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A Mixed Psychological State
I’ve been in states of depression again of late. I’ve been through this cycle enough times to know that my brain chemistry is messed up again, although I have cause to believe that my epilepsy has a hand in them as well. I feel somewhat hypomanic at the same time, but not that I really know what that feels like? Sometimes these two contrasting sensations happen along their own thread in time, and sometimes they happen all at once. As such, my (unhelpful) psychiatrist diagnosed it as a mixed state, and increased one of the medications I share for my epilepsy and mood.
These emotional turbulences aren’t only rough for me, but for my partner as well. He bears the brunt of it, seeing that I’ve isolated myself from much of the outside world. “What’s wrong?”, he’d ask. “Nothing”, I’d reply through frustrated tears. But that is the simple truth – nothing’s wrong. Or rather, nothing should be wrong.
Who Knows What it Could be?
None of my doctors have a clue either, and have been passing the baton around, though not in a cruel or intentional way. My rheumatologist thinks it might be a neurology problem, whilst my neurologist refers me to my psychiatrist, who suspects the root cause might be autoimmune in nature.
Whilst my neurologist doesn’t think that these symptoms have anything to do with my latest seizure, my partner noted that the behavioural changes began only after. (Read: So this is What a Seizure Feels Like) Combined with the new nerve tingling issues, sudden fatigue episodes, brain fog, random heart palpitations and whatnot, I have reason to believe that it’s all tied back to my brain and central nervous system. But as it goes, nobody really knows, as many of these symptoms are generic ones, or overlap with co-morbidities. All we’re doing each time something new arises, is to play a sick game of medication trial and error to try and control the symptoms.
Chronic Fatigue is a Bitch
Thinking in itself has become an arduous process. I’ve been having a hard time telling left from right, and numbers confuse me. I need a calculator to compute 2 + bloody 5. The fatigue comes in sudden waves, and blackjack me from behind. It isn’t the logical, linear equation of ‘minus energy = more fatigue’, more like, ‘whoa what just hit me. I’m flooded with fatigue, help!’
Now I Remember Why I Don’t Do Yoga…
I also went for a beginner’s yoga class a while back. I hadn’t been to one in years, and thought a few ‘light stretches’ and sweating it out would be good for a healthy push. But I remember why I stopped going to yoga after the class.
Besides the fundamental worry of missing the class due to the unpredictability of my illnesses, I returned home with bruises. I need to avoid contact sports as I’m on blood thinners for Antiphospholipid Syndrome, a blood clotting disorder. You’d think that yoga is an individual sport, but the pushing against, flipping around and whatnot is actually ‘contact’ in some sense. On top of that, I had forgotten about my nerve issues, so downward dog and the asanas that followed were actually painful.
An Escapee 🙁
One of our budgies, Sadie, escaped from her cage as well. She wouldn’t have much chance of survival out there, but you never know. She’s disabled and can’t fly due to a wing deformity, and had her toes bitten off before we got her. Whilst she isn’t tame or cuddly, I respected her the most out of all my birds. In some sense, I could relate to her the most due to her disabilities. She inspired me through her survival instincts and kickass attitude. Whilst the other birds would fly and land on high up places, she’d grab onto the curtain and pull herself all the way up to the top. I will miss her spirit that lit up the apartment.
A Very Important Reminder About Life
All this down time has made me realise something important, so perhaps it was worth it after all. It’s been a real struggle trying to get any work or blogging done, even though I’m not ‘busy’ per se. This has led to a stupid but vicious cycle of guilt, which has led to sleepless nights and unproductive days. I accomplish nothing despite all the hard work worrying, but it’s like an infinite loop that has crashed the system.
But one morning, I woke up and actually felt a little better. There wasn’t any special event, my mood has just been that erratic. I sat down, had my coffee, and then cranked out not just one, but two articles for work! It’s funny how I learn many lessons throughout my life, yet forget them so easily as well.
Saving My Energy for the Good Days
This little gift of a day has reminded me that it’s okay to let everything go on the bad ones without holding on to guilt. They don’t last forever, and I need to save my energy up for the good days. When one does come around, I can then execute my tasks at a higher quality, as opposed to going around in exhausting, unproductive circles.
