This is the twenty-first in a series of episodes, detailing my dawning realization, that I have some mental issues, that I must address, or risk losing those around me, who mean so much to me. I do not know how many installments this will entail, because I do not have an outline, for this particular avenue, that my Life has chosen to pursue. Because I have always found writing to be therapeutic, I am going to share my journey with anyone, who cares to read along. Believe me, I am not having that much fun.
Oh! How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning
(Oh! How I Hate to Rise and Shine ...)
Sluggishness, inertia, inactivity, inaction, slowness, torpor, torpidity, lifelessness. listlessness, languor, laziness, idleness, indolence, shiftlessness, sloth, apathy, passivity, weariness, tiredness, lassitude, fatigue, inanition, and hebetude.
These are the synonyms that my Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus lists for lethargy. I italicized the ones that I think apply to the feeling of lethargy that I experienced the day of the scheduled preliminary hearing for Jamal’s assailant. I have been experiencing degrees of lethargy all winter, but never identified it as such, until this particular occasion.
Lethargy: weakness characterized by a lack of vitality or energy.
That is the definition that I focus on, that of lack of physical energy, not mental energy. I wrote a story, and was alert all day, except for one 45 minute nap. But if I had had to go to Ukiah, I would have been in a world of hurt. The scary thing is that a month ago I would have, and probably did go to Ukiah, under similar physical conditions. Though mentally alert (as far as I am able to determine), I should not have been driving, if I felt the same way I did on the morning of the preliminary hearing.
When I first woke up, after about four hours of fitful sleep, my legs had that rubbery feeling that I get when my blood-sugar level is out of sync. I felt as though I needed to eat, but I had had a normal meal the night before, at the normal time, and it included at least three ounces of turkey meat loaf, so there was protein. I also had no appetite, so even thinking about having a meal, was not a comfortable thought.
At some point I went back to the dbsalliance.com site, and reevaluated the symptoms of depression, and found that I have more than I originally had counted.
I have had:
changes in sleep and appetite patterns
irritability, anger, worry, agitation and/or anxiety.
loss of energy, persistent lethargy
unexplained aches and pains
Whereas I have stated up until now, that I only felt I manifested symptoms of the manic side of mood spectrum disorder, * I now see that I also manifest the depressive side also. This is not a warm and fuzzy realization, and with it comes all of the anxiety about the meds. My anxiety revolves around the fact that the meds scare me. There is not a whole lot more I can add to that. Part of my anxiety stems from recognizing that what I thought was a mind over matter issue, I find now must also apply to physical impediments as well. I know there is no way I could have used this mental approach to surmount the lethargy I experienced. Fortunately, I chose to stay home, and that sufficed. I did not require meds to handle the day, as long as I did not add the stressor of going to Ukiah.
This day was unsettling, because I was coming to grips with the connection between my lethargy and depressive symptoms. I did have a hard time, just as I did a couple of weeks ago. This is not getting any easier.
One thing I need to do is get some strategies from Dr. G as to how to handle acquaintances/friends, family who either do know or do not know about this disorder and my connection to it, whatever that connection turns out to be. I want to avoid the disclaimer approach to life. “Hi I’m Mark, and I’m bi...”
Anyway, I thought you might like to know the state of my mental processes fresh off the thinking block. If this explanation seems cumbersome and wordy, it’s probably because it is. It’s the nature of the beast. My legs were better yesterday, and seem a little better today, still. Interesting phenomena, lethargy. I never had a clue there was any such actual, clinical condition, and certainly did not connect it to clinical depression.
And so the unscheduled trip to Horrorland, DisneyWorld, MendoCounty Version, continues. I’ve had my ticket all my life, apparently, but am only getting to experience it firsthand now. I’ll let you know if it is worth the price of admission, as soon as I figure out what that price turns out to be. I suspect it will be quite high. I may try to emulate that price.
* I have jettisoned the ever-popular “bipolar disorder” moniker, in favor of the more contemporary “mood spectrum disorder.”