A little over a week ago I wrote that my mood was on the way up, but it was a good kind of up, although I wasn’t discounting the possibility that it could go too far. A few days later, it started to go too far. Nothing extreme, just driving too fast, going wandering late at night, buying random crap that caught my eye… I was tempted to skip my Latuda to encourage this feeling, but then one evening it started to alarm me and I no longer had any desire to skip medication. The next morning I woke up in a completely different mood.
I was dragging myself through work and every little thing got me down. I got upset about something I can’t even remember and wandered through the halls of the hospital trying desperately to harm myself with my keys. 24 hours later I still had pink streaks on my arm and it was sore to the touch. I wasn’t depressed enough to be all weepy and suicidal, but I was still alarmed by the sudden shift.
I’ve been on medication for over a year and a half now, and the mood cycles have never completely stopped. The intensity of the highs and lows has lessened, but the cycles have actually become more rapid. Where I used to have alternating months of depression and hypomania, I now have more of a monthly cycle, with about 1 week building into mild hypomania and the rest of the time fluctuating through various levels of depression. I keep trying to pretend this is okay, but it’s really not. I feel like I’m constantly doing damage control on either the recklessness of hypomania or the listlessness of depression, and never get to just be kind of okay for a while.
I last saw Brent in September and he told me to come back in 2 months, so I still have a month to go. I didn’t know how low my mood was going to go, but the drop was sudden, and I called to ask if I should come in sooner or wait until November. After a talk with his nurse, she consulted with him and called back to leave me a message saying to wait and see him in November. Oh, but call back if things “get worse” and are “no longer tolerable”.
I did not anticipate this response. Brent knows how very hard it is for me to call and ask for help, and I expected that the fact that I managed to make myself call would have him concerned. I felt like the unspoken meaning was that he thought I was attention-seeking and nothing was really wrong, and I got angry and frustrated. My initial response to being told to call back if things got worse was to think, “By then it might be too late” and both my mother and a coworker echoed that thought.
So I made another call I never make, and left a voice mail for Sadie. A babbling, incoherent voice mail, about moods and Brent and being frustrated, and ending with a couple of repetitions of “I don’t know” and then “never mind”, because I really had no clue what I was trying to say. It’s not like she could do anything to help, so the call was pointless.
In response I got an e-mail, which I’ll just include in its entirety since a paraphrase would end up covering every sentence:
Donna, thank you for calling me. I am not sure if you need something from me as you said “never mind” at the end of your message, but I wanted to remind you I’m leaving shortly and will be out of the office until next Thursday. If you do need something during my absence, you may contact Jan, Sierra, or Nelly. Use that TRUST skill and trust your ability to Ride The Wave as you experience different moods! And remember it is ok to ask for help if you need it.
It’s okay to ask for help? No kidding, that’s what I’ve been trying to do and it’s not getting me anywhere. I tried to persuade myself to go talk to Jan after work, but I have way too much fear that it will result in an inpatient stay, which I don’t want for several reasons. I haven’t been there in nearly a year, and if I can hold out a bit more than a month after that I’ll be able to avoid going there at all in 2015. Also, I’m working nearly full-time at the hospital and part-time at a haunted attraction, and I don’t want to let either of my bosses down by missing work.
Plus, I don’t know how productive such a stay would be. A coworker questioned me today about whether I’d ever had an inpatient stay that wasn’t at CMHC, and tried persuading me that it might be more helpful. Maybe it would, but I haven’t the foggiest idea where I would go or whether I’d be able to afford it. At least with this particular facility I know my insurance will cover it. Before my diagnosis, when my life was a complete trainwreck, I thought staying somewhere for a month and only being responsible for taking care of myself could be very helpful, and I still feel like there’s something happening that could be addressed in inpatient better than through these scattered appointments I tuck in-between all the responsibilities in my life.
As is probably obvious, I didn’t go talk to Jan. My moods are toying with me, and by the end of the day my mood was back up, but in the irritable fashion. After 8.5 hours at job # 1 and a brief break before almost 6 hours at job # 2, I am drifting down from the irritable agitation and am ready to go crawl into my bed for 12 or 13 or 14 hours straight. I guess I’ll just wait and see how I feel when I wake up, and like Sadie said I’ll Ride the Wave.