On Mental Health

Riding the highs and lows inherent in a single day.

One of the main things I am learning as I progress with my recovery, is to have faith in my own ability to ride the natural highs and lows inherent in a single day.

Today has been a case in point. I’d had a few glasses of wine last night, and so was fairly fuzzy this morning. Ru and I went through some stuff over the weekend, which was stressful and had left me feeling fairly blue. So this morning I was on fundamental autopilot mode: just get through the day, get home, get a good nights sleep and then carry on tomorrow. Today was just a 12 hour period to be passed through. I knew I’d be able to do this, I’ve done it a million times before, either with a hang over, or after a night of few hours sleep, so this morning I was stoically forward faced.

However, as the day progressed, and I felt the symptoms tug at my less than energetic thought processes, I began to feel despondent. Alcohol always lead to hang overs which are worse than the highness of the night before, and this is one of the main reasons I don’t drink very often anymore- I can’t handle the come downs like I could five years ago. So I knew, as I started to feel grotty, that this was all that was happening; but then when the paranoia started to kick in it all became a bit much for me to be able to hold myself above. This paranoia is, again, nothing unusual. It comes on from time to time, and is massively irritating; in fact I’ve started another post on paranoia and the different forms it seems to come in.

But today, it just annoyed me a little bit too much. Annoyance is the main emotion it triggers in me now, annoyance and frustration- but these aren’t feelings which lead to relaxation. So I had a couple of hours around midday in which I was fairly stressed, and in those moments I started to feel the negative thought processes kick in. “What if this is where I’m heading, what if I don’t manage to kick this and my entire life is one long roller coaster of these wildly alternating states of mind?”

Now, a few hours later, I’m back on top of it all and baffled by my previous gloomy future outlook. It was simply a bad mood, and, in all likelihood, a fairly standard Monday morning mood. We all have hours, days and likely weeks where we feel as though everything’s fairly flat, and we struggle to see through that negativity whilst we’re experiencing it. Obviously this is all part and parcel of a normal day; there are always going to be moments where we feel good, and moments when we don’t so much. The obvious way of dealing with this is not too worry about it too much!

I see now, that during these stressful moments, the trick is to keep busy, keep focused on things which are above and disconnected to the malaise currently afflicting your head, and ride out the wave.

I know this already, of course, and I think that today it was just a mix of several different contributing factors which meant that the negativity was particularly dense, and I just didn’t have the mental/physical energy to hold myself above it. I have increased my meds over the weekend; Ru and I decided that it could make the symptoms which are affecting us both now slightly less biting. I think it’ll take a few days for the affect of the increased dosage to kick in, but I’m hoping it might just give me a little bit of lee-way to crack these last niggling symptoms, and allow me space to assimilate all that I still need to into my thinking.

The weekend was fairly difficult, and I hate from the bottom of my heart how these symptoms are affecting me, and how I’m letting it affect Ru. It’s like I lose all degree of self control when it comes on, and the hysteria and the fear have a free reign. I turn into some raging, desperate, tragic introvert; utterly able to feel outside of my own hysteria and connect with him, or with the real external world.

I still have utter faith that I will get past it. It’ll just take hard work and time, but I’ll get there. Ru and I are doing things to try to decrease the likelihood of it coming on, and I’m working out strategies in my own mind. I have decided, that from now on, the moment I feel the tic starting to tug at me, I’m just going to give Ru a kiss. I realise how ‘cute’ this sounds, but I feel as though it’ll be a concrete, tangible move against the negativity which seems to flood in otherwise. I need to make real, physical moves to counter the chain reaction which seems to happen in my mind, when I start to feel the tetchiness come on. I feel like it could be a good way of diverting myself, and, if not, I just get to kiss my man a few more times a day, which is clearly only a good thing..

Anyway, I have moved off topic- I think that all my stresses and despondency of today was made more biting by the events of the weekend, but what I need to remember is that all the while I am working to remain above the crappy move, I will always get back to a good place. I need to trust that fact more, and resist the urge to start despairing the moment I start to feel my mood sink. Highs and lows are natural, and I believe that the lows will start to decrease in intensity when that fact really sinks in.

(Written on 14/8/17, published on 15/8/17)


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