Mood Turbulence

Fruit smoothie with spinach and arugula added

Add some extra nutrients in there…

My moods have been insane lately. I don’t know what lately means. Two weeks? A month? A year? Two years? Just since I got back from visiting my parents and dog?

It’s worse for me at this moment because two weeks ago, “Joe”, who had been getting more depressed by the day for several weeks, snapped at me over something that was definitely innocent on my part. What he said was very rude and inappropriate and I didn’t address it well. In spite of his immediate apology, I had already shoved it aside in my head and didn’t deal with it and I still haven’t. What you said was like being punched in the stomach. That’s how taken aback I was for a moment. And then I made excuses, Aw he’s just really depressed and has been alienating all of his friends and I don’t want him to lose me as a friend, too. Yada yada. Kept on our walk.

But it wasn’t the same. And this week’s walk wasn’t the same, either. Because I don’t really forgive anyway. I suspect I don’t actually forgive any one for any thing anymore.

So then today, there was a point where we had to make a decision about which direction to head. We both had a preference, which is rare. We both had a strong preference. I made mine clear but instead of saying, “no” to his preference, I acquiesced. And then silently resented him for the next hour or so. I had nothing to say. It’s not like I intentionally think to myself, “I’m going to give X the silent treatment now.” It’s just that, when I’m upset with a person, I don’t trust that person and have no interest in speaking and nothing on my mind to share. It’s very hard.

Back to my main point. Since things are weird between me and my only real-ish friend, “Joe”, it’s making it hard to trust myself and my sanity at all. I’m already having a hard enough time with “Peter”, with how we keep triggering each other (we’re seeing a therapist now, which seems promising).

I need help. Aside from facts and moments in time, my moods are unstable. They are flying up and down. I go from bliss to anger in an instant. I don’t feel that I can control it. And I have no patience and no tolerance.

There are “easy” (clear-cut, that is) things that can only help:

  1. Create and stay on a REGULAR sleep schedule (this has NOT been reality)
  2. Create and stay on a REGULAR eating schedule (this has NOT been reality)
  3. Eat nutritiously at every meal
  4. REDUCE the amount of refined sugars (my moods have been INSANE)
  5. Create and stay on a REGULAR exercise schedule (I have been exercising, but not at set times and not for set amounts)

I believe that I need the forced routine of a job or face-to-face classes to get back into the land of the somewhat living and normal. I applied to a part-time position recently but they had just filled the position. There is a full-time job I’m going to apply to, perhaps tomorrow. But, I really only want part-time, for the sake of finishing my online school.

Log: Aug 20 – Sep 11 (Thu – Fri) SCHOOL and life

This log is for Aug 20 – Sep 11. I’ll be as brief as possible. A LOT has happened but I’m so consumed by school right now, I just haven’t had the chance to write or do anything else at all, really.

Aug 20, R: School. Work. Stayed late, talking with someone from another company in the building. Ate out w/Peter (actually, he picked up food for us and we technically ate it at home) when we both got home; it was very late by then.

Aug 21, F: Work. Peter worked from home in order to be there when the furniture was dropped off. It seems like SO long ago now. SO long ago. That was my wardrobe and our new bed. It all arrived in many boxes. It looks like we ate out for dinner; I must have gotten back late again.

Aug 22, Sat: Put together wardrobe and …? Dinner w/ Peter’s folks, I believe.
Aug 23, Sun: Put together wardrobe and …? Cat sitting still

Aug 24, M: School. Brother in Fiji with his gf. Fell asleep in class inspite of caffeine. Went to get keys for another cat-sitting job; ate out there (it had gotten late again).

Aug 25, T: School. Work, I think. I learned what a percent sign means. You can laugh, but I’m serious.

Aug 26, W: Falling asleep in school again. Math homework and Accounting homework.

Aug 27, R: School. Work. I went home while Peter cat-sat until very late; the cat was too upset to keep food down at first, so Peter had to stay many hours until he was calm enough to eat and play a little.

Aug 28, F: Work. Went to Aunt and Uncle’s house for a while afterward. Then home.

Aug 29 + 30, Sat+Sun: Went on an overnight road trip with Peter, his mom, his sister and her bf. Very fun and many neat beaches! Peter quizzed me on Accounting when we were in the car.

