Panic Stations (or ‘How Worried Should We Be?’)

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I have had panic attacks in the past, fortunately they have been rare.  Until now.  Has a perfect storm of circumstance conspired to create this sudden anxiety, or is it something more than that?  Although I haven’t experiencd a drawn-out and heart-crushing low for some length of time, nor a wildly excitable high, I have noticed that my mood changes more rapidly and more often than it used to.  My symptoms are more chronic than acute.  You would think this would be more manageable, but in some ways I had learned to live with those longer, rarer episodes.  I knew what to expect. Now I am spinning out between moments of existential despair and lively chipper-ness.  I’m finding it hard to deal with.  I think this is partly the source of my anxiety – will tomorrow be one of those inexplicable on-the-verge-of-tears days?  Will I be bouncing around like tigger?  Or will I have one of those delightful, peaceful ordinary days where everything is just-so?  The big question is – does this mean my symptoms are getting worse?  Am I more bipolar than I used to be, or is it just that some unhappy events have given me a bit of a shake-up?   What I should do is think about it less and do the job in front of me, whatever that might be of a day, but characteristically I have let this become a great big worry when only time will truly tell what the deal is.  And I’ve become a bore about it, I talk about it because I am trying to think through it, find a solution but what I am actually doing is saying the same things over and over.  *Yawn*  The trouble with panic attacks though, is you start to fret that you’ll have another until you have an attack simply because you’re worried about having one.  Meh.  I don’t do a job where I can take myself off and breathe into a paperbag.  That’s a worry. There is a lot of pressure right now to be at my best, and I’m not, which I hate.  I’m worried that I’ll reach that point where I throw everything up into the air and damn the consequences.  That would be really, really stupid.  But I have been known to do this.  I wonder if I even have an illness, whether I am not simply irresponsible, or selfish, or a bit-of-a-washout.  Or all of the above.  Maybe I am focusing on my mood swings because they are proof that I am struggling against something beyond my control, rather than just being a flake.  Wow.  So many thoughts, no wonder I’m in a panic.  The terrible thing is, life is good in the main and all this anxiety and dread could ruin it.  Again.  Maybe writing this will help get my thoughts straight…nope, never mind.  Perhaps I should try acupuncture…

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First-World Platypus: Wah

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An electrical-platypus in the central heating system has led to my wandering the house in several layers of clothes, a hat, gloves and scarf.  Massive socks add the final touches to the look (should you wish to emulate The Platpus’s AW13 style, enure that your over-sized socks are odd and that you have a scorch mark on the thumb of one of your gloves from lighter-related mishaps).  Man, it’s cold.

Were I to live in a crumbling ancestral pile nobody would be surprised to find me thus attired- a constant battle against wintersome chills is the price of such an inheritance is it not.  Unfortunately, the two-up-two-down-ness of my abode means that I have surprised a number of callers with my eccentric appearence.   However, once over the threshold it is clear they are jealous of my hat and keen to return to the comparative warmth outdoors.  Heheh.

Luckily I don’t work from home everyday (otherwise I might have to invest in a balaclava) and the heating should be fixed before the weekend is out.   It will be nice to be able to feel the end of my nose again.   I simply cannot bear being cold.

Anyway, this glitch is a good example of The Platpus encountering a platypus (see The Platypus Explained for complete understanding of this theory) which leads me on to the fact that The Platypus itself is also being rather glitch-y of late.   It objects strongly to cold, dark mornings and evenings and dislikes the sense of ‘shutting-down’ that autumn brings.

It sems there is a distinct seasonal pattern to my moods (although the black dog can bite at any time). Spring generally carries a strong danger of hypomania and Summer usually involves lengthy periods without sleep and some frenetic activity around a project which will be abandoned in the first week of September.   From September on the trajectory is downhill through the autumn and winter.  Despite knowing this, I still find myself surprised every year by the fact that I am repeating what has gone before.

So far into the autumn I have kept The Platypus under control, but it’s hard work keeping the cofusion in your head and remembering that your perspective on things is unavoidably coloured by it.  What is easy is a)  resenting everybody for not having extra-sensory perception b) crying because you can’t open the coffee jar (oh and because isn’t the whole damn universe just so unjust and cruel).  then feeling stupid when the lid finally pops off and you spray coffee everywhere.  Dustpan.  Brush.  Sigh.

Crying over sticky coffee-jar lids is embarrassing.  A first-world platypus indeed.  Although it’s not really about the coffee.  Crying over coffee is just safer than crying about things-worth-crying-about.  Where would you stop?

I wrote about going easy on myself not long back.  I’m still a lot better at it than I used to be, but one of the worst things that comes with this mood-confusion is that of feeling distinctly unlikeable.  If not unloveable.  There, I said it.  That was brave.  Resisting the urge to ask everyone if they still like you even though you are being a bit odd takes some doing.  Of course running around asking people questions like that is what makes you seem a bit odd in the first place. 

Wah…I can’t wait for the bi-polar winter to really kick in. If anyone wants me I’ll be under the duvet.  Possibly wearing a hat.