I had started today’s blog post in my mind this morning. “Do I just need to have a regular break-down and cry” every so often? Then I went to the bathroom, discovered that it’s periodic menstruation time and the mystery of my crazy* mood was cleared up.
* Crazy is a loaded word, especially in the context of women’s health issues and our “hysterical” wandering wombs. All the same, I’ve had a hell of a time with PMDD in my life, and while I’ve gotten better at coping with those mood difficulties once I understand their cause and imminent disappearance, sometimes it catches me off-guard. I tend towards emotional amnesia at the best of times, really strongly feeling that however I feel at the moment is what I’ve felt forever. This has previously made things difficult in diagnosing the exact nature of my mood disorder: “What, me? No I’ve never had ‘highs’, I only ever feel low low low and depressed. Forever.” And lo, an initial diagnosis of major depressive disorder and 12 different anti-depressants which were never going to do the trick with a cycling mood.
Anyway, I digress.
I’m a bit more comfortable talking about the science behind my mental health issues, fluffy and all as it is, than the actual effects they have on my life.
I’ve been sick the last couple of weeks with some kind of an infection, taken antibiotics, but remained unwell.
Ugh. I don’t even feel like talking about the ins and outs of it. I feel like I’m always talking about my health difficulties – whether physical or mental. A kindly comment from a reader has brought it strongly to the fore of my consciousness and I feel more than a little self-conscious talking about such things now. This is, of course, my issue, and not anything to do with my friend who commented that I seemed to battle a lot of minor health issues. Honestly, I think I really do, but in that statement I still hear my mother’s voice telling me “There’s always an arse or an elbow with you” and contained in that the judgement that I was a complaining malingerer or attention-seeker. You know what? I would really really like to feel well all the time. I really enjoyed the three days when it felt like that first round of antibiotics was working and my energy was returned to me, and I had a brief respite from pain.
Pain is another loaded term. It’s so subjective. We can never walk in another person’s skin and feel what their feeling; we can never know their level of pain. However, people make a whole lot of assumptions about others’ pain – much like others’ parenting. There seems to be a belief that because we have the same named circumstance, we experience it in the same way. Oh! You made a small person? I too made a small person. Therefore we are the same and your small person will absolutely behave the same way as mine does. Oh! Your body makes blood every month? So does mine! I bet your individual physiology, affected by your unique make-up of DNA responds in exactly the same way as mine does. So, quit your whining and get on with life. How could humans have gotten this far if all women spent a fifth of their lives in incapacitating pain and discomfort. Or even 1/28th of their lives. You know what, even if it only knocks the stuffing out of you for 12 days out of the year, it’s too much. And I get that not everyone experiences it that way. And some people experience it as much much worse.
Again, I digress.
This morning, the cumulation of a few weeks’ worth of (possible kidney infection related) pain – which is still not concluded – and the worry and stress of inconclusive doctor results, together with sneaky unexpected early menstrual pain and its attendant mood issues turned me a bit crazy (see above, RE: loaded term). I mean the word crazy, I felt crazy, untethered, unsure and unseated in my heart and mind. I didn’t have a context for my sudden lack of mood awareness. Not that that doesn’t happen at other times too, but usually it’s a less out of the blue bolt for me. Depression creeps on me like ivy growing, and after about a week I’ll go “Ah yeah. That’s what’s happening.”. I tend to get fewer “highs”, but they tend to “wind up” as well, and I usually get a chance to notice what’s happening by the time it’s ramped all the way up.
But this morning’s mood felt a bit like being in Gravity – all ties to my expected mood were cut. Worse, all feeling of connection with other humans was cut away from me. I felt like I was spinning, and angry, and sad, deserted, frustrated, loving, hating, irritated, overwhelmed, determined.Changing from one to another in rapid succession. And alone. Mostly alone and disconnected.
So, anyway, I guess I’ll see this place again next month. And if I haven’t learned to cope after 27 years, what’s the chance I’ll learn in the next four weeks?