Aug 31, M: My first Accounting test. I got a 90% on it. Termination dust has arrived for my folks, who live so far away from me. I took some really cute selfies of me and one of the cats.

Sep 1, T: School. Worked from home (really only had to do some faxing). Pollen is killing my sinuses.

Sep 2, W: School. Couldn’t stop bugging Peter because he seemed ‘off’ and I couldn’t stop worrying. He had a virus or something. I kept trying to figure out how it was my fault that he wasn’t feeling well. It’s a sickness in me. I need to get that under control!!! Stayed at school until late, doing more homework.

Sep 3, R: School. Peter took the day as a Sick Day. After my classes, I took the train to my workplace but ate at a restaurant before starting work. I had a margarita and work was much better then. Ate dinner out, too. Feel terribly guilty and anxious for eating out so frequently lately, but we’re getting home so late & I’ve been too tired to think of helping cook.

Sep 4, F: Work. Peter had the day off and came with me. He did work and such while I worked. We went to my aunt & uncle’s afterward.

Sep 5+6, Sat+Sun: Saturday…I can’t recall. Sunday, I did more homework with Peter’s help. Then we hurriedly got ingredients and made the dish I’d promised for the BBQ that evening at my aunt & uncle’s house. My aunt and uncle were there, as well as my brother and his gf. It’s kind of stressful. I don’t know how to be around everyone. My uncle is one way, my brother is another way. My aunt is another way. I get confused.

Sep 7, M: Looks like it was a major study day for me.

Sep 8, T: School. My first real Math exam! I got a 100%! I didn’t feel happy or anything upon doing so well. I’m worried that I’m depressed. Then remembered I had an Accounting test the next day, and absolutely panicked. Peter helped me for hours to study for the test and try to remember all of the homeworks I’ve done for it, but I was panicking so much, my mind was a complete blank. I think this is when I decided Peter must be getting really frustrated with me. And started obsessing that all of this study time together would change our relationship dynamic and put him as a tutor and me as a student instead of 2 people in an equal relationship.

Sep 9, W: School. My 2nd Accounting test. I got a 100% but was shaking the whole time. I blame part of that on the cup of coffee that morning — since then, I’m off coffee. Stayed at school late, doing homework. Helped make a simple pasta dinner.

Sep 10, R: School. I finally got caught up in one of my computer classes! FINALLY! I worked from home again, thanks to remote access to my work computer! WHEW. I’m too exhausted to keep doing the back-and-forth between school and work — they are not in the same city. I don’t know how people do it. Anyway, after school, I got AHEAD in my Math homework! Yay! But last night, as we were trying to fall asleep, I started to nit-pick on Peter. I don’t know what was bugging me. I started saying how I felt like we were not talking much lately (I meant about serious or relationship things, or something), and I felt emotionally disconnected, etc. I then said something else picky that came out really hurtful. I think that deep down, I am having very bad anxiety issues lately, and so I can’t feel content. I feel like something must be wrong. I have tons and tons and tons of body anxiety and sickness anxiety and I’m terrified to tell anyone in my real life because I don’t want to be [insert a better word for ‘diminished’]. I don’t want people to label me the very stigmatized word of hypochondria. But I have a bad anxiety disorder flairing up right now and don’t know what to do about it.

Sep 11, F: Work today. It hasn’t been busy today. I probably could have left hours ago, but since it’s the only day I’ve come to the office all week, I figured I should stay the whole time. I am sick today with a head cold. I’ve had a sore throat for a week. I thought it was allergies (pollen + cats). For three nights, I’ve had a TERRIBLE time sleeping. I was actually sleeping okay for a while there. But right now, terrible insomnia, and restless leg. The minute my legs stop moving, I start to feel panic and the burning and urge to MOVE them again. I’ve slept on the floor twice again (we haven’t had the time to put the bed together, yet). I’ll post this although I won’t be able to add the many pictures until later, from a different computer.

