…you figure something out, that should have probably been immediately apparent for years – decades, even – but it finally clicks? Had that today. Was reading yet another book plucked at semi-random from the workplace piles, and found myself going “Huh. Yeah. Unhunh. Gee, sounds familiar.” at pretty much every checkbox in the handy, 40 page long list of symptoms in the beginning of the book.
The book is The Bipolar Child.
Now, everyone knows I have depressive phases. Sometimes long ones, especially in the summer. (Speaking of which, sorry for lack of content and updates regarding the things most of you are probably actually clicking here for; when the temperature creeps above 80 on a regular basis, I can’t function. At all. Hopefully that peters out soon, and there are signs of impending creative mania descending, alongside the lowered temperatures.) It’s almost clockwork, and a peek at the site stats here (or any of my social media, or the dates on my manuscripts, video projects and programming files) says that I go nuts between September and March every year, slow down April through May, and pretty much don’t touch anything from June through August. That pattern goes back at least 10 years (as far back as I have access to files that possess timestamps, anyway.) Probably much, much longer. That’s no surprise. Of course, several of the nodules in my little brain that are supposed to make happy sauce just don’t; I run on about 25% of the serotonin most “normal” people do, according to the last round of medical tests on that subject, and due to my wonderfully whimsical immune system, there isn’t much to be done about it.
Of course, none of the shrinks or doctors ever were doing their little tests in the winter time. Why would they? I feel fine, then. Nobody’s shoving me off to a doctor’s office, and I sure as hell am not taking myself – why would I? There’s stuff to do! I am motivated! I feel great! No need for doctors, here! – so I have to wonder what the bloodwork would say, then. Or a shrink.
Chalk up a big ol’ “Duh” if you realized faster than I did that such is manic-depression in full glory. With an extremely slow cycle, to be sure, and practically the inverse of typical seasonal affective disorder (which was ruled out with previous health care professionals, because I feel like shit in sunny, calm weather, while give me a six hour thunderstorm and 30 degree weather and I have enough energy to write twenty pages of manuscript, six blog posts, create two levels for a game project, solo every classic raid, plow an entire squad of cheerleaders and still run a marathon. “That’s not S.A.D.,” they say, “because he’s fine in the ‘down’ times!”
Anyway. Back to the subject at hand. Reading the book, I’m sitting there going “Yes,” to practically every single indicator of the issue, ranging from “excessively temperature sensitive,” “difficulty sleeping for more than four or five hours,” and “extreme craving/addiction to carbohydrates and sugars” to “irrational rage at things like clothing tags, improperly weighted backpacks, or unfamiliar textures.” Of the roughly 200 “warning signs,” I can verifiably state I flagged on 170 of them. The other thirty, there were only 5 definite “nos.” The rest are “not anymore” or “can’t remember, but maybe.”
I’m personally against using injuries, disorders – real or imaginary – or defects as excuses for things. You have shit to do, go do it. I may feel like crap, be totally unmotivated, and walk around blind in one eye, nauseous and with a splitting headache for three months, but I still get up, go to work, cook dinner for the pet artist and the roommates, ensure the coyote is walked and fed, continue to try to get the vehicle into something resembling running order and the like. I take care of the basics. My creative projects, the “side” stuff that isn’t paying bills or ensuring someone else who’s depending on me’s needs are met, that isn’t required to remain among the living, that’s the stuff that suffers. Ironically, that’s the stuff that’s probably actually important, and would help with regulating the mood swings or getting out of the rut (or one day putting me somewhere where such a rut is less noticeable due to lack of temperature fluctuation, among other things.) But c’est la vie.
I have to wonder if someone had figured this out earlier, if things would be different. But that may just be the moodiness talking. And of course there’s the hurdle of “drugs no workie, kay?” that says there isn’t really a whole lot I can do about it. (Plus, my insurance sucks. Costs me $200 a month, and if I want my asthma aspirator refilled, it’s $150 for the “rescue” inhaler and $200 for the regular-use steroids. I shudder to think what they’d want for some of the pills out there.) Though it’s possible “drugs no workie” because they were trying to treat the wrong thing. Can’t deal with the serotonin issue if it’s not actually the issue, right? Better get Dr. House on this, stat.
Anyway. Just rambling and being moody. Hopefully I’ll have something more creative or interesting put together shortly.