I started this blog with the intention to share my experiences of living with cyclothymia, and some of the things I’ve learnt to make life a bit easier. I’ve had a great response to some of the posts I’ve put up so far which has been really gratifying, and I’m working on a cyclothymia FAQ based on search results that are bringing people here (and please feel free to submit your own questions – and answers if you want – in the comments and I’ll include those too). The flip side, however, is that this aim has become self-silencing.
I don’t have all the answers – I struggle with cyclothymia from month to month but also, sometimes, from day to day. If I can’t tie up an experience with a “and this is what I’ve learned” I’ve become disinclined to blog about it. I’m also reluctant to admit that dealing with cyclothymia is not an up and up process. There are as many steps backward as there are forward ones. Things go wrong. I fuck up.
I’ve been through more than a month of near constant cycling; straight into a high after every low, no respite, no calm. My highs have been anxious nightmares, my lows have been crushing, numbing, long. I spent 12 days sleeping for no more than 6 broken hours a night. I argued with friends and family and ran away to the other side of the country for 3 days. I’m self harming occasionally. I’m failing miserably at maintaining any kind of schedule, getting work done, or socialising. My occasional honest tweets or conversations where I reveal how I’m feeling are causing friends to become concerned for my well-being which in turn causes me to fall into a guilt spiral of self recrimination and self loathing.
I’ve idly considered going to my GP and asking for a referral to a psychiatrist to discuss medication options but then I remember how many medications I’ve tried over the years, the total disregard for my wishes last time I tried to tackle cyclothymia with meds (“oh you have horrible side effects on a mind-blowingly high dose? Tough luck. And no, we can’t discuss other options. I’ve met you twice now so I’m discharging you back to your GP. No, I still don’t care you’re not happy with this treatment”), and the massive amount of ambivalence out there in medical-knowledge-psychiatry world about whether treating cyclothymia with meds is ever a good plan.
So here it is; cyclothymia really bites. It’s biting really hard right now. It’s sunk it’s teeth in these last few weeks and I can’t shake loose. And I’m not managing to always win, or even sustain my small gains in some places. It’s not an easy road. And more than once this week I’ve wished for a new brain.
That’s how it is.