Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I realized something a bit odd yesterday.

About two years ago, I was having these horrible mood swings. I mean, really, really horrible. I seriously contemplated running away on several occasions. At the worst point of the downswings, I was utterly convinced that my marriage and every friendship I had was failing, and the only reason I hadn't already been abandoned was that everyone was too nice and couldn't figure out how to tell me to just fuck off, already.

In the upswings, I knew those feelings were irrational; that I wasn't perfect but neither was anyone else, and that my friends and family loved me well enough.

It got to where I could recognize an oncoming downswing by the preceding few days of increasing restlessness. I would try to warn Matt that it was coming, and pile my most depressing books by the bed, hoping to bleed off the depression under controlled circumstances.

Eventually, I finally realized that the downswing was linked into my menstrual cycle. That wasn't as obvious as you might think it should be, because the birth control I went on after Alex was born did strange things to me. It turned out I was still having the same monthly hormonal cycles, but only having an actual period every sixty to ninety days. There were also some other confusing factors, like what I still believe was a mild case of post-partum depression, and the stress of trying to adjust to a second kid and a new diabetic, and the additional stress of an insanely tight schedule.

I wound up in therapy for a short while, until I got frustrated with the therapist's obsession with my weight and my sex life. After I realized it was linked to my cycle, I complained about it to my OB, and he made a few suggestions. Those helped a little. The passage of time helped more, as the PPD passed and I adjusted somewhat to the stress factors.

The last six months or so, I've been feeling pretty good most of the time. No crazy crying jags. No sudden impulses to pack a bag and flee forever. Occasional ups and downs, of course, but that's just life. Nothing really out of the ordinary.

Except that for someone who's always been an introvert, I've been going through these irregular phases of not just wanting social interaction, but craving it.

I'm in the middle of one, right now. I almost made myself crazy this past weekend because I wanted to go out and do something, but Matt's suggestions of taking the kids to the library or park weren't doing it for me. I clung to the hope of Rock Band Night on Monday, only to be disappointed when it fell through. Another thing fell through for later this week, and I was beginning to actually feel upset about it -- when I realized that this restlessness is exactly like the restlessness that preceded those emotional downswings.

Apparently, I've replaced the emotional nadir of PMS with a driving, insatiable need for social contact.

Hey, it's progress.

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