Ten Things I Hate About You (No, Not YOU)!

12 Oct 2021
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If you are reading this, then I don’t hate you; it’s the depressive part of my bipolar cycle I’m addressing.

At 10.27am last Thursday, 7th October – yes, it’s that exact, I flipped into a low. I generally get two a year, in the Spring and in the Autumn, although I never know exactly when they will turn up. Last year it was 4th December, this year, 7th October.

I decided to list the things about this part of the cycle that are frustrating, annoying and just plain inconvenient. It doesn’t feel like “depression,” just some physical malaise I must get through but it’s bad enough. You might be experiencing some of these symptoms too and, if so, at least you know you are not alone.

1. “Jelly legs.” I have no idea what flavour jelly; it’s probably lime, and it was possibly once in one of those rabbit moulds I used to hate as a child. At every party there would be jelly and ice cream, and the jelly would always be in the shape of a rabbit, all quivering, vulnerable and pathetic. I have never liked jelly since. Now my knees have been replaced by that jelly. When you need to concentrate just to walk it’s - disconcerting.

2. Loss of balance. This morning, walking to the letter box to post a birthday card for my niece, I found myself spreading my arms like a child playing “aeroplanes.” I felt embarrassed and humiliated. I’m clumsy and knock into things. Getting up from a seated position carries a risk of falling over.

3. The unreliable world. Reality is unstable; it shifts and shimmers like a mirage. So far, thank goodness, it has not retreated to a grey smudge on the far horizon, but my connection to it is loose. I’m an astronaut on a space walk and fear the line that ties me to the spaceship will snap, leaving me floating off into outer space to drift for eternity.

4. The hallucinations. When these happen, I have every sympathy with Alice in Wonderland. Performing even simple tasks is tricky when your arms are six feet long. It’s scary when the ticks escape from the clock, swell to enormous size and come after you with snapping teeth. As one of my friends joked, “Well, you never need to take mind-altering drugs, do you? Your brain does it for you without chemical assistance!” Yes, thank you brain; I never wanted to take drugs anyway.

5. I’ve mentioned my speech centres before. I know the words, but they won’t come out. Consonants are the worst. Even the cat looked at me strangely when I fed him his b..b..b..breakfast this morning!

6. The fatigue! I can only schedule one thing a day, and then I must rest. Today’s important job is writing this blog. There are lots of other tasks on the list, but they probably won’t get done.

7. My “colander brain.” I can’t remember things. As I wrote this line, I received a text from a client thanking me in advance for something I promised to do for her not an hour ago: I had forgotten all about it. When I come out of this stage, I will have no idea of all the things that happened in this time. I try to write everything down but often I forget to do even that.

8. This is probably obvious. I can’t work. This has financial implications but also affects my reputation for consistently high customer service. There are no acceptable words to describe my frustration and misery over this.

9. Fear of People. I’m sorry but I can’t meet with you. If you are a very close friend who understands, then a phone call or Zoom might be okay, but I can only be with my family in these times. I’m sorry – just so sorry. I wish it could be otherwise. Please, just hold my hand in an email, message or text. Don’t let me go; don’t forget about me. Please?

10. Again, obvious: I hate the worry and concern this inflicts on my family and friends. Last night my elder daughter asked if she should come back from university to care for me. No, of course not: I will be fine. It’s upsetting that she should even ask.

11. Yes, a bonus hate. Anhedonia. I’ll save you the task of looking it up: it means the inability to feel pleasure. It’s that blank “Meh…” when you think about the things that normally bring you joy.

All this will pass; I know it will. It’s easier if I accept it and don’t waste valuable energy on hating it. Just writing it all down seems to make things feel a bit better.

If you are going through a tough time yourself, then write everything down. Why not share them in the comments here? At least you know we all understand.

Mary

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

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Comments

Ginny

Oct. 13, 2021, 5:57 a.m.

