Archive for February, 2011

Thoughts tumbling, jumbling, vying for attention

A Million thoughts travelling at a million miles per hour

How to slow the thoughts, creativity, action – alcohol?

All things tried and tested, but really is this the answer?

It’s been a testing day for all my team colleagues and myself – redundancy meetings, all of us looking at each other wondering, is it you or me that’s going. The redundancy process is supposed to ‘help’ and ‘justify’ reasons for those who are to be redundant, but essentially the months and months of the process dragging on just ends up in mental torture. Questioning of ones’ self worth, strained relationships with colleagues, trying to calm them down, helping them – who knows what lies in the future.

So. Corporate mental torture. How do you even describe it to your bosses or whatever? All you hear is ‘I know this is a tough time for you’ etc etc and you just think – ‘well, i wouldn’t be in this situation if the company hadn’t been so stupid’ and in my case, it’s incredible mis-management to why i’m in this position. And yet only this morning I switch on my computer and on the company internet is advertising vacant positions and ‘welcome the new staff of our latest acquisition’. They can buy whole companies elsewhere, but they feel the need to make one of us redundant. One person, on not exactly a very high wage.

But what do I know about business? Well, actually, it appears a lot more than the bumbling idiots in my organisation. My judgement could be clouded because of my personal circumstances, but, it is what it is. I cannot change any of it. I may be going through mental torture, both corporate and personal, and strangely my moods are cycling from highs to lows at lightning speed. I’ve always said through my life that i perform best under pressure, and perhaps i do. Or maybe it’s my adrenaline going into overdrive and triggering a mild mania. Who knows. I’m undiagnosed as yet, but it all seems to make sense. I feel like i could do a million things at once, i’ve started doing a million things at once – in fact right now i’m blogging (something i’ve neglected as i’ve been a bit down) tweeting, watching TV, holding a conversation with my OH and 12yo, and in the middle of 4 separate text conversations. And I could do more. I have the urge to do more, in fact, i forgot to mention i’m also surfing the net in between thought streams… Hmmm reading that back… that is… quite a lot isn’t it?

But i’m no Doctor, so, it’s just me, it’s what I do. I suppose what i’m trying to say is, if you are going through any mental problems, and you think something is not right, the first conclusion may not be the correct one. Depression is common, it’s often what Doctors will go to first – by their own admission. But how can you diagnose happiness – or hyper-happiness? You only ever hear of the chronic Bipolar issues of hallucination, delusions, crazy excessive behaviours – Stacey Slater off Eastenders if you will… but what about the rest of us? Those not so harshly afflicted? You mention Bipolar to friends and, well, it’s much more fearfully received than mentioning Depression. Everyone seems to expect you to go nuts and run around screaming like a freak. As I pointed out, i’m no different to however i’ve been all my life, yes I do extravagant things, over the top if you will – but before that was charming, now I have a label i’m a paraiah?

Well – maybe i’m ranting, in fact yes I am. I’m at the start of something which can potentially explain all the unanswered questions of my youth and beyond, but, it’s a lot more delicate than originally envisaged. Depression elicits sympathy, Bipolar elicits fear. Again, education is the key – you mention Stephen Fry and people think ‘ok – maybe it’s not so bad’ but then, you can see the uncertainty… something i will save only for my closest friends for the moment. A test of their friendship perhaps…

So, evidence of some of the million thoughts running through my head, i’m sure they will change in time – it’s been fairly stressful today, hence the long diatribe. Therapeutic in a way, at least some respite from ‘thinking’ too much…

When is Depression not Depression? When it quacks like a horse. What exactly do I mean? Well… Perhaps I should have noticed something odd when I named my blog. The Depressed Optimist. This is a little strange apparently. Depressives tend not to be Optimists. This I knew. So what is a Depressed Optimist? The last few weeks, I have been riding intense highs, and then crashing to deep lows, frustrated, not feeling right. Something was not right. Before Christmas, when I started this blog, my second ‘episode’ last year, I was put on tablets. I documented how they made me feel – happy, confident, conquer the world… Apparently they shouldn’t have done that.
So. Last week, I went back to my GP. The weeks before I had had a terrible time of it, making my partner’s life hell, I have no idea how he ever put up with me, especially during that period. I told him I didn’t feel right, explained my thoughts my feelings, everything. He asked some strange questions, which, I’ve researched since… and it appears, I may be Bipolar. Having a diagnosis is going to be a long and tough road. Will I ever know why I’m not normal? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never been so called normal in my life, and I like it that way. There’s nothing worse than looking at everyone else looking bored and miserable when I can entertain myself no end with the crazy thoughts whizzing around my head. Problem is, they’re causing issues. They’re making me  lash out at those closest to me out of frustration, day-dreaming at work, my concentration is shot, it’s affecting my life. As much as being creative helps me, and is a wonderful outlet, I cannot rely on that all the time… It just isn’t practical, so I need to learn how to control this.
My GP took blood tests to check that there isn’t anything physically wrong with me, which there isn’t, and then I filled in a number of ‘evaluation’ forms. To which I scored very highly on all of them. He suggested I go on medication again, but I insisted that I wanted counselling – so, I have now been referred and waiting for the phone call. Could take up to 6 weeks apparently, but… I know I need this. I work in an industry where I need to be strong, firm, in control – I can’t convince a Client to leave lots of money in my care if I appear to be a gibbering flighty wreck… I have coped with this since my teenage years, so I know it is manageable. I’ve identified it happens every 5 – 7 years. I’m finding it hard at the moment to focus, hence why I’ve neglected this blog somewhat… but, it’s got me to understand this much about myself so far… it’s beneficial to carry on. 
Depressed. Bipolar. It’s all labels and tags – I’m no different to who I was before, the only thing that’s changed? How I understand myself – and more importantly, knowing how to cope with this.

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