Joys of rapid-cycling

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It’s been a while. I went on honeymoon and had a wonderful time, felt the sun on my skin, swam in the sea nearly everyday, reached a level of contentment with my body that I didn’t think I’d ever reach, learned about and connected with family. It will hopefully fill lots of posts in the future, posts I had half written in my head. But once we got back the PhD needed full attention and I was full of cold. I was well in my head though. I think the break had helped.


I have SAD. Generally Dec-March are my worst times, with my birthday (12th Feb) being the worst. I did get sad around the birthday, not as bad as many years for sure, but it was noticeable, the urge to crawl into a dark corner and cry. I could see all the good stuff in my life, all the ways things were looking up, I listed them even but the sadness seemed completely devoid of logic. I bounced back, credited the short, shallow, birthday blues to the benefit of  Caribbean sun. I got on with work, reconnected with my house and kitties, made plans for growing and brewing and cooking. It was good, felt like things were going up.


But then I crashed, out of nowhere, an experiment went wrong, I was having trouble with my health insurance and suddenly over the space of an hour I went from handling everything to being a mess. I left work in such a hurry I left my phone and I cried most of the way home. I didn’t know why, I couldn’t understand why the health insurance issue was triggering me so much and that I was suddenly unable to cope. I got home, took diazepam and went to bed, it was about 1 or 2 in the afternoon, I didn’t leave bed, I slept, woke up, was still completely broken so had more diazepam. I refused to eat or drink, I couldn’t talk to anyone, I couldn’t even make eye contact. Sam was, as he is most times, very good with me. He kept bringing me tea despite my refusals and left dinner on the bed with me.


In this instance I was eventually able to do some work on the PhD and drank the cold tea and cold dinner. The next day I went to work, I communicated. I spent the weekend doing things in the house, doing PhD work, doing things in the garden and cooking. I bounced had really bounced back, waking up early, really focusing on the PhD, it was like my brain had finally turned on. I mowed the lawn, weeded beds, I was just doing. I was also scouring the net for things I could possibly buy. That was my first warning sign, even though I brushed it off, that I wanted to spend. When I get manic I buy things I don’t need. But it was ok, it was useful. My second sign, and the one that caught my attention, was lying in bed in the dark at 2am drumming my fingers on the bed as I was waiting to sleep. I couldn’t stop moving, and I realised I hadn’t been able to for a while. I had 3 or 4 days of 4 or 5 hours of fitful sleeps, I was more active at work, more sociable, I was planning all the activities I could possible do, lining up different exercises, all the things I could do in the garden, in the house, everywhere. And with all of these things there was urgency, the wheels needed to get in to motion now. I was moving around a lot at work too.


And then I realised, I’m cycling, I’m in for a period of being high and manic, reckless and embarrassing myself, followed by being crippled with depression, unable to socialise and just cry. Rinse and repeat. Even as I write this post I can feel how scattered it is. I was exhausted just thinking about riding that rollercoaster again. But we were still on the high so on we went, gotta keep going, gotta keep doing. Home from successful day of experiments and it is still light? Go outside, do stuff with plants, lift paving slabs and move broken concrete. Back starting to give way from that? Go do the dishes and start cooking dinner, lament that the washing machine is in use so you can’t do a load. Too dark to go outside, write PhD. What do you mean I need to stop, I’m still good.


Today I am alone, the last 5 days of going at that pace have taken their toll. Hubby is away overnight for work and housemate is away for crufts. I feel lonely. I’ve been to work, done PhD work, cooked, done some cleaning and now I’m too tired for any more work using the brain but the adrenaline is pumping. I know I need to sleep so I have told myself no laundry, no reorganising or cupboards and definitely no going out into the garden to do work in the dark. My eyes are too tired to read much but I want to run and jump. I need to be doing  something. I know this will lead to bad. I will get tired and become an emotional wreak. I already had a bad turn last night when I struggled with my database and the health insurance came up again. I guess I figured if I needed to do something then coming here and finally updating might be the most productive I could be. I set this journal up to share about my life, Dans the crazy cat lady who is trying to do a PhD and connect with the land. The crazy bit of that is reflective of mental ill-health. I don’t want this place to be depressing, or a pity party. This is my first instance of my rapid cycling that I have been concious of since I started this blog, and as rapid cycling is a less common form of bipolar I thought it good to share it whilst in it. Right I think that is it for me. No lovely pictures today, but I will leave you with a comics that relates to me and a really good article that I stumbled across today.



2 thoughts on “Joys of rapid-cycling

    kelitomlin said:
    March 6, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Really interesting to hear you describe that cycle from the inside. It takes a certain strength and clarity to be able to recognise it as it’s happening to you; a positive sign I would say.
    Hope you find something kind that can help you ride the rollercoaster a little easier; or perhaps help you step off for a while and look at the sky.


      danscrazycatlady responded:
      March 10, 2014 at 11:22 am

      Thanks hun. Glad it was useful to someone. The CBT really helped me to recognise trends and thought cycles. Still learning how to deal with them, but recognising them really helped to lessen the despair.
      Not sure about managing to step off the rollercoaster but learning to accept the fact that I am on it and work with my situation.


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