Into the rabbit-hole

Well … here goes ….

My first leap into the world of super-cyberdom.

I’ve dallied with the idea of starting a blog for a long time, but like many of my other aspirations of writing in some form or another, I have never managed to follow it through to fruition. I don’t even know how long this current enthusiasm will last or how far I will get, but the fact that I have now published this post is an immense  first step for me.

It was recently suggested by a psychiatric consultant that I have Cyclothymia – a much over-looked and summarily dismissed stepchild of Bipolar Disorder.  I use the term “suggested”  for two reasons: Firstly, the discussion with the consultant lasted approximately fifty-five minutes, hardly time to offer a full synopsis of my adventure-filled life, let alone put it in a labelled nutshell. And secondly, I’m now 47 years old, and for the last twenty-five years I have been “diagnosed” with a variety of ailments including, but not limited to:  Depression,  Anxiety,  Panic Attacks,  Nervous Asthma,  OCD,  Obsessional Slowness (that’s always an interesting one to try and explain to people),  Bulimia,  Atypical Migraines (sometimes, so “a-typical”, I don’t even get a headache!),  Labyrinthitis,  and for a brief minute, I was having MRI scans to rule out the possibility of MS.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t disagree with the consultant’s suggestion. In fact, the more I read about the bipolar spectrum, the more it makes sense that I should be inducted into it. I have been keeping a daily mood diary since October last year, and it’s quite scary how obvious my mood swings are. Until now, I had never really observed the emotional roller coaster in such a holistic way.

Instead, I would only seek medical help if any one of the problems became too difficult to deal with in isolation. If I found myself crying a lot and considering which vehicle I could walk in front of without making too much mess, I would run to the doctor, and they would diagnose me with Depression and put me on Prozac, or Sertraline, or whatever the anti-depressant of the day happened to be. If I was unable to sleep and freaking out at minor issues, I would run to the doctor and they would diagnose me with Anxiety and give me sedatives to help me calm down. And there would be similar routines when the continual stonking headaches just wouldn’t let up, or when I started sticking my fingers down my throat to purge the evil garden salad.

In fairness to the medical professionals, it would have been almost impossible to recognise the individual symptoms as pieces of a larger picture unless I had made the connections myself.  I was bouncing around the world for most of my 20s and 30s, and rarely stayed in one place long enough to see any doctor more than once.

The bottom line is that it now has been recognised, and I am finally embarking on a journey to address the problem as a whole. I have an appointment next week to begin “treatment” in whatever form that may be, and for the last few weeks I have been detoxing off the 60mg daily doses of Fluoxetine (Prozac) I had been taking religiously for the last two or three years.

I had heard that writing a journal could be a therapeutic exercise, and for weeks I have been determined to start writing. But I have one of those brains that refuses to allow me to just go for it. Everything has to be correct, and perfect, and feel just right for me to actually accomplish anything. I looked around my house this past weekend and found no less than fourteen notebooks and journals in various places, all with the beginnings of what could have become masterpieces in their own right (and in my own head). But not one of them made it past the second page of writing!  Similarly, on my laptop I found eleven saved files with the title “Journal” or “My Story” or something close to that. The longest, according to the word count button has 427 words; the shortest has 2… (well, one and a half actually, because I didn’t get past the second letter of the second word).  Darn technology! If only there hadn’t been so many fonts to choose from, and so many sizes, and so many gadgets to play with, I might have stood a chance of actually typing something!

Anyway, maybe it’s the reduction in Prozac (I’m down to 20mg), or the fact that I’ve been forcing myself to exercise, or possibly the break I’m taking from work at the moment, or maybe I’m just a little hypomanic …. but my brain is allowing me to write this blog!  And while it does, I’ve great aspirations of looking into the Wonderland that has been my life so far, and as it moves forward from here … and I might even add some pictures while I’m at it.

How many words is that?  Good grief … 828!!

Welcome to the ride …

© Alice through the Macro Lens [2012]

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