Why hello there, friend(s).
I know - I've been in and out for the past couple of months. On a good week I manage two posts. On bad weeks I managed...maybe one. My visiting habits dwindled to almost nothing - and I felt badly about this. Really badly. Of course, then I became overwhelmed with how much I have missed with you and that I will never catch up and that led to anxiety attacks...well you kind of get the idea.
You may have called. You may have emailed or even sent a letter. I most likely didn't respond, as I rarely answer my phone and have been known to even avoid my email so as to not have to interact with other humans. It wasn't you - and I say that in an authentic manner. I'm not trying to break up with you in a nice restaurant, or the college dining hall ( as an aside, was it Only at UVM that a majority of breakups occurred at the Dining Hall? It became a sport - Spot the pissed off dumped partner...)
But I digress. Which is what I do often. But you knew that.
I guess what I wanted to say is that I know you've been watching - even if you haven't commented. I know you all check in with me - make sure nothing major seems to be going down, as I maneuver in my holding pattern with life.
I am, on the whole, WAY better. The manic episodes have not recurred since I ditched the Wellbutrin, and I can say with certainty that this particular medication was NOT for me. I am one of those minuscule percents who have a very definite and strong reaction to it, as it nearly immediately sends me into a full fledged mania.
Of course, the root issue was the move. The root issue was my giving up my identity professionally. The root issue was my sense of my loss of freedom financially and loss of status. This set the stage for much bigger demons to make their debut. And I found they not only debuted, but they kicked the asses of every other player on the stage until they were allowed to rampage around alone - pulling down the velvet drapes and setting them on fire.
OF course, I am less afraid of my crazy since my postpartum depression. Every episode that I manage without planning to kill my child seems a step up from the darkest days of that depression. No, this last one was targeting me, and me alone. There were things you all didn't know - the episode where I hadn't eaten for at least three days, and ended up with strep throat, crying hysterically in the doctors office, thinking I was dying. Terrance was away and without him to watch me - telling me to eat, I simply failed to eat. Or drink much of anything. This was confounded by my throat closing up with the infection and becoming dehydrated. I lay on the table, sobbing, embarrassed, trying to explain that I was at the tail end of a manic episode, and sure that they were going to stick me in some kind of institution. The "special" doctor came to assess me - taking down all the names of the therapists treating me.
There are other things that I am not sure I will ever be able to talk about. Who knows. Maybe someday.
The good thing that I learned is that I am creative and able to keep my professional life on a somewhat even keel - getting A's in all 4 courses I took during this year, while being gripped by an ungodly writers block. I wish that on no one, for when my desire to write dried up - my lack of stories - the discontinuation of the running commentary that narrates my life inside my head - that is when I knew something very dark was happening.
I have learned that depression is not something that one "gets over" - like the strep throat. It is something that I manage. It is something that sometimes overtakes me and kicks the everlovin' shit out of me. I both hate it, and have learned to be fond of it in a way I never expected. I learn a vast amount about myself in retrospect - regardless of the fact that I may be hiding my head under the quilt the whole time and insisting that everyone go away.
I can't promise that I will suddenly re-appear on your blogs - although it is one of my goals to start reading again faithfully. Not out of obligation, but because I ENJOYED it, them, you. I can't promise much of anything except that I am working to get myself back in balance, and that I am almost there. I am laughing again. I have made some peace with my husband. I am a mother to my daughter. My writing is becoming smoother and feels less forced to the Dawn inside my head.
I am sweeping away the ashes of the velvet drapes. I am tidying up the stage for the next performance. I think you'll like the next incarnation - at least I hope you will.