2nd Divorce

Score: +3

The week is over, and I’m doing much better than when it started. My mood has both improved and stabilized. 

I have had some lingering sadness over my last divorce. I just keep remembering how she cheated on me while I was in the hospital. While I was in there, I kept thinking that I would renew my bond with her, and that we would work together to find and way through the difficult patch we were in. I was still in love with her. But I had let my depression get severe. I had abandoned my body and showed no purpose or direction. Then the Effexor just stopped working. I remember crying into my plastic pillow in the hospital because I was scared and I missed her. But then she came to visit me and asked me to let her go. And I said yes, so she left the hospital and slept with a friend from work the same night. 

I can’t say that I didn’t deserve it. I had become distant from her. I found her interests unrelatable and her aspirations were disappointing. Apparently meeting someone online through a mental health blog and only “dating” for a few weeks before living together and getting married was not a great idea. Though I should have been able to figure that out. But I was lost and not on any meds and my mental health was improving but still very volatile. It was not the right time for a long term relationship. 

Sometimes I wonder what she is doing. Is she happy in the new life she chose? When we met in the waiting room at the clinic a few weeks ago she told me that she got pregnant and had an abortion, which does not speak of responsible behavior. But I didn’t really want to know the details. She had more questions for me than I had for her. 

I don’t long for anything. She revealed things to me through her actions that forever banned her from any sort of concern. But you know how your brain tends to remind you of just the fest stuff? Like the crazy sex, the laughter, and all the adventures we went on. It doesn’t remind me of the fights, the gap between us in both age and education, or all the ways we didn’t fit together. The mind tries to impale me with moments extracted from their context. 

It has been a trying week. My body feels exhausted. But this weekend is going to be packed with things to do. And I’m looking forward to taking positive, forward steps. I don’t live in my past anymore, but I am reminded of it from time to time. 

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Hoping For A Trend

Score: +3.5

My moods have been pretty unstable lately, but I am trying not to let it cost me any more time at work. today, however, was a good step forward. I handled my responsibilities and had enough energy left over to be charismatic with Amanda’s family in the evening. We said goodbye to Kathy, who is headed back to Idaho perhaps for another two years or more. Life will return to its regularly scheduled programming. 

I had a good session with my therapist Margaret today. She thinks I am being very emotionally aware of myself (and my limitations) during my bouts with depression recently. I have been conscientious about not reacting to “flash in the pan” type sensations, and allowing myself time to rationalize them. I have lots of really absurd feelings right now, and they originate not from a place of thought, but are more of an involuntary brain spasm. I don’t let those types of things have the ability to command my actions. 

Margaret also gave me some anxiety-reducing strategy documents which are designed to help people in a crisis find their way to relief. Some of the exercises seem legit, and definitely worth a try. I’ve been having an anxiety attack ever couple of days after work and I could use a way to cope with the symptoms. I didn’t have one today, but I also felt much more in control of things. I know my battery had been filling to 40% or so overnight, but I would burn through the charge by about 10 am or so. Today when I woke up my battery was more like 90%, with nearly 35% left over at the end of the day, which was a great feeling. I feel alive again, rejuvenated. 

I’m going to be ok. 

Trudge

Score: +2

A dramatically better day than Monday. I endured my shift and didn’t have a breakdown. It was really hard though. 

So I feel more emotionally stable, if not marginally. My physical symptoms and low energy are still a concern. I have been spending a lot of time just soaking in the shower. Somehow the dancing water and soothing warmth pacify me. It distracts me from my emotions and other physical depression symptoms. 

Amanda’s sister is here, so unless I follow them around, I’m not going to see much of her this week. I have been feeling distant from Amanda, because a lot of the things that help us connect with each other have been put on hold since her depression got bad. We spend a lot of time being silent sitting near each other, but when we do engage it is still rewarding and positive. This state of things is not a shock to me: Amanda will not be able to access her happiness until her brain is back in balance. She can try to get in touch with it, but the good feelings that are normally there will be gone. It will be a cardboard cut-out; representing a shape without substance. So this is a difficult time for us both. She’s not going to be able to reflect love for a while, and I must accept that. 

I don’t think the Lithium has taken effect yet. I still feel imbalanced and unstable underneath the surface. 

Things at work are hectic. People there generally don’t engage me anymore, with a few exceptions. Then again, I’m not there to be anyone’s friend. That’s not what I am being paid to do. If the rest of them want to be best friends forever, more power to them. My standards for friendship are much higher than most. If I can’t engage you on any meaningful level, we won’t get far down the relationship path. 