Dating: When Communication Styles Differ / When you want more feedback

I feel anxious & guilty for even having written this out. I don’t want “Peter” to somehow find out I have felt so conflicted about this topic (it seems so trivial and silly to me). But I also don’t want to pull this posting down, because if I feel this way at times, I’m betting there are others of you who are also conflicted about similar issues and perhaps it will help to know that you are not alone. So here you guys go:

So here’s a topic that’s on my mind tonight. Y’all know I like “Peter” a lot. But there is one area in particular that I’m finding extremely taxing on my emotions — we have differing communication styles when it comes to anything that’s not face-to-face.

I, for example, am prone toward daily contact of some sort. He is not. I am prone toward sending out text messages and emails, with little snippets of text and snapshots from my day — anything that makes me think of him, or anything that I think he’d like/be interested in, for example. He sends out a little bit in return, infrequently. (My insecure voice: ‘Infrequently’ to me means what??? Not every second??)

So that alone has been enough to bring up my self-doubt. “Did I overwhelm him??? Did I send out too many pictures today?? Maybe I disrupted him while he was at work. Maybe he is annoyed with me for having sent these out.” Etc. I’ve asked him, and he says he is fine with what I’ve sent. I’d actually be 100% fine if I only heard back from him once a week, except for the following:

But the killer part for me is the lack of feedback. Sometimes, I will hear feedback from him regarding something I have either texted or emailed, and sometimes that feedback will be sent back in some kind of text form. More often, he will mention something I’ve sent him the next time we are face-to-face, which is fine for me. (My insecure voice: I’m surely just being too needy. I’m surely just expecting instant gratification. I’m surely sending him too much / too often.)

I think I could handle that if all things were given feedback face-to-face, but even then, it is just a sampling. Perhaps he brings up just the things that felt weightier to him than some of the other random crapola I’ve sent him; I am only guessing. I actually send him very little, because I don’t like to send more than what the other person sends back to me; I like the ratio to be balanced. For our ratio to be balanced, I would have to scale back quite a lot more.

And so, I am torn. There is a part of me that is interested in this new approach to communication – almost entirely face-to-face communication. It does seem like a healthier, safer way of communicating, in some ways (for example, there is an increased chance of mis-communications in text-based communication).

But the part of me that wants to continue sending text-based communications is concerned. The lack of feedback for my text-based communications is definitely not working for me.

So I have choices. I could:

  1. Continue looking at this as a challenging but fascinating practice in patience / delayed gratification
  2. Stop texting or emailing him, and go with face-to-face communication ONLY
  3. Break up with him and meet new people, finding someone I can again send out my daily blips to with the returned feedbacks that I’m familiar with
  4. Bring this up with “Peter” directly and actually talk about it with him

I’m not inclined to break up with him right now; I really like him. But I can’t leave things as-is, either, because I’m far too insecure of a person to send something out to someone and hear nothing back. So, likely I’ll go with Option 2. With Option 2, I have more options as well. For example, I could still take my snapshots that make me think of him, but instead of sending instantly, I can compile them into a Save Draft email to show him next time I’m with him in-person. There are options like that.

But I’m not entirely positive if that’ll work. When I tried to share a particular song with him, he left midway through because he remembered his bike had a flat tire and he went to go look at it. Likely, I was not clear that the song I had put on was a special one that I was playing specifically for him to listen to it. I will have to bring this up and try to share it again with him, with my intentions clearly stated this time, and see if he can listen to it.

As much as I like him (a freaking lot), I’ll have to try again with someone new if we can’t get it worked out for me to find a successful way of sharing non-verbal items of interest with him. He’s a good listener when I speak verbally to him. But if I can’t share my pictures, my music, my writings, my video clips of interest, etc, with the person I’m interested in, then what? As you guys could probably imagine based solely on the massive amounts of crapola I’ve posted on here alone (writings, sketches, musics, comics, videos, etc), these types of things are somewhat fairly hugely important to me. And sharing is important to me.

But I actually do think he reads/looks at what I send. Maybe not the 4 music clips I sent, because he said he had no headphones at the time, but I think he does read anything I’ve typed. I think I just don’t receive feedback about it.

So Option 4 seemed more rational, right? Obviously I should discuss it directly and honestly with him, right? I might end up having to do that. I kind of want to avoid it, because I feel awfully stupid for this even bothering me in the first place. Like it should be a molehill and instead I’m making it a mountain. Ah well, we’ll see. Everything will work out. Or it won’t. 🙂 In the meanwhile, I am going to refrain from texting or emailing him; other people will receive my random pictures instead (I can’t shut off that part of me; I can only redirect it). And perhaps one of these days, I’ll work up the nerve to discuss it with “Peter” directly.