When I’m unwell, whether physically or mentally, then I simply need to rest. I need to be gentle with myself and allow my body to just be. I need to be patient with the healing process, as this can only be beneficial in the long run, and is how better days are ushered in. Our bodies heal at its own pace, to a rhythm that must be respected. So go lay your head down, and rest up to your fullest. Because when that good day comes around, you’re going to be amazed at all that you can actually achieve, but only if you help your body to heal today, right now.
*Note: This article is for educational purposes and is based on my personal experiences. It is not to be substituted for medical advice. Please consult your own doctor before changing or adding any new treatment protocols.
Read More: Today is Not a Good Day to Make Decisions
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I can identify with you. While my pain and other physical issues are a thing, they really don’t stop me from going about my day (usually). However, brain fog, deep fatigue w/weakness seem to go hand in hand with this incredible sadness and sometimes anger. Those are the times when everything feels way too much and I just want to curl up and go to bed. Often I do. But, I’m now doing a lot of guided meditation during those times with breathing (and I’m still actually doing the SMILE experiment). I smile, sometimes half and sometimes big, especially when I’m totally feeling like #!#[email protected]$. I think it’s helping (all of that combined).
I do want to encourage you to look at yoga again. Doesn’t have to be what many think (the asanas of up and down, down dog chataranga, etc). Have you looked into chair yoga? I find the support of the chair allows me to stretch without straining and can feel so good. Also, restorative and Yin. I had (after many years of practice) had a certain idea of what yoga had to be, vigourous, muscle building, up down, striving to get to poses that were challenges, 45 to 60 minutes at a shot. Now, I’m learing I can do 5 minutes of windshield wiper hip openers in bed before I get out of bed, or sitting tall in a chair and twisting to one side then the next and doing cat cow by holding my knees. Doing a bit of yoga (meditation in movement) throghout the day is really helpful physically and emotionally.
I tried some taichi and maybe that might be interesting, too. But yes some sort of mindfulness exercise on a daily basis would greatly help my sort of personality I think. Often I just want to go go go :p I’m glad that yoga and mindfulness helps you to cope! xxx
I’ve just realised, I think more than any other emotion – guilt is one I feel the most. And when I read this post I’m reminded that I need to slowly learn to free myself of this emotion so that I can express myself more naturally – just like Sadie. We all sometimes need to grab on to the curtain and pull ourselves up and find pleasure in doing that. And sometimes, we need to find pleasure where we are – doing our thing, or nothing at all.
Lovely piece Sheryl (magically it brought out the philosopher in me!!) 😀
Yes guilt is such a big weight, isn’t it? Often it’s so unnecessary, too. Sadie was awesome. Disabled but powerful. She never gave up. I guess as an animal, you just try your best to survive without thinking 🙂
Haha…you are philosophical my friend, and beautifully so. I often stop to think when I read your posts and thoughts 🙂
My mood is always all over the place. Up one day and low low low the next. I never know what to think and just try to roll with it. If I’m super low, art helps. I can totally relate to wanting to use those good days to the fullest. I really have to watch myself and remember not to push too much. (Which is what I’m doing right now and that is why I’m ending my day on your lovely blog.)
Aww..thank you Carrie you’re always so encouraging and supportive 🙂 I hope you had a good rest. Yes it can be so difficult not to be ‘producing’, isn’t it? I get all fidgety! Sending lots of love your way!
No matter how often I tell myself to rest on bad days I often have that twinge of guilt so it is so helpful to keep reading others telling me to go lay my head down. So thank you Sheryl!
Haha…as we well know by now…I need to repeat this advice to myself the most :p Sending love!
This is the post I didn’t know I needed until I read it! Beautifully said, thank you Sheryl. I hope 2019 is a good one xx
Thank you, Pippa. I hope it helped you in some way 🙂 Have a good 2019, too! xx
Great post. Guilt is awful isn’t it but impossible to stop. Hope you start to feel brighter soon.
Thanks Jo! Yes, the silliest thing is that it’s often self-imposed as well 😉 Hope you have a bright year ahead, too!