Sunday, August 12, 2012

My father

About a week ago, I told my dad that I was going to try and find out if there were a reason for my ups and downs.  His reaction?

"Do you think it might all be in your head?"

I stared at him for a moment; he wasn't joking.  "Um... yes?" I reply.

It starts.

Recently, I called my employer's Employee Assistant Program.  EAPs are companies that can be hired on contract by a corporation, and their main job is to provide counselling to people who work for that corporation.   The past few months have been tough for me, so I decided to make use of their services. They're goal-oriented counselling (they will only pay for so many sessions), but it's a place to start.

Why have the past few months been tough for me?  It beats me.  I seem to have slipped into a depressive state.  I suppose there may have been a trigger or two, but the reality is that this dip in mood is somewhat par for the course for me.  My mood is lightening now, but I need to really do some work on myself and see someone.

I've gone through years of therapy, for a lot of the standard items (parents divorce, overeating), but this time I'm in search of something different.  I would like to track down a clinical diagnosis for my mood patterns.  I don't like to assume anything, but from my reading (a lot of it), I think I may be somewhere on the mild end of the bipolar spectrum. 

No matter what phase/mood I'm in, I'm always able to - somehow - drag my ass around and achieve the bare minimum.  Lay low at work, don't fall too far behind on my bills.  Avoid my friends long enough that they don't see how fidgety, uninterested, and inattentive I am with everything going on around me.  I've been able to avoid the attention and questions of friends, family, and the cell phone company for this far.  I suspect there have been times when people I know have turned to each other and said "wtf? Just one of her quirky ways, I guess."  Or even been outright mad.

This is all well and good, but I think a lot of this ends up manifesting itself in ways that hurt me.  Had my most recent feelings of depression carried on much longer, I'm certain my job would be on the line.  This is unacceptable, as I really enjoy my work, and would like to move upwards and onwards in this field (procurement and contract law, for those wondering).   Additionally, this is a job I should be able to do with my eyes closed, if not now, within a few months' time.

Socially, I've managed to luckily stumble my way into a couple of groups of friends who let me wander off and then pick up where we've left off when I drifted away.  Without comment, even.  Not to me, anyway.

I really hope I'm on the road to proper diagnosis and treatment and not just some scary Franz Kafka/Anthony Burgess adventure.  A magic pill would be lovely, of course, but I understand there's going to have to be a lot of work on my part.  Anything is better than this hellish ups and downs.  To be honest, my ups aren't that terrifying (I've managed to avoid damaging shopping sprees and major promiscuity*), which is why I think it's very mild, whatever it is.

If the answer is that there is nothing wrong with me, other than dramatic bouts of laziness coupled with slightly aggressive, over-productive bursts, then that's fine.  I'll probably be in therapy the rest of my life, but I might need that with a diagnosis anyway.  But I want to be told by a doctor.

And not the same doctor that looks at my cervix.



*So hard not to cram a joke in there.