We have started a competition at work where the number of calls we take will be kept track of and opportunities to win prizes given to people who achieve those marks. We earn tickets which will be entered into a raffle and gift cards will be distributed to the lucky winners. So the more times you meet a goal, the greater probability you might win. I have earned some already. More importantly, the spreadsheet that was sent out has everyone’s call volume on it, and some people are woefully behind the pace. 4 calls an hour is average, and I am over that mark. Most guys are in the low 3 range, with some barely managing to make 1 an hour. One call an hour? That’s just 8 calls a day! I took 41 calls today, just for comparison. 

So this is revealing because I get these slackers don’t like having their numbers published. Because they would rather give off the impression that they are making metrics when the truth says something else. I have nothing to fear from this competition, only opportunity to gain. 

So things are going to be busy. I go to therapy tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it. I need some guidance on how to handle my symptoms. 

Exposure Therapy

I guess being out while depressed is somewhat better than being trapped at home alone with my symptoms. When I’m by myself, I tend to spiral inward until surrounded by darkness. So I didn’t really want that to happen, leaving me with tonight’s social gathering to attend instead. Amanda’s sister Kathy is in town from Idaho until Thursday, and we have been spending every available minute with her. Dinner tonight was a much bigger ordeal than I expected, with 10 people on hand. I like these people, but feeling the way I was and having to mingle with them was hard. I didn’t say very much, but I wasn’t silent. I forced myself to engage, to laugh and seem excited. I smiled and played the part, even if my thoughts were an absolute mess. I did it. I did not cave in and seal myself up in the apartment and surrender my evening. I don’t want to lose more time to this illness if I don’t have to. There are going to be times where I will not be able to push through it the way I did tonight. This is an inevitable certainty of my disorder. But I did not abandon this evening. And now that I have arrived in my bed, I can drift away and start this thing over tomorrow with a new outlook (hopefully). The reset button will be pushed. 

Inward

Score: -3

I came home after struggling through the first hour of my shift. I felt like I was losing control of my emotions. I feigned an emergency excuse and came home. I am alone in the apartment crying, and spiraling down. 

I feel tremendously sad. I am detached from the things and people I love, and I feel isolated in my anguish. I tried to text Amanda but she’s not responding. Not that there is much to be done. I’m crushed. Low. I feel devistated somehow, and utterly disregarded. No one wants to be around me unless I’m healthy. 

I’m trying to scrape my way out of the hole, but it’s not really working. I can’t shake the sadness in my body. My emotions are jumping and sinking on a whim. Things are precarious. 

I’m just going to cry for a while, and maybe vent out some of this terrible energy in my body. 

Fret

Score: +2.5

I write to you in the midst of a bout with anxiety symptoms. I am alone tonight as Amanda has gone out to see her sister who is visiting town for the first time in a few years. I can’t go, because I am the on call tech tonight and must be near my work laptop in case I get another call. So I’m here in the apartment and I feel awful. My heart is tight in my chest, my thoughts are racing, my muscles feel crampy and agitated and my mood is deteriorating. I am having a lot of depression feelings welling up inside me right now; I feel like I’m crumbling. I had a good Skype chat with a friend and that did distract me for a bit. I got in the shower and just let the water run on me and tried some breathing exercises. I feel a little better, but I’m suffering still.

I’m not dwelling on anything in particular right now. My thoughts are really out of control, and moving too rapidly to really comprehend fully. In general, I’m feeling lots of negative things, though it is hard to tell what those things are exactly.

I think that I am just a little upset about being the on call tech this week. I have missed out on a lot of stuff. It doesn’t feel like the extra $250 was really worth it this time. I will be on call again in about 3 months, so hopefully I have better luck then.

I’m just struggling tonight blog. I really wish I had some pot so I could take the symptoms away, but I shouldn’t be dependent on it like that. It would be easier than suffering, however. I think that as time goes on I will feel better. The shower helped a bit.

But times like this are to be expected when you are mentally ill. This situation should come as no surprise to me, because I have felt this way before, and I will surely feel this way again. Symptom management is an every day part of coping with this disease, and it’s something I am always trying to be better at. Tonight is an excellent chance to ride the wave of anxiety until it meets the shore of sleep. Tomorrow the reset button will have been pushed, and we will start a new day at square one.

I hope your evening feels better than mine does right now. Goodnight.