It was been a tough few months for me. I usually get a set of seasonal mood swings in the autumn time. I remember noticing when I was in treatment in Boston a few years back. Around the time when the leaves turned, so did my mood toward the manic end. I would be so manic that I would spend a majority of my day hallucinating on the porch of the center. I would spend my days staring up at the sky at the cavalcade of colorful images, like elephants melding into the colorful sky etc. I guess it is like what some people describe an acid trip to be like. These episodes would usually be followed by extreme paranoia like when you are being chased in a dream. Through good med management, throughout the years, I was able to eliminate this set of mood swings in autumn.
Then enters this autumn… In October the house I live in, my parent’s house, was tented for termites. My family and I had the pleasure of living in a very nice hotel for a week. Changing environments for me, even as luxurious as the hotel was, was very disastrous. Before this temporary migration I had gone through the typical three months of calm. I was studying math and computer science, as well as keeping my daily spiritual practices and studies. My daily functioning, sleep hygiene, med schedule, and the rest were perfect. I really thought I was going to beat my record of three month and one day of stability! I was wrong. I went careening into a deep depression that would be followed by sleepless nights. I thought these mood swings would just last until the season was over and I could enjoy the holidays with my family disorder-free.
It is January first and I’m still suffering from these pesky mood swings! My first reaction is to give up hope, and start blaming people like doctors, and things like medications, but I don’t. I know in times like this I have to hold on, try my best to keep the daily routine of sleep hygiene, med schedule, eating at the same times, etc. It is so hard to keep at this when you just want to sleep all day or extend the day when you have a glimpse of normalcy. Sometimes I force myself to wake up early then I take the “essentials.” These are my prescription meds without the supplements. This is stupid, but it saves time so I can sleep after a late night. These are the kinds of things one has to watch out for. As little as missing some medications can throw me off completely.
I’m a fighter. Not only have I been brought up that way, I have reinforced that behavior through the years to make it through these hard times. Even though my ability to be with people and my family is limited due to things like isolation and social phobia at this time, I try my best to be happy and appreciate those moments that I do get to be with my family. I know I will get through this. I have been through worse for longer. I write this to show people that mental illness never goes away. It does get better though, and with a positive outlook and hope, it is completely manageable. I laugh how I’m sitting here miserable as hell writing that last statement, but I have to admit, in my experiences, in my short life, I have found this to be true.
Happy New Year!