Last Monday, I had another depressive episode, triggered again by Z. She didn't do anything in particular, but it was she--or should I say, thoughts of her--that triggered my depression. Of course, this is another cognitive distortion, but once again, I got affected by her. I also fell from our bunk bed (I occupy the top part) and got a bruise on my arm; I literally ran to catch a taxi on my way to my job interview; and I couldn't tell how my job interview went. It was, indeed, a series of mishaps.
Last Tuesday's events didn't help either. There was an event that PM attended. I found out the Z was also there. I hate it when I am not there with PM when she is, so I cried a lot last Tuesday. I was so upset. I was already having PMS, and all these piled on top of that. It was too much for me to handle.
But thankfully, after a few hours and after talking to PM and a few of my friends, I felt better. In fact, I felt great. It was as if someone flipped a switch and voila! Everything was right again in the world. I was even able to finish the fifth chapter of the novel I am working on.
That's the thing with me. I tend to linger more in my depressed state, but when I feel great, I have a lot of energy. It's not necessarily physical energy, but more of mental energy. My mind is in overdrive. I am able to suddenly come up with ideas. Most of these are ideas for creative pursuits, like for a novel, a blog post, a poem, or even a song. In fact, over the weekend, I started writing a song.
Some people who have manic episodes do things that are out of control. They go on shopping sprees and max out their credit cards all in one day, or think they are gods or goddesses, or engage in dangerous behavior like driving with rage. I haven't done these things nor have I experienced being in this kind of high, but I also watch out for these symptoms. Taking 300mg of antipsychotic (Quetiapine) probably keeps me from having these kinds of episodes.
Given all these, I can say that I come in and out of a depressive episode. It's always a seesaw of feeling great and of being down and upset. These emotions dance with each other, and they alternate in taking the lead. My homework is to identify when an episode is imminent (especially if it is a depressive episode) and take precautionary measures. When I feel down, I listen to upbeat music to help lift my mood. I always listen to music when I walk outside, and I make sure that the songs I am listening to are happy and energetic. I don't have sad or emo songs in my phone. Those will just pull me down.
So that's the thing with shifting moods and having depressive episodes. I need to recognize that I am having an episode. I need to identify what cognitive distortion I am having at that moment, so I will not blame myself for things I cannot control. This is easier said than done. As my friend Dr. T always tells me, I should be patient with myself. These things come and go, and patterns of thinking aren't changed overnight. I am a work in progress.
I have seen some improvements in my mood and in myself in the past few months. But because of what happened last Monday and Tuesday, I now feel that those improvements have been canceled out. Again, as my friend Dr. T always tells me, if I fall down, I should forgive myself, then stand up and try again. Forgiving myself is, I guess, the key to being able to stand again. Self-blame won't get my anywhere.
I'm looking forward to my session this Friday. I always look forward to my sessions. It will be another hour of sharing and learning how to deal with my moods and emotions. Hopefully, I will exit her clinic calm and collected and not a disaster.