Thank you Mary. I can relate to all of this and I hope you come out of this soon. I have a specific situation which has been getting me down, but I have had periods of happiness during this time. Our youngest son, he is 37, has gone missing in Portugal and I know we won't see him again. He was working in Holland just before the lockdown and got stuck there Because he was doing a mind numbing job he started reading books. The main one was Brave New World but also other dystopian novels and lots of other books. Hid mental health suffered and his brain got saturated with all of it. He believed it to be true and that it was the future. He would not accept his mental health was going down and down, we had previously got on really well but he has had some awful things happen to him over the last few years, a relationship that went very wrong and other pressures. We live in the UK. He met a Swedish girl and he bought a place for them in Sweden. He had a career as an aircraft engineer and travelled all over the world. He felt as if he had been controlled all his life and had no say in it. He got paranoid and lost touch with reality. He didn't know himself and didn't know what was real or not. Classic signs of a mental illness and I could see furher signs he has bipolar but far worse than I ever had. He didnt want our help and thought everyone was lying to him. Persecution complex? So he decided he wanted done peace and has always like being outdoors and growing things and building things. He went to Portugal a couple of weeks ago to look at some land to buy. He had 'met' a man on the internet who said he had some to sell and he wouldn't need any money to live there. We knew it was nof possible. He went back to get his things from Holland. He has been really horrible to us and his brother who have been hanging on trying to help him. He had lost all his money on excessive spending. We and his brother gave him the money to buy the land and we accepted we wouldn't see it again. Things just got worse and worse with the journey and we tried desperately to keep him positive, only to be dashed by his comments. He just had enough money to go on a train, a taxi then hitch hiking the rest of the way. Internet connection is sporadic and we haven't had contact with him since yesterday afternoon. It is like he has died, and the state he was in must have been awful. He said we wouldn't recognise him if we saw him and he made sure we hadn't had face tine contact for a long time. He had hardly any of his possessions left, apart from a book he had read before abouf the future. If he had been happy and jusr didn't want to contact us, it would have been as ok as it could have been as ok as it could be, if he had gone missing and had been found dead, that would have been awful, but this?! We are just hoping he will contact us again and have to cling on to hope but it looks unlikely. My bipolar has been all over the place. I have had some help from the mental health services and my doctor. I had to persevere with getting help from the mental health services as they are very thin on the ground and said I should get an appointment with a doctor. I pushed for a phone appointment yesterday, they did treat it as urgent from the notes that had been passed through. The doctor phoned and asked how he could help me. I broke down, my husband took over for a while then I said I don't think you can and put the phone down. I got a message from the surgery asking if I wanted a call back and I said yes. The doctor said he had now read the notes and was very helpful and understanding. I judt couldn't go through telling him all over it again. This is the worsf ever thing my husband and I have gone through, and at the moment I can't see the future, but I know strength will come and with support from my family and friends and through here. If you have got to the end of this, I know there is nothing anyone can say, buf if has helped a bit writing it all down. Thank you

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Oct. 13, 2021, 6:05 a.m.

Oh Ginny, I am so sorry to read of your troubles. Being so worried about your son and having that worry persist like an open wound is a terrible thing to endure. Thank you for trusting us enough to share it. I am sending gentle hugs to you. Please lean on your friends and family and, if medication can help, take the pills to help you cope. I am glad writing it all down has brought a little relief.

Ginny

Oct. 13, 2021, 8:22 a.m.

Thank you Mary. The doctor has prescribed some medication

Mary Wednesday

Oct. 13, 2021, 8:37 a.m.

I am glad and hope it helps.

Little Black Cat

Oct. 13, 2021, 8:48 a.m.

Ginny, I too have lived through not knowing if they will still be here when I returned. It's 4 years ago when my child's world fell apart and they removed themselves from the world, because they were only 16 this was their bedroom, there were times when they barricaded themselves in. They did receive great counselling for several months which gave them just enough support to carry on. There were very dark days that I try to forget but the pain of the memories make me feel sick to the pit of my stomach. So 4 years on, they are an unstable happy and in their final year at University, they talk about going to China and other far off places where the regimes are different from our own. I try to enjoy every good contact I have with them but each time they contact me the first thought I have is how low and odd are they going to be this time then breathe a sigh of relief when they are ok. I believe they won't be able to cope at some point and I will loose them, that's why each positive contact is a gift but I'm also trying to strengthen myself for the day when I can no longer see them. I feel your pain and live with it too. In the early days just stepping outside the door to listen to the birds was the most uplifting thing I could manage. Later on counselling helped me also just being around friendly people absorbing their joy. The full horror was only realised by husband, myself and the child going through it (I suspect theirs was a hundred times worse), even their sibling never appreciated quite how bad things had got. Somehow sharing the problem just didn't feel right and I couldn't have coped with people keep asking how things were, people love to gossip. Keep strong, try to find joy and remember to love those that are around you because they too are feeling lost. Across Moodscope I am sending you every ounce of love and support I can x

Mary Wednesday

Oct. 13, 2021, 9:20 a.m.

