The light at the end of the tunnel just turned into a flashing disco ball.
For over half my life, I've been dealing with debilitating depression. It has at times defined me. It has certainly shaped me. Now it's just one part of me, albeit a significant one. But I just started a new medication, and I am suddenly a VERY different person.
It's not a good thing. It's not a super, super bad thing. It is a monumentally confusing thing.
I've always been an extreme introvert. I need a lot of alone time to recharge, and being around people really, really exhausts me. But suddenly, I'm bored and lonely (I literally haven't been lonely in years) if I'm alone. I have this constant craving to be around people. I've done more socializing in the last week than I've done in the last six months combined. Maybe literally.
And I can't hold onto a thought to save my life. I've always been a thinker. I've always lived inside my mind a bit, and I like it there. But now it's just kind of a slowly swirling place with nothing really solid to hold onto.
And I keep waking up early in the morning to do my homework because I'm increasingly incapable of focus as the day wears on. If you know me at all, you know this is seriously atypical behavior. The real (?) me prefers staying up until 4:00 am to waking up before noon. But lately I can't sleep more than five hours at a time anyways, so I just get up and do stuff. I miss sleeping.
And I can't sit still. I can't just be. I have to always be doing 14 things, and I'm suddenly bored with all of them within five minutes. I've already taken like three breaks writing this post, so it's probably going to be really disjointed. When I looked back at my screen after the first break, I had totally and completely forgotten I was even writing anything. It was a pleasant surprise? I guess?
Here's the deal. My therapist is worried that I'm exhibiting bipolar behavior, specifically hypomania. Now if it's medication-induced and we can get it to go away, it's no big deal. But there is a chance that the medication just triggered something that was already there. Which is bad.
In my humble opinion, bipolar disorder is worse than depression because it's depression plus something. Depression squared maybe? I'm unsure of the math of mental illness, but whatever numbers add up to worse, that's what bipolar is.
So I can't focus and I can't make decisions (unless they're pretty impulsive) and I can't be me, and I hate it. But not as bad as I hate being really depressed like I was three weeks ago.
I wish I could think of a conclusion to this post, but it just doesn't seem to have one. Or at least it's not something I can hold onto....... Oh I started with a disco ball! I'll end there. Instead of being a dimly flickering naked bulb, the light at the end of the tunnel is now a flashing disco ball. Super fun for a party, but really disorienting when you're trying to find your way out of somewhere scary.
Does anyone have any thoughts? I can't seem to stop talking about it, so I may as well talk about it with you!
February 8, 2015
I have a pretty great life. I have an awesome family who gives me love and everything else I've ever needed. I have a couple of really cool horses who I've gotten to see grow up from being stubborn little colts to being stubborn big colts. I have amazing friends from all over the world. I've gotten to visit Europe and live in the Middle-East. I have been on Good Morning America. I have been in the newspaper as recently as last week. I have gotten to meet my Hollywood heroes at incredibly fun Comic Con events. I even got to thank one of my biggest heroes (though she's actually quite short) in person for her mental health advocacy- she called me a member of her tribe, an honor I will always cherish. I have a good psychiatrist and an amazing therapist. And I have the support of a loving God. But I'm still sitting on the bathroom floor sobbing for absolutely no reason. I'm feeling really, really depressed again. It'll pass. It always does. But remember when you're looking at my life from the outside in and seeing all the fun I have, that what you aren't seeing is the girl on the bathroom floor. She is lucky and she is blessed. And she is also really, really depressed.
Posted by Ashleigh at 5:33 PM