Monday, October 24, 2005

Working Nights and Being Bipolar

Maybe it's because I've been on night shift, by myself, for a week now. I could just be feeling isolated and left out of everything. Maybe I'm just being too touchy and taking everything too seriously right now. Or maybe it's just that I'm in the part of my brain chemistry cycle where my eight week cycle and my two week cycle negatively reinforce and get me more down than usual. I don't know. And frankly, I don't care.

I feel unappreciated.

I could point to a lot of things that make me feel this way. The fact that my wife didn't listen to me a few weeks ago when we were discussing our new Halloween projects for this year is really getting to me. The fact that I don't have a computer good enough to run Civ IV is frustrating as all hell to me right now. And of course there's the big one. The fact that most of my friends and all of my family will never actually read anything I've written on this blog, even though I started it mostly so that I could say the things to them here that I have always had trouble saying to them face to face. Heck, my wife doesn't even talk to me about what I write here. I don't know that she ever reads it anymore. I don't have any proof that she does. She just (metaphorically) pats me on my head and tells me that I'm "getting better" at my writing. I think that frustrates me more than anything. It makes me feel like one of her students. And I haven't had the benefits of being a sixteen year old in a long time.

Sometimes I love being cyclothymic (Bipolar, in everything but name). On my days when I'm moving into a manic phase, but before I get the shakes and the paranoia, everything seems to creep around me. I can think faster. I have better reflexes. I'm sharper and I sure as hell have more energy. All this is literal, too. I actually can think faster, if you can believe some of my coworkers. Those are the days when I get off zinger after zinger and no problem is too big for me to solve by lunchtime.

But then there are times like today, and this whole past weekend, when I can't stop dropping stuff, and I can't even get up the energy to take a dirty dish to the kitchen when I'm done. Heck, before the Great Grandmother Visit of 2005 I pretty much shut down for an entire morning until my wife came home early from work. If she hadn't, I would have just sat there staring at the mess my house was in until my grandmother showed up. I was in vapor lock. I couldn't even come up with a plan of attack, a place to start or an idea of what to do. That's just unheard of from me. I ALWAYS have a plan. But on days like today, it's like nothing clicks. Nothing comes together like it should. I'm slow, even lethargic at times. And this is with my medication. I have a hard time remembering what things were like without it. And I definitely don't want to go back to that. I shudder just thinking about it.

Everything irritates me right now. And by irritates, I mean pisses me the hell off. My wife is home sick today, and I'm sitting here resenting the hell out of her for not going to work, because I was going to try to get some "relaxation alone time" in before going to bed this morning. (Remember, I'm working nights this week.) Of course, that makes absolutely no sense, since she's currently sawing logs on the loveseat in the living room while I work on her laptop in the kitchen. But that's just one more thing I hate about my "mood disorder". I come up with stuff that's totally irrational when I'm at an extreme high or an extreme low. I'd like to think that I can be a pretty reasonable and easy-going guy. The problem is that I share my body with a spastic hypersocial bastard and a morose antisocial asshole. Tack on the fact that I am, by nature, an introverted person and that can create some serious dissonance inside my skull.

Take this blog, for example. I started Revolvo Inritus to say things to people that I couldn't manage to say to their faces, for whatever reasons (usually because they were being difficult to start with). But along the way, as I should have known I would, I have come to truly enjoy some of the stuff I write here. I think I may be working my way up to actually writing something worth reading some day. I mean whole world reading, not just my loved ones.

But right at this moment, I'm thinking of deleting this blog. This idea wormed its way up into my forebrain some time last night, and I can't dislodge it. It's insidious. But it makes a certain sense. As I've mentioned before, very few of my friends and none of my family can be bothered to check in, even weekly. I have two, count 'em, two regular readers, and one of them is a friend I see on a regular basis. The other is somebody down in Florida. BTW, greetings Person In Florida! Half the stuff I write here these days, I write because of you.

You see, somehow, my ego has gotten wrapped up with this blog. Somehow, the fact that my father will never read the article I wrote specifically for him, about Fathers and Heroes, hurts more than it should. I mean, they're just words, right? The sentiment behind them is heartfelt, true, but the words themselves aren't important, are they? Dad already knows how I feel about him, doesn't he? The fact that my mother and sister will never read the Apologies I wrote for them, but was never able to say to them, doesn't mean anything in the grand scheme of things, does it? The fact that I don't have hundreds of regular readers after only three months of writing this blog is irrelevant.

And that's where this "mood disorder" does the most damage. When I'm manic, I tend to develop unreasonable expectations about things, and then when I'm depressed, the lack of results regarding those unreasonable expectations makes me want to just quit.

I know that my wife is reading this blog. I know that eventually, if my writing gets good enough and I write about interesting things, I'll attract more readers. And I do want more readers. If I didn't, I wouldn't do this on an open blog. You see, I know that what I'm writing on this blog is important. It's important to me, or else I wouldn't write it in the first place. Heck, it's even possible that my friends and family will actually start reading, or reading more regularly. It's not likely, but it's possible.

But at this moment, in this place, I feel unappreciated, no matter how silly, unreasonable and inaccurate that feeling is. I do feel that way and I can't change that feeling. I can't rationalize my way into feeling differently. And, try as I might, right at this moment, I can't help but resent the people who are, superficially, making me feel this way. It doesn't matter that if it wasn't them, it would be someone else. It doesn't matter that my disordered brain chemistry would latch onto something else to blame for my discontent. I know all that logically, and tomorrow or next week, I'll internalize that and use it to shake this feeling off. But right at this moment, I resent all the people in the world who should be reading this blog, and aren't.

I wish I was normal. I hate that fact, but that doesn't stop me from wishing for it. Fortunately or unfortunately, I'm not normal. And I hate that fact, too.


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"Loyalty to petrified opinion never broke a chain or freed a human soul..." -- Mark Twain


Fire does not wait for the sun to be hot,

Nor the wind for the moon, to be cool.

-- the Zenrin Kushu