Low, Low, Low
In the past I’ve written a bit about my bipolar disorder, though I’m not sure I set the posts in question to be viewable (I’ll have to check on that; some of them should be) during the recent Great Blog Reboot.
Anyway, I’ve spent the past year trying to learn to understand not only the particulars of bipolar disorder in general (of which, as a student of psychology with a strong interest in neuroscience and abnormal psych, I had a fairly keen grasp already), but of my bipolar in particular.
Like, what factors influence my mood shifts? Do they follow any particular pattern? Can I influence them? Can I detect their approach?
For the past several weeks, I’ve been on a pleasant, mild upswing — the kind that I wouldn’t mind having more often; the kind that makes one more creative and productive without making one too wildly unpredictable, irresponsible, or out of control. There were a couple of odd perceptual blips, but beyond that, it’s been like riding along on an elevated express train with a great view.
Now, it feels like the train is slowing down — and like it’s preparing to dive into the network of subterranean tunnels that it occupies when I’m depressed. And, honestly, because my perceptions of my own mood are poor, that probably means it’s already in the tunnels, though not in the deep tunnels yet. We’ll belabor the analogy and say that these are the L1 tunnels, which still have light wells from the surface every now and then.
To further explain, I’m in the state that I usually pass off as “just tired” — ran out of steam last night much earlier than I expected to, fell asleep earlier than usual, woke up this morning feeling groggy and bedraggled instead of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I wasn’t ready to take on the world, didn’t want to go to school, and felt daunted by the very idea of ballet class. At this particular moment, I still do.
Too bad, depression. I’m going anyway.
In fact, I’m hoping that going to class tonight will help head this thing off at the pass, as it were. For whatever reason, ballet seems to work miracles in that regard (for me). When I make it to class at least three days a week, my keel stays much more even (Egads! From train analogies to boat analogies? Enough, already!)
We’ll see how this all works. The days are growing shorter, now, and waking up with the sun at a low angle (or, worse, in full darkness in the winter) is tough for me. I might try bringing the light therapy box online a couple of mornings each week and see if that helps.
Anyway, that’s it for now. I hope to resume my usual run of class notes, such as they are, this evening.