I knew this day would come – the inevitable fall, but it could not have come at a more inopportune time.
The seasons changed, and I knew Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) was going to ramp up and push me down the rabbit hole. That I can handle; as unpredictable in the sense of how bad it will be, the symptoms, and what I can do, I can take it. But for the first time in nine (9) years, my anger returned.
I wake up every morning, pushing myself to get out of bed, to work out, or, depending on the day, to take my dog out. I force myself to sit at my desk to work my ten (10) hours, and I cannot even imagine what it would be like if I had to commute! But not long after waking up, my skin begins to feel as though it is crawling, the unwelcome familiar sense of anger just ready to ooze out of my pores; I have not missed this.
I am killing myself during my workouts – my body is sore, but I keep going because I have reached a mild sense of euphoria; I have pulled myself out of the lower end of the pole, and I do not want that feeling to stop. But the minute I stop working out and walk up the stairs, it stops, and my skin begins to crawl again. One well-intentioned but misworded statement sends me flying off the handle. I am finding everything wrong with the way people are speaking to me. I am angry. I am ready to fight, and it does not matter who or why; I am a ticking time bomb.
I am buying everything and anything that I feel like I need. I cannot wait for it; if it is cute or for my hair (I am on a curly hair journey), I have got to have it. My house has seen more delivery drivers for packages in the last 30 days than it ever did during the height of the pandemic. I purchased a new hairdryer, did not need it, but I got it. I bought a deep conditioning heat cap that I’ve yet to use. I have purchased clothes that I have no room to store, but those sweatpants/leggings they were so cute, I had to have them. I have purchased more nail polish and have become obsessed with keeping polish on my nails even though they have broken down and peeled so much that they are brittle and could use a break.
I re-entered hypomania, and I did not see any warning signs. I did not know anything was wrong until my skin began to crawl. I thought it was just SAD, and it shows up differently each year, so the spending and exhaustion were just a different degree of it…so I thought.
I thought my sleeping pills were not working for me because I was stressed at work and experiencing sleep procrastination. I would not have begun to believe it is because my body is failing to regulate my moods, and therefore, I cannot sleep because of it.
It makes no sense because, for the last nine (9) years, my body has forgotten what it feels like to feel this way – a rollercoaster of emotions. I am used to only experiencing depressive episodes during the fall, navigating through that forest. No matter where I end up, the terrain never changes. It just may be muddier than before. But one thing I could count on was the sunlight coming to help me see, but with hypomania? It is like being dropped off in a new forest, and I am trying to make my way through, but I slip and fall into a different part of a never-ending river with the choppiest of currents.
When my psychiatrist told me my skin crawling was my body telling me to stay away from the lightbox (I have a whole other gripe with this thing, but that will be another post) and that things were taking a turn. So, we are upping my mood stabilizer by 100mg.
My mood stabilizer has seen some fluctuations. I have gone down because it started giving me weird headaches, and I have gone back up because my irritability was beginning to show. But we have always stayed within a 50mg difference; I have never been on a dosage higher than 200mg. Frankly, I am terrified that my body may no longer be responsive to the one medication I have counted on from the beginning. I am terrified I am about to be on a new journey of what I call “the guinea pig,” but I am praying that the increase will be the fix that I need.
I can tell you one thing – as terrified as I may be at this moment, I am ready to fight the beast. I have a tribe now; I can depend on people to tend to my wounds. My environment is healthy and pushes me to keep moving forward, to keep fighting. This is a fight that no one can fight for me, but I have a crew of people waiting with water, reassurance, and some Vaseline to stop the bleeding so that I can step back into the ring and finish the fight with a KO. I am terrified, but I am confident. I am ready.
Until next time.
Love, peace, and chicken grease <3