I’ve debated writing this all weekend, but I have come to the realisation that I would be a hopeless advocate of mental health transparency if I hide aspects of what having mental illness entails in my life.
In the days running up to crisis day I’d been scoring 8s and 9s on the mood tracker app. Thankfully I had diazepam and zopiclone at home, so I was managing it reasonably well (note to self – speak to pdoc about an alternative to the less-than-effective Valium). It was unpleasant, uncomfortable and on Friday it became uncontrollable.
I should mention also that I’ve been having hours unaccounted for, which is pretty scary in itself. It is mostly down to needing to use zopiclone during the day to bring the edge off the high mood; it can cause retrograde amnesia if you don’t sleep after taking it.
On Friday I hurt myself. I don’t entirely recall why, or what the motivation was; the first I was aware of it was when I knew I needed to call 111 for some help. I’d not taken a zopiclone that morning, but had had a few mg of diazepam. The lovely person on the other end of the line called a paramedic car for me and off we went to the hospital.
I have just realised I’m writing this like a newspaper report, and that’s not the point of my blog. I want to be clear over the emotional rollercoaster I’ve been on for the last couple of weeks. It has been awful, mentally draining, even physically draining and yet I have been restless nonetheless. My mind has not caught a break, and what’s awful about it is that a break from thinking is exactly what I need.
What is awful is that I don’t understand the reason behind hurting myself. Normally I ‘ride the urge’ for a while; I resist and resist until the need passes and I’m quite good at turning to healthy coping strategies such as mindfulness practice and mindless television. I’ve not been that manic since I first for unwell, and I thought I was over it – I guess having had such a long period of only having mixed or hypomanic moods made me forget how dangerous a true manic mood can be.
I’m speaking to my CPN tomorrow and hoping that she’ll have some bright ideas for managing this; although I’m also hopeful that the crest of the wave has broken. I am planning to be back to work on Tuesday too. Fingers crossed!