Warning Signs

Oh okay, did I maybe speak too soon with regards to my mood? It’s been escalating over the last few days. I am annoying, bouncy, unfettered but still in control. I can sit still and settle to tasks. But does it really matter if my mood skips up a bit? As long as it doesn’t skip out of control and stop me functioning, surely it’s okay, normal even? It’s not a ‘normal’ mood, as much as I want to normalise it, I don’t see other people doing the things I do and thinking like I think (unless they’re hypomanic/manic of course), but it is not hypomania. Let’s call it sub-clinical, if we have to call it anything.

The crucial point here is that I, with my ‘support network’, can deal with this without having to call in the cavalry (which is a word apparently from the Italian for ‘horse’ – cavallo), I just need to stick to the lists and keep taking the meds. I hate having to take them, because of course I don’t need them do I? But I do, I know I do, I need to learn from history. I need to think about that diagram from the last post. Break the cycle and avoid the triggers. The problem being that cold I had of course, but if I keep avoiding triggers but also avoid aggravating factors like physics, poor sleep hygiene (bleurgh), and oh wait I think I have four or five large projects on the go right now, so let’s shelve some of those for now. I am sleeping still, around six hours a night which isn’t too bad, but still less than I would consider normal for me.

I have alerted Husband to the fact that convincing myself to take meds is getting more and more difficult, so he is helping (mostly by nagging until I take them, but that is what is needed right now). I haven’t told him about the headnoise, mostly because I’m not sure it’s anything to worry about, and if I tell him he will worry. It’s not all real words, and the rest is nonsense. I’m not even properly ‘hearing’ most of it, more feeling it. I think I have heard the term pseudo-hallucinations in relation to this state of non-hearing. The problem is that this is what has preceded every single manic episode I can remember, which have all resulted in full on voice-hearing, messages from the TV and so on. Phase one doesn’t always result phase two, but phase two is always preceded by phase one. For now, being aware of it is sufficient.

Full Circle

It seems I’ve come full circle. I am well. I still feel like I’m walking a knife edge, but like as not that’s just because I’m so used to it. All the same, there’s no harm in being aware.

There a few things that are worrying me – slight amounts of headnoise (although not nearly at Voices level of coherence), cleaning products smelling of beer, and some slight bouncing around the house. Also an accumulation of projects. It’s nothing major, and nothing that really amounts to anything. It’s essentially a point in a cycle I go through with every episode.

I am currently at the “I don’t need these meds” stage of my mental health, and so I’m in a position to break this cycle.

TheCycleIt seems that there are really two things I need to do: take the stupid drugs and avoid triggers. Easier said than done! I know what my triggers are and usually I can avoid them.

  • Lack of sleep
  • Too much sleep
  • Broken sleep
  • Reading too much about physics
  • Too many projects
  • Antidepressants
  • Physical illness

This last one is the main problem. I can mostly avoid sleep issues, with the addition of sleeping pills if absolutely necessary. I can choose not to read about, or watch documentaries on physics (as long as I haven’t got so far into an episode that I can’t not read about it). I can choose to focus on fewer projects and let the others be for a while. It’s harder to avoid physical illness. I can’t choose not to catch a cold. It doesn’t work like that. Even good physical health doesn’t preclude all physical illness.

What I can do is be aware that I am now getting over a cold, and headnoise is appearing as well as requests from Husband and family that I “calm down” or “stop bouncing around”. At this point if I make a concious effort, I can be calm, I can settle to tasks and complete tasks. The moment I stop making that concious effort, it creeps up on me and I bounce around again.

So on my keeping well list:

  • Don’t have a long to do list
  • Watch for loss of control – increase meds if necessary
  • Avoid physics
  • Avoid antidepressants
  • Sleep well
  • Be extra aware following colds, etc.
  • And just in case, avoid stress

I am doing all these things, and my family and friends are always alert to my mood/thoughts (a blessing and a curse – sometimes they overreact). So if things get worse I’ve done what I can do by myself and I have to remember: it’s okay to ask for help!