***UPDATE***

So I already went ahead and brought up the topic, face to face! Resolved. I essentially paused this morning and asked him if I could check with him about something. He was affirmative. I pointed out how I was very likely to feel like sending him random pictures and snippets all day today. I asked how he felt about those. And especially if/how he prefers to receive them (e.g. text message or email). I told him how insecure I had gotten by the end of the day a couple of days ago. I told him how I was able to envision that I had disrupted his work, that he was annoyed with it, etc and I pointed out my idea of a single email per day instead.

He thought about it a while and then responded that not only does he not mind the text messages — that the buzzing of his phone does not disrupt or bother him — but that he feels positively toward them. That he likes the reminders showing up, and likes knowing that I’m still alive + well, etc. Then he said he could work on replying to them more often. But I replied that my intention wasn’t to change how he’s comfortable communicating (I wonder if that’s the truth or rather what I want to be true? But I’ll learn that as more time passes, and can bring this up again with that as the focus if needed). I just wanted to know his preferences for my random blurbs so that I could avoid feeling so insecure about them. It all went something to that effect.

Happy. Very good, easy talk.

Poem: I Wait For You

I wait for you.
I wait for you to call me.
I wait for you.
I wait for you to say you’re hungry.
I wait for you.
I wait for you to have an opinion.
I wait for you.
I wait for you to start the music.
I wait for you.
I wait for you to want to go walking.
I wait for you.
I wait for you to smile.
I wait for you to play.
I wait for you to open the door.
I wait for you to say.

I close the door, and breathe in the silence.
The darkness surrounds me. I listen to the breathing in the room.
I close the door, and touch my own arm.
I’m here. It’s me.

I walk away.

SI

Flower at my psychiatrist's office

Flower at my psychiatrist’s office

Okay, I had a little slip-up. It’s barely a scratch. But it was intentional. Why didn’t I just blog or try taking some anti-anxiety medicine? I have been doing so well for so long. I just felt so insane and out of control.

Of course it followed the same pattern. Pain. Relief. Crying. Glad that I had done it. Keep doing it after I’ve calmed down because it was such a calm, peaceful moment. Pang of anxiety for when my uncle sees a bandaid (I’m sure as hell going to keep a sleeve on; I really can’t take his opinions at the moment. He seems a bit crabby lately because I’ve been doing such a lousy job going to work / working lately. Or it’s in my head). Even calmed down, I cried a little more. Now I’m calm, stable (low) and feeling the sting in my arm, which I like, because it means it’s there.

Why did I feel insane?

Theory time! (I love theories.) Of which there are 7:

  1. Most of my thoughts have been centered around scaring “Joe” away, because I was pretty damn crazy yesterday. And because I happen to hope to keep him as a friend very much. The more I fear the alienation, the more crazy I feel, and it went completely out of control. [This is the same shit that’s cycled in my head every time I’ve tried to have a friend since College.]
  2. I clicked on a link earlier. It looked like a harmless web link. I did not know it was going to redirect me to my Facebook account. There it is, in my face.
  3. Wellbutrin withdrawal. Or, what if I can’t handle life without it? Ah, more thoughts that could go out of control, there!
  4. Got to add on that I did decline my regular therapy this week, for financial reasons. But I did see the psychiatrist that day instead.
  5. Also, “THE MOVE” is starting here at work. I’m supposed to have boxed everything up. Have I started? No.
  6. MY BODY. My period was 8 days late, which is unheard of for me (for the past decade, at least). Two days ago I had diarrhea all day. Yesterday I didn’t feel hunger until 9pm (and then the mood swings went crazy). And today, severe mood swings again. WHAT is going on with my body…?
    1. Maybe it’s the iron…?
    2. Maybe it’s the Wellbutrin withdrawal…?
  7. Alien abduction. (What? I needed a 7th, okay?)

:: Life! ::

So, I’m going to leave work. And I’m just going to practice guitar again. No computer. No movies with my uncle (although I love that). Just guitar, and sketch if I can make myself.

