When Things Are Just Humming Along (You Think)

John McManamy Health Guide
  • Shelly writes:

    I just started a new job on Thursday after being home since end of February. I knew it was going to be stressful ...

    Shelly wasn't kidding. "I forgot how normal stress really does a number on me and my psyche," she went on to say. "I've had interrupted sleep for a week (which is a big NO NO) and woke up panicked and quickly slipped into mania ..."

    Shelly was responding to a post of mine from last week, Good Attitude, Bad Brain, in which I recounted how I was completely blindsided by a depression that (luckily) only stopped me in my tracks for one day. The galling thing was the depression was over next to nothing, a minor misunderstanding with someone close to me. Next thing ...

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    In the course of our discussion, she said something that caught me by surprise. Suddenly - just like that - I felt the power drain from my brain. I walked out the door, disoriented, confused, and depressed.

    Just when you think you're doing fine, that you're starting to cut it in the world of the "normal" - along comes the brutal reminder. In a comment to my piece, Tabby took the words right out of my mouth:

    We get to where we think we have a somewhat good handle on things... managing things... the illness is humming in the background ... and then something completely knocks our brains "offline" and everything comes rushing up and knocking us backwards and we are crumpled and humbled ...

    Donna had this to say:

    Sometimes I think I have grown past the kind of thinking you describe.  I tell myself, "Surely you are not going to let THIS little pestering thought ruin the rest of your day and maybe tomorrow."  But there it is.  And it often does.


    Why can't this illness cut us just a bit of slack? I want to scream at whoever was responsible for routing me to the wrong planet, a world I was obviously not equipped to take up residence on. As Tabby puts it:

    It's because the illness has a mind of its own and it does not play fair or just.  I still have issues with not being "like everyone else" and I guess I haven't yet accepted that I'm completely mentally ill and should allow myself these periods where my brain just "clicks off" over seemingly inane things ... 

    Meanwhile, here's Shelly, thinking she's doing okay, looking forward to returning to work. Then ...

    Once again a HUGE reminder that I don't have a brain like so much of the world. It's a sick brain. It takes us down winding paths that in hindsight can be very positive but at the time just plain irritating or even downright stupid.

    Fortunately, Shelly's not a victim. She monitors her moods, she says, "like a diabetic monitors blood sugar." Still, "I just wanna live and not have to think so hard about everything I do."

    I hear you, Shelly. I really do ...

Published On: November 13, 2010