Little Black Cat, there are no words. I am so very sorry for the pain, anguish and anxiety you are experiencing. I hope the birds sing for you today.

Little Black Cat

Oct. 13, 2021, 12:08 p.m.

Thank you Mary. It's a beautiful autumn day, sun shining and birds singing. Today I can appreciate life. I wish the same for you, may your low be shallow and short lived x

Ruth

Oct. 13, 2021, 6:48 a.m.

A lot of these make sense. I will look out for them. Here for you and praying for you. XX

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Oct. 13, 2021, 7:27 a.m.

Thank you, Ruth. Your support means so much.

Sally

Oct. 13, 2021, 7:22 a.m.

Oh no! So sorry, Mary. I am resurfacing after my August -September low, and I really do not envy you. I recognise a number of those symptoms, top of which for me is guilt that I’m so useless! Not helping. A great deal of patience, primarily with yourself, is required. Bookclub tonight. At LAST I can face people again! Sending big virtual hugs to you.

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Oct. 13, 2021, 7:32 a.m.

Oh Sally - it's so good to be among people who understand. The guilt is one of the worst things.

Ginny

Oct. 13, 2021, 8:24 a.m.

Yes I suffer from guilt that I am useless too. Mary has given us some ideas and we have to keep thinking of things we are good at rather than things we are not

Sally

Oct. 13, 2021, 1:08 p.m.

It’s when in a dip that I feel useless, Ginny. Now I’m fine again...long may it last!

Valerie

Oct. 13, 2021, 7:39 a.m.

Hello Mary,I can certainly relate to the loss of balance,fatigue,fear of any contact with people.I also have self-reproach when I know so many people who have "real" illness.I become paranoid,is someone being "off" with me,what did that look/comment really mean? A missed call,why could they not leave a message,is it because something has happened that is so terrible they must speak directly to me? My body grows, how will I manage to get this pair of jeans on when I am so swollen.A knock on the door, I am not expecting anyone,it must be something bad.Guts churning,heart racing.

Reply

Ginny

Oct. 13, 2021, 8:25 a.m.

Can relate to this Valerie

Mary Wednesday

Oct. 13, 2021, 8:38 a.m.

Absolutely. I am trying very hard not to give in to the fear.

Teg

Oct. 13, 2021, 8:59 a.m.

Morning Mary I am sorry you are a t the bottom of another low cycle. I hope it helps for me to tell you I think your post is very informative and courageous. You should be proud to be able to express your thoughts so well. I thought something had changed because you have not made any comments since Wed. 6th ( when we exchanged comments) and Sat.9th (when my post went on the blog). During the last 2 years I have experienced all 10 of your feelings so I can empathise and sympathise. Over that time with the help of Therapy, medication and Moodscope I have a greater understanding of these feelings. One of the most important things to remember is they are only transient. You konw that one day ( set the stopwatch!) the switch will be activated back to the high cycle. Best Wishes

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Oct. 13, 2021, 9:23 a.m.

Oh Teg, I am so very, very sorry not to reply to your blog when I promised I would. Colander brain. Yes, we "spoke" on 6th and I flipped down on 7th. I shall go back and comment now. Thank you so much for your understanding.

Mary Wednesday

Oct. 13, 2021, 11:49 a.m.

Have commented. What a lovely blog. <3

Teg

Oct. 13, 2021, 6:03 p.m.

Mary Your brain may be a colander but it lets kind thoughts pass out. I totally understand why it happened. Thanks for the lovely comments. Take care

Tutti Frutti

Oct. 13, 2021, 9:11 a.m.

Hi Mary I am so sorry to hear that you are back in depression. I recognize most of your symptoms. I get a bit of detachment from reality as if it is all going on in the distance behind a screen when I am very depressed but I still know what is real (unlike when I am really manic). Is that what your symptoms are like. I have never had hallucinations. Have you discussed these specifically with your GP or psychiatrist as perhaps they can improve your medication to address this. Love TF x

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Oct. 13, 2021, 9:24 a.m.

I am seeing my GP again on Friday. I think a review might be in order.

Orangeblossom

Oct. 13, 2021, 9:17 a.m.

Hi Mary, just wanted to say am thinking of you! A big hug! Tomorrow it is 7 years from when I first registered on Moodscope. Was just going to try it out before I recommended it to a student. I have recommended Moodscope to some of our students. Also to others.

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Mary Wednesday

Oct. 13, 2021, 9:25 a.m.

Thank you, Orange Blossom. You have proved to be such a stalwart friend through the good times and the bad. I am grateful to you and to all our friends on Moodscope.