Ooohhhh shit. That. (Journal#070)

Yeah. So something happened the other day (last week? The week before?) I kind of blotted it out after that. Um yeah so I went on Facebook to pull another picture down (I was obsessively sending animal pics to “Joe”) and there was a little shock in my Messages. My ex had written me.

I told “Joe” and then managed to not-think about it until “Joe” reminded me just now that he had offered moral support if I wanted help pulling all my pictures down. And I was like Why again? Ooooooohhhhh fuck. That.

I hadn’t ever dealt with Facebook after my divorce. I never even changed my last name on there. It’s 99% dead to me. I didn’t want to sit down and figure out who I needed to block or why. So I just left it. I don’t post. But I log in now and again to pull pictures.

It is amazing the amount of guilt it brings up in me. I don’t know if I’m strong enough to block him.

But I AM strong enough to one day pull all of my pictures down, save them elsewhere, and never access it ever again.

UPDATE: I got up the nerve to tell my aunt & uncle. It stayed calm. I’m going to download all of my pics one of these days, when I’m feeling quite brave and/or on an anti-anxiety medicine. As I will be shortly. Because thinking it over as something that really happened is kind of insanely anxiety producing.

I had originally wanted to remain friends with my ex. But waaaay to much shit has gone down since I’d expressed that. Way too much. But there’s a part of me that’s still just scared and doesn’t know what’s happening or why. I don’t know how I could have done what I did that initiated all of this. I don’t know what is good and what is bad, what is healthy, what is wrong. When I forget for a long time, it’s easier, but there are actually some things that really did happen. I don’t want to remember.

OCD: Fear of BEING crazy (originally titled: Disorientation and paranoia that led to a ground-breaking realization) (Topic#025)

Streams of Falling Water

Streams of Falling Water

This is by far the most embarrassing post I’ve written. I am actually quite anxious about having posted it. But if just one person relates and maybe feels less crazy because of it, it will have been worth it.

I just got one of these moments of disorientation so I wanted to attempt writing about it/explore it/see where it takes me/help me not fear it. I doubt that I can give it justice. [I get weird shifts in reality at random from time to time. No idea why. My ex-best-friend with temporal lobe seizures experiences something like that, too, which has made me wonder. But it doesn’t seem to matter since even if I did, I wouldn’t want to take even more medicine. The shifts can affect different parts of my perceptions at different times. This will only describe this one moment in time, where a perfectly normal-for-me way of viewing the world suddenly changed for no reason.  And it’s really only me writing about THE RESULT of the shift, not the shift itself. That would be too hard to explain. Dang, now I want to try… So… Like I’m having a perfectly ‘normal’ day and suddenly **BLAM** Suddenly it’s like reality is a bit different than it was, and I’m thinking about the world in a different way, and viewing things a different way, experiencing things a different way. Feelings could be different, or sight, or sound, or mood, or thoughts. My sense of Reality is just somehow *different* and for NO reason. I could just be sitting there watching TV and have it happen. I can almost describe it, sometimes, a bit like when your ears have been plugged for ten days straight and you’re used to it that way, and then suddenly your ears unplug and in that instant, things feel a bit different. Man I wish I could describe this better.]

I was thinking about a particular person and suddenly felt a shift in my head. Suddenly, I was thinking about, is this person insane or completely grounded? I mean, please excuse the words I use to describe this. (A lot of the words I use to describe the rest of the post are offensive, but I don’t mean to be offensive. I am trying very hard to be honest about the anxious thoughts I have/had, and offensive words are part of it.) But I mean it quite literally. I realize, I have no idea. I have no idea if he’s perfectly normal and grounded or is actually quite out there. I get so insecure. Because it’s really a crazy feeling. I genuinely don’t trust whether or not another person is experiencing the average “reality” or is actually quite insane. It leads me to think about other people, too. So many people I know experience/view reality VERY DIFFERENTLY and they don’t even realize it. Differently from each other, I mean. Different people I know view the world and life COMPLETELY DIFFERENTLY from each other and that is very disorienting for me sometimes. Going between different people is a bit like traveling between completely, completely different realities. I can’t find words BIG enough to describe what I mean! It’s like a COMPLETELY alternate life when I’m with different people, even for short amounts of time.

