I’ve been having patches of anxiety and such for a while. Then out of the blue I’ve been slammed by a really nasty bout of loony-ness. Depression.
I’ve had several attacks of random loony in the past, I was expecting that again. Where I fixate on one trigger event or concept (the local kid’s ball, – I still get uneasy at the sound of a ball bouncing –, or prior to that, Death and Time) which is horrible and scary.
But no, just depression. In our family that’s at best passé.
It’s been a few weeks now. On the bright side, it’s not constant, I keep having good days. They other day I was having an episode of sane and I convinced myself I was just imagining it, that it was just feeling blue with a large dose of self pity. I was driving along, concentrating on the road and my Russian ‘tapes’, when suddenly it hit me full force. Utterly crushed me. More than I thought I could endure.
I’m not imagining it. And the self pity is hard earned.
As I say, in my family my little bout of nuttiness is embarrassingly minor. I’m the guy with the plaster on his blister telling someone in a full body cast how much it hurts. But when it washes over me it takes everything away. I can’t get excited, or make plans, or do anything. The bad bits feel literally unbearable.
The weird thing is; whilst I know consciously that bouts usually last three months and that it will probably go again in a day or so, when it hits I can’t believe I will ever be right again.
I’ve had a good day today, hence being able to blog.
I’ve not done any training for about a fortnight, totally not been able to face going out to my swim lessons.
On the bright side, I’ve been constructive in my avoidance. I’ve built a really spiffy and sturdy back gate to replace the shoddy fence-panel-on-hinges thing I put up originally. For some reason the wind funnels across our house. At the front we’ve had to bungee cord the bins to stop them from flying away, I have to park my motorbike on the pavement because it’s been blown over twice out front, and the back gate gets blown off it’s hinges. I’m totally on top of that now.
Also, I’ve returned to the saxophone. And I’m flying through some really good books. Also I’ve found a brilliant vegan cookery site https://minimalistbaker.com/ and I’ve been cooking loads. I was after veggie fare, to be honest, but that came up on a search for fried rice. Some gorgeous food. Best damn veggie burger I’ve ever tasted. The stir fry rice is delicious. And, amazingly, vegan.
It was only a few weeks ago I was telling someone on Twitter that the only good thing (in my experience) about vegan food was it took the sting out of the fear of death. It must have been pre-internet days (for me) when I was doing it. Honestly, the food I’m eating now is so good I’m sorry I didn’t go back to veggie years ago. Saying that, Wendy has reminded me that my tastebuds and sense of smell are pretty much fried. But with these tastebuds the only things I was eating were (proper Asian) biryani, stew and corn dog butties for work. I endured spag bol (though it tasted offensively watery) and sometimes didn’t mind lasagne. Chestnut and quorn lasagne is bloody lovely and the spag bol is amazing.
The other thing is the depression makes my other condition harder to bear. Super. It lead me to read a bit more about it. It seems the ‘borderline’ in Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is not to denote ‘negligible’, it’s because BPD occurs at the borderline between neurosis and psychosis. Some people move back and forth over the line.
Here’s some of the highlights (NHS)
- Efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment, such as rapidly initiating intimate (physical or emotional) relationships or cutting off communication with someone in anticipation of being abandoned
- A pattern of intense and unstable relationships with family, friends, and loved ones, often swinging from extreme closeness and love (idealization) to extreme dislike or anger (devaluation)
- Distorted and unstable self-image or sense of self
- Impulsive and often dangerous behaviours, such as spending sprees, unsafe sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, and binge eating.
- Self-harming behaviour, such as cutting
- Recurring thoughts of suicidal behaviours or threats
- Intense and highly changeable moods, with each episode lasting from a few hours to a few days
- Chronic feelings of emptiness
- Inappropriate, intense anger or problems controlling anger
- Difficulty trusting, which is sometimes accompanied by irrational fear of other people’s intentions
- Feelings of dissociation, such as feeling cut off from oneself, seeing oneself from outside one’s body, or feelings of unreality
And cited quotes from Wikipedia:
“People with BPD are often exceptionally enthusiastic, idealistic, joyful, and loving. However, they may feel overwhelmed by negative emotions ("anxiety, depression, guilt/shame, worry, anger, etc."), experiencing intense grief instead of sadness, shame and humiliation instead of mild embarrassment, rage instead of annoyance, and panic instead of nervousness.”
“People with BPD may feel emotional relief after cutting themselves.”
“Reasons for self-harm include expressing anger, self-punishment, generating normal feelings (often in response to dissociation), and distracting oneself from emotional pain or difficult circumstances.”
It’s all there. Which makes me sad on another level. They say BPD makes you feel empty with no fixed image of self. The thing is, take away the goddamn BPD and there is no me.
Even the bits I like about myself (selflessness and bravery) are actually symptoms (no sense of self and recklessness).
Ho hum, whaddayagonna do?
On the bright side, I’ve not got that last one from the NHS list. And since I quit drinking I’ve managed to stop the self harm thing. And, in retrospect, that whole embarrassing messy scene wasn’t actually me being a drama-queen, it was a symptom and a coping mechanism. So, there’s that.
I may take it to the doctor. I’m not bothered about most of it, but if I could find a way to deal with the unending series of bad memories that constantly torture me, that would be nice.
If I’m sane in the morning I’m going to try and get some training done. I need to get back to it.
Sorry for all that, had to get it off my chest.