been difficult months. It usually lasts about 2-3 months and I come back to being a bit stable. Winter itself isn’t usually too bad. I tend to not want to go outside, but I don’t do to bad considering.

October, November, March, and April tend to be the “down” months. There are 1-2 week dips as well, but these are the months long slides.

June and December are usually the best months of the year, mental-wise.

July… oh man, July. I dread July. For years, July was difficult… and every year it got worse. The last couple of years I have managed to “borrow” energy to go to the District Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses without major episodes or either depression or panic. At first I thought I could “conquer” the illness and push past things…. WRONG! I do it because I love going to the conventions. I love learning about Jehovah. I still have my problems to work through, but it is a passion I hope continues to grow.

But “borrowing” comes at a cost… a very high cost. Two years ago I “borrowed” and made the mistake of thinking I pushed my way through a normally terrible month. It was merely postponed. It hit me September and went right into the winter months, throwing me way of track.

Last year wasn’t as bad. It hit almost immediately after the convention and lasted through September or so, giving me a small break before it hit again for its regular Autumn visit.

But, patterns within patterns. My day has a pattern as well, whether I am doing well or bad. Mornings are slow going but I can get going. Whether work gets done depends on how well I am doing. Usually I can get something done. By the afternoon I am tired… so very very tired. It doesn’t matter if I worked all morning or not, it hits me like a hammer.

Then about Late afternoon, I start to wake up a bit… and then crash in the evening. Not as bad as the afternoon, but enough I want to go to bed. But of course at bed time, I am wide awake.

I have tried different drinks and foods, bed times, naps, reading, TV, quitting TV, games, quitting games, music, quitting music and nothing. Sometimes it works for a bit, but inevitably the pattern springs back to what it is.

One more thing that is frustrating is comfort and help. Those with a mental illness tend to be very empathetic and understanding, or at least try to help and offer words of encouragement. But we can’t take it. We help others and will do so until we drop… but its difficult to have those same words and same comfort brought on us.

Mental Illness feeds on itself in a never ending cycle of self-doubt and criticism. It feeds on our mental AND physical energy while leaving the body in tact (for the most part). And because of the self-doubt and criticism we place walls and barriers and masks to hide what is going on. We, in effect, create the very shields that Mental Illness needs to hide.

It is an oddity.

From → My Journal

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