And of COURSE leads me to wonder if I’M insane and can I trust my own perceptions? I wish I could figure out how to explain this!  And there’s no way of ever, ever believing. What if people are just going along with the things I do and say because I’m actually insane and they’re just humoring me? MAN I wish I could explain this but I just can’t figure out a way! I’ve re-written these top paragraphs for at least an hour or more so far. (The rest of this post is even more of a mess, because I was trying SO hard not to censor my words and to be quick enough that I could still remember the feelings so as to write this.)

This is one of my deep, down, insanely strong fears. It rears its ugly head time and time again.

Here’s the thing. I will NEVER KNOW what ANY of you actually think of me. I’m talking you amazing people who read this. I’m talking anybody I’ve met in person in the past year. I’m talking anybody I’ve known my whole life. I’m talking the people who humor me and chat with me in text or over the phone on the occassion that I call somebody.

I have the deep down paranoia that every person I interact with is just humoring me and that really I’m insane or have mental retardation and I just don’t realize it. These memories are coming back right now. In elementary school, I used to be SO SURE that really I was mentally retarded and in a wheel chair and that the way I was viewing the world was all in my head and that the people around me were all humoring me. I used to feel that way strongly and worry about it aaaaallllllllllllllllllllll the time.

Literally speaking, the ONLY PEOPLE I BELIEVE are people who are so messed up themselves, that I trust they are not just pulling the wool over my eyes. These are the people who are extremely depressed or have other severe emotional problems, -OR- people SO socially awkward and have such symptoms as they are actually on the autistic spectrum and don’t read people very well.

Holy. Shit. I think I may have just found the “why” of why I only date and gravitate toward untreated-mentally-ill people. I. never. thought. of. this. before.

I can’t even believe it. You guys don’t know how hard I’ve thought about this and how many times I have grasped at straws in trying to come up with an explanation when people ask me.

If a person seems “normal”, I am afraid of them! Afraid of them humoring me and being “in” on my issues that I don’t know I have. That my every movement is SO LAME and is actually quite offensive at times, and I’m the only one who doesn’t know it. That I am a buffoon.

I honestly believe it is impossible for me to ever not feel this way. I will. NEVER. TRUST. that you are not “in” on it.

So yeah, I was super, super paranoid about this in elementary school. I do wonder if this is related to the childhood ‘abuse’ I previously wrote about. Because he did tell me time and time and time again how I was so stupid and lame and mentally retarded and everyone was humoring me and nobody liked me. And he did set up things to make it seem that everyone was ‘in’ on it, like the time I wrote about already. And I was always the butt end of jokes. When I read, “Flowers for Algernon,” I cried and cried because he was me, or exactly how I felt, at least. That was me completely. I was always the butt of the jokes but I laughed right along with everybody. I just loved being included in the group.

When I came back from college and was having my first mental breakdown, the paranoia got WAAAAAAAY worse. I constantly worried that maybe my parents had set up cameras all around their house, to be watching me all the time because somehow they knew how insane and suicidal I was. I worried that the medicine I was prescribed were actually being written and filled as placebos. That placebo pills were stopping my panic attacks, proving that it was all in my head and nothing was “wrong”, etc. That the therapists were actually humoring me and watching me make a fool of myself day after day. At the same time, I worried that I was losing my mind completely and losing all touch on reality (I kind of was, though, in hindsight). I was worried that I was going to somehow make myself schizophrenic. (And I was extremely sure that all of my thoughts were going to cause me cancer.) I was extremely worried I’d be diagnosed bipolar. (I have nothing against bipolar now, but I was PETRIFIED of it back then.) I told one of my therapists that I would kill myself if I was diagnosed bipolar. Months later, I finally had the nerve to ask her if she thought I was bipolar and she said no and explained her reasoning. But of course, I didn’t know if she was telling me the truth or knew I was still not ready to hear it (and, as with all of these thoughts, there IS NO WAY for me to believe you, no matter what you do or say). When I read that the first antidepressant I was prescribed was to be avoided for those with bipolar (because it can worsen the symptoms), I did believe her just a tiny bit. To this day, I always wonder if I’m bipolar, but it doesn’t scare me like it used to.

All of these things are IN me, surfacing from time to time, but otherwise living just barely beneath the surface.