Leah

Oct. 13, 2021, 9:52 a.m.

Mary thanks for your informative blog. I know you say you have trouble saying words but I have always admired and envied your ability to express yourself when low. This blog is so organised honest and well written. I would have trouble writing the title when depressed. thanks for your list. I dont like not being able to express how I am feeling when often I am feeling nothing.

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Mary Wednesday

Oct. 13, 2021, 11:51 a.m.

That inability to feel anything is one of the most terrifying things about depression. I am grateful the words never seem to desert me. Sending you warm wishes.

Liz

Oct. 13, 2021, 10:30 a.m.

Hi Mary, I like the fact that you have listed these things out in the open and invited others to share. To have that ability is good. Weirdly I kept thinking about the jelly - all wibbly and quivery. That's sometimes how I feel about going out into the world. I will try and attempt to articulate mine. I am not bi-polar but I know I have been depressed. Appetite all over the place - craving sweet things, making dinners for others that I would normally like but I have no interest in eating myself. Digestive problems - the polite description of needing to absolutely go there and then and it is awkward. Get up and go has gone - where? will it come back? CBA - as in can't be arsed. Lots of tasks to complete and can't be f*cked doing any of them. Tasks you really dislike (I have to look at some pensions from eons ago to try and attempt to sort/claw back some money/put all in one pot) - absolute nightmare Creativity - out of the window. Only gets kickstarted in the company of others (like my writing group). The ideas are there but frustratingly the page remains empty or the painting unpainted, the stories unwritten. Body dysmorphia - with the hormonal changes to one's body this is off the scale. Dealing with people - ranges from looking forward to going out then either cancelling at last minute, or having a **** time and assuming each time will be same so don't go out again, recently had visitors at home and I really couldn't handle family being in the same space as me at the moment... but having to pretend everything is okay. Relationships - generally my closest one is fragile, probably in a large part due to my behaviour. Fight or flight - I often would like the latter, just want to go away and never come back. Fear of death - two years off the age my mum died (of cirrhosis of the liver) and working in the funeral industry as I do, all I do at work is talk/write about death and am hyper aware of mortality and doing services for people the same age or younger than me. Bereavement - of tangible people - in this case my employer and friend. The other outcome of this is redundancy (unexpected and sudden) and then trying to find that other elusive second job that can magically fit around your self-employment and won't send your anxiety in to freefall. Thank you for allowing me to indulge myself. As ever, I would probably then post this and think... what am I on about... my problems are so small compared to others but that saying about walking in others' shoes is never truer. Sending you much love and hugs from the Highlands x

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Mary Wednesday

Oct. 13, 2021, 11:54 a.m.

Your own problems are never small and we can never compare ourselves to others, nor dismiss the concerns of others. I feel for everything you've written here, and so very glad you've felt comfortable enough to express it. Reciprocating your love and hugs from the flat fenland of Cambridgeshire.

Liz

Oct. 16, 2021, 5:46 a.m.

Hi Mary, I used to live in that area (not fenland) but not far from! Big skies xx thank you for your comments

Lexi

Oct. 13, 2021, 10:50 a.m.

Mary, thank you for sharing your journey with us so bravely and in such a way that so, so many of us can relate and nod and think, yes, I'm not alone. Big hugs to you, sweet Mary, and just keep remembering that this will pass. xoxo

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Mary Wednesday

Oct. 13, 2021, 11:56 a.m.

Thank you, dear Lexi. No, you are not alone; none of us are, even when we feel most isolated.

Valerie

Oct. 13, 2021, 12:33 p.m.

Wishing you some respite from this Mary asap.Hugs ***

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Mary Wednesday

Oct. 13, 2021, 5:17 p.m.

Thank you Valerie. I am most concerned for my younger daughter who finds it very hard to deal with.

Patty

Oct. 13, 2021, 2 p.m.

Thank you for writing this Mary. It was helpful to me being I have been struggling mentally lately. It is hard and it helps to hear about someone else's similar situation. I have trouble expressing myself and don't want to go anywhere yet do etc. I hope you are feeling well soon.

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Mary Wednesday

Oct. 13, 2021, 5:18 p.m.

Thank you Patty. It will pass. I must keep telling myself that. It always has before and it will again.

Bailey

Oct. 13, 2021, 6:52 p.m.

