I’ve been feeling artistic and creative again lately, which is an awesome feeling. Honestly, when I don’t feel creative at all, I don’t feel like myself. That in itself can add to my depression and anxiety. Sometimes I wonder if some of the meds I take don’t affect my creative output. It is a common belief among many artists that antidepressants and other mental health medications can dim or even entirely restrict the creative impulse. I’m not sure if that is entirely true, but I do feel there is at least a grain of truth in it. Perhaps, because anything that numbs you or tries to restrict emotions (even bad ones) can’t help but dull the creative spirit, which relies so much on the ability to feel deeply and be sensitive.
Anyhow, last night I made a couple new drawings and thought I would share them! There’s no particular theme with these two, I just went with whatever came out.
If you like my artwork, check out my Ebay store to see what I have for sale!
The last week has been rather rough. Healthwise, I seem to be having some immune system issues. For some reason, I have gotten sores all over my gums and strangely, under my tongue. They aren’t like regular canker sores, they are more like little painful little red balls and swollen, ulcerated patches. I’m not sure exactly what they are, although while looking around online, I did find forums full of people with CFS and fibromyalgia who have experienced similar outbreaks, so I am guessing maybe it is related to that.
Unfortunately, the sores that are near the back of my jaw are causing an immense amount of ear pain, to the point that it feels like an ear infection. I was also running a low grade fever last night, which makes me think it is some kind of virus or infection causing the sores. I am taking some antivirals suggested by the doctor, but they don’t seem to be helping at all and are only serving to make me nauseated on top of everything else.
Today I was supposed to go to a birthday picnic for one of my husband’s coworkers, but I simply didn’t feel up to it. I feel bad for letting him down because I know he really wanted me to go so that I could get to know his friends better, but socializing is the absolute last thing I feel like doing right now.
All of this has me rather depressed and feeling lethargic. It feels like ever since I overdid it on our mini vacation to Kentucky, my health has taken a nosedive and is struggling to recover. That is what many people don’t understand about CFS, that once you trigger a relapse, it can take weeks to get back to “normal”…and our “normal” is far below average to start with! Chronic pain and chronic illness are no joke and make for a rough life sometimes.
Today has been busy, although not all that fun. I had an appointment with my doctor today (my primary provider). I found out I have another ear infection, so I’m on yet another course of antibiotics. I think this is my third or fourth round since the new year started. So tired of this cycle.
We also talked a bit about my eating habits and how they might be negatively affecting my health. I really am working on changing that now, although after a few days of eating actual meals three times a day, my digestive issues have actually gotten worse. Last night was pretty bad as far as IBS symptoms go. I wonder if my body is wondering what the heck I am doing to it because it isn’t used to this, it is used to lots of sugar and little actual nutrition.
My mental state is ok today, but kind of blah. I’ve been on an emotional downswing a few days now and hope I don’t end up hitting the extreme lows. Right now I’m kind of in the moderate range, where I’m depressed enough that I don’t really want to do anything, but not so depressed that I’m crying all the time and having truly self destructive thoughts. In this mood, I have an apathetic “f- the world” kind of attitude. It is almost freeing in some sense to feel like you don’t care about anything, but it isn’t a good state of mind overall.
I decided to start doing some bipolar mood charting. I’ve seen others talk about how it helped them to figure out patterns in their mood swings and behaviors, so figured it couldn’t hurt to give it a try. To find a bipolar mood chart, I just googled it and checked out several options that came up. I ended up going with this chart.
I’ve only been tracking myself on it for four days now, but I’ve already noticed a few small things. For one, I’m clearly more on the low side (which makes sense being Bipolar type 2), and even when I do chart on the “high mood” side, I often chart on the “low mood” side for the same day. So I am predicting that most of my “high mood” days are actually mixed days. We’ll have to see if that stays consistent the longer I chart myself.
I also noticed rather interestingly, that so far, when my anxiety is high, my irritability tends to be lower, and vice versa. Are anxiety and irritability two sides of the same coin just expressed differently? I don’t know, but thought it was interesting.
Lastly, this is something I already kind of knew, but seeing it in writing really drives the point home…I sleep A LOT. On average, about 11-12 hours a day. I sleep HALF the day away! This has pretty much been the case since I started taking Seroquel, so I wonder if that may be responsible.
I woke up today feeling like I just needed to get out, so went to do a bit of shopping, nothing too exciting as you can see here, but hey, sometimes even routine errands can help get our minds off heavy stuff.
First I stopped at Walmart. As you can see, I am still feeding my Coca Cola addiction. The cough drops are for the hubby who woke up feeling crappy today, and the Carmex is because I’m having some lip pimple or cold sore issues that are driving me crazy. I rarely EVER buy makeup. Lip balm and this kind of Covergirl foundation powder are about all I ever do. Honestly, it isn’t even necessarily an aversion to makeup, but just that #1, I never really learned to do my own makeup, and #2, makeup is expensive and I would rather buy more fun things normally!
I also went to Goodwill, where I found a sweatshirt that was super comfy and almost brand new. Ironically enough, the sweatshirt I bought at Goodwill was almost the exact same price as this brand new t-shirt I bought at Walmart. It seems a little ridiculous to me that Goodwill prices are now about as high as Walmart prices! I know sweatshirts cost more than t-shirts anyhow, but still…
I think the best part of getting out of the house though is just cruising in the car, with the windows down, and cranking up the volume on some of my favorite albums. That might be one of the most therapeutic treatments for depression.
Maybe I should have suspected yesterday that when I was feeling so good, it might be me slipping into hypomania a bit. As the evening wore on, I could tell that the good mood was going a little bit off the rails. I started feeling extremely antsy and a bit hyper. I may have started driving my husband a bit nuts by constantly asking him silly questions and yelling across the house to him.
Suddenly, I found myself with too many thoughts and plans in my head to concentrate on any of them. I felt pressure to get lots of stuff done, even though there was really no need to do them all right now. By the time bedtime rolled around, I really didn’t want to take my medicine (Seroquel) because I knew it would make me go to sleep and I didn’t feel like sleeping, I felt like staying up all night to clean out and reorganize the spare bedroom.
Fortunately, I listened to the little voice of warning in my head that told me that if I didn’t take the medicine, it might feel good to stay up all night right now, but that this could easily spin out of control again like it has in the past when I have gone days without sleep and even ended up hospitalized. So I DID take the medicine and went to sleep. However, even today I can feel the traces of hypomania hanging around, trying to convince me to just throw caution to the wind and enjoy the high.
Everything went fine yesterday with the psychiatrist. I tried to bring up everything that I mentioned yesterday in my post, although to be honest, my psychiatrist is a little bit of a weirdo (but in a good way), so often what he says kind of throws me for loop and has me wondering “what the heck”? We also often get off subject, and may have spent part of the session talking about “Black Mirror” (the Netflix show), Dante’s Inferno, Fight Club, Josef Mengele, and menstrual cycles (that last one was definitely not my choice of topic lol).
One humorous part of the session consisted of him trying to convince me I should consider having children of my own if able, because I would make a great mom and there are so many “stupid people” procreating that we need more intelligent ones to do so more (his words, not mine). Like I said, he can be an oddball.
We also talked about aspergery stuff, like social deficits I had as a child. When I told him a story about how I got in huge trouble in first grade for laughing at a kid who couldn’t read (because I honestly didn’t understand that something that was so easy for me could be hard for others), he burst out laughing and thought that was hilarious. His reply to that story was, “tell the truth, you just thought that kid was stupid”. Like I said, he sometimes throws me for a loop, but he does make me laugh.