Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Tanka Splendor: Vernal Equinox

vernal equinox
fifty-fifth year of my life
will I find some peace
or will the dark curtain fall
as it tends to do in spring?


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I was not correctly diagnosed with type 2 bipolar disorder until I was nearly 40 years old. I was diagnosed with "depression and anxiety." I have both of those, but I have bipolar disorder rather than unipolar depression as my son has. My restlessness was sometimes blamed on ADD, which I have as well, but the restlessness becomes magnified in a hypomanic state.

My baseline mood is moderately depressed. Some of my depression is situational. Living in poverty is very stressful. I try to ameliorate the way I feel about it by the fact that I keep trying, but sometimes I feel like all my trying adds up to one big ole heapin' helpin' of horse manure and I become despondent. 

I live with suicide ideation. I think about offing myself a lot. Ideation is not the same as planning. My planning levels tend to be low regardless of how strong the ideation levels are. Generally speaking, I'm probably too much of an asshole to commit suicide because then I wouldn't be able to piss people off by existing in a corporeal fashion in their presence. But sometimes not having to struggle sure sounds like a winner.

I have experienced spring depression almost every year of my life since I hit puberty. My puberty was somewhat precocious and started coming on when I was nine years old. Thinking back on things, the first time I can remember seeing a strong manifestation that could have been identified as bipolar 2 was on my tenth birthday. 

Bipolar 2 can be sneaky since it presents with hypomania rather than full mania. Hypomania is like "mania lite." However, it can be just as destructive. I've learned to recognize the magical thinking that comes with the condition and to try not to act on my impulses during periods of hypomania. By magical thinking, I don't mean believing in fairies or even believing something potentially fatal like thinking I could get up on a roof and float down. Hypomania does not create that sort of delusion. (The delusion that jumping off a roof is a good idea. I like to hope that believing in fairies is not a delusion.) It does create the sort of delusion that I should buy into an MLM program for a thousand dollars and will make a butt-ton of money and be able to live happily ever after. I don't have the focus to be successful at such a thing, even if it is one of the few programs that is legit.

By the way, Watkins is not that sort of program. It is legit, and the "buy-in" for a year is only $30. I'm only saying this because the -666 of you who follow my blogs might be saying "oh, Cie, have you done this again with this Watkins thing?" No, I actually only signed up for Watkins to get discounts on my own merchandise but after reviewing the material felt good about recommending it to others.

I am trying to learn to forgive myself for sometimes really awful and personally destructive past decisions and to stop belittling myself for having a brain that works differently than the brains of the sort of people who tend to be held up as examples. Nobody will ever say: "why can't you be more like that ornery old hag cie? I mean, she's simply all over the place, and she's easily distracted except when she's laser-focused on one of her ruinous plans? Now there's someone you can look up to!"

I will be fifty-five in a month and a day from this writing unless I go tits up in the meantime. I have no hope that "this will be my year" as I always told myself on birthdays in the past and was inevitably disappointed. This will be a year. There will be no significant shifts. I will remain me and the world will wag on.

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