Hello Mary; I too can relate. It almost seems as if certain bipolar disorder symptoms work like seasonal affective disorder. I am up in the springtime and down in the fall. These days I sleep alot and wake up feeling like:"ugh. Whatever it is I have to do today...it is too much." Said from my pillow. My friends tell me after the horrific childhood abuse I went through, they are amazed and awed that I didn"t grow up to become a water tower sniper. Pardon the rough humor. The truth is I am awfully well for the shape I am in...lol.

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Mary Wednesday

Oct. 14, 2021, 8:52 a.m.

I am thinking our local water tower would not provide too many targets, unless you were to pick off all the drivers queuing for the McDonald's Drive Through! I think we all have our own patterns. I am best in the morning. From 6am to 7.30am I feel almost normal. My knees suddenly go wobbly and the world shimmers around 7.30am - 8am. By 10am I'm exhausted and can do nothing. I am glad you are not a water tower sniper.

Anon

Oct. 13, 2021, 7:21 p.m.

sending love and appreciation x

Reply

Mary Wednesday

Oct. 14, 2021, 8:52 a.m.

Thank you.

Moodie

Oct. 15, 2021, 7:54 a.m.

Aww Mary - thanks for sharing your hates in this blogpost ... hope the symptoms ease soon - all best for today xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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Nicco

Oct. 18, 2021, 12:06 p.m.

Mary, i'm sorry you're in another low. I have just come out of a long one, with a few added blips afterwards on the way upwards. Having cptsd, (i also can empathise with Bailey above), ME, & fibromyalgia, along with a few other things, i can identify with all of your symptoms. For me, the hallicinations are spiders on the ceiling & walls - i thank my stars it's.not moths as i have a real phobia of them. The lack of energy & anhedonia are horrid - i always know when things are getting bad when i can't find any pleasure in things that i can usually distract myself with that i find pleasurable. Being with people is hard - i want to be with them as i feel isolated but my brain & bodily systems get too overehelmed for me to cope. Colandar brain drives me nuts too as i can't remember how to do simple things, can't remember names of every day items, or people's names & can't hold information for longer than half a minute, & my speech gets slow & slurred so i have to use my stick around the house (only usually need it outside) for added support & balance. Those around me think i've been on the bottle (i wish - i can't have alcohol as i'm noe on injections for diabetes & alcohol reacts with it & makea me very ill - but the plus side of the injections means i've lost 2st & couuld do with losing another 2). The feelings detachment/dissociation are really frightening - like the world is somehow changed for the worse & there's not one shred of goodness anywhere, everything is danger, danger, & the world seems to be happening around me but i'm behind a plate glass window & can't make people see or hear me & how distressed i am. But the hardest thing i have to do when in the thick of it is to keep telling myself that this isn't true, not reality, just my brain remembering past trauma (the flashbacks & triggers are frightening as the body keeps the score so although i'm no longer in those awful traumatic situations, it sure as **** feels just like it - a bit like amputees who still feel an itchy foot although they no longer have their leg). It's my brain's strange way of trying to protect me from further future traumas, & i have to tell myself that this, too, will pass - it has done a thousand times before over the last 50yrs & will do so again, i just don't know when - because when i'm in it, it feels like this is the big one i'm never coming out of, & when i'm out of it i wonder what on earth that was all about & what caused it, then i get angry (better to get mad rather than sad as at least i have energy). Then it usually ends with a massive crying bout & a huge migrane, then i gradually start to claw my way back up & out, & to gradually feel i'm back in the land of the living & am so grateful it's gone again. But sometimes, along the way, i feel like i'm walking a tight rope - one false.move & i'll fall down into the horror of the darkness again. I keep the words of Paul Simon in mind when this happens... "hello darkness my old friend - i see you've come around again...' Mary, this, too will pass. It's mighty uncomfortable (an under statement) but keep telling yourself that, & allow yourself the time to do whatever it takes to help it move on out, being kind to yourself, like you would to anyone suffering, & not being hard on yourself but allowing yourself a time of convalesence. Not for nothing have you come this far. You are among friends here, friends who understand, & I hope this has helped you to feel you're not alone, too, just as you said to us. Be of good courage. Nicco x

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Mary Wednesday

Oct. 19, 2021, 6 a.m.

Oh Nicco - I think you and I have almost identical symptoms. I did feel as if I am atypical, and everything you write above rings true to me. While I hate that you suffer with this, it is a comfort to me to know others suffer hallucinations, have slurred speech, lose their balance and relate to the world through a thick (and misty) plate glass window. Hugs, my friend. This is not real!

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Oct. 21, 2021, 11:23 a.m.

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