The sun has finally decided to make an appearance and the temperature has managed to consistently crawl above 0c , so I think we are finally turning the corner and moving into spring. It has felt like an incredibly long winter, and I am looking forward to the weather getting more pleasant, especially with my weekly distance drive that I do on Thursdays.
I am finding myself question the efficacy of this weekly group that I do. It seems like I’ve been in therapy of some sort or another for years, and that regardless of what I do, I find myself facing challenges. I feel like I am missing something in my treatment, however what that something is I don’t know.
I have been practising mindfulness and meditation for a couple years, and my mood swings have definitely narrowed, however they are still swinging like a wrecking ball. I just can not seem to break the kinetic energy that is driving the swings, and the frustration in not being able to break the cycle is huge.
I know I have lots to be thankful for. I know that my mood issues are a split between learned behaviour and genetics. I know that in patients with borderline personality disorder structural abnormalities have been found in the brain which effect the brain’s ability to cope with emotion and slow down the fight or flight response. Add in the questionable mental health history found on both my biologic branches and I marvel I am as well put together as I am.
Knowing all of that doesn’t ease the anxiety or depression that I fight through. It explains the symptoms but doesn’t do a lot in regards to coping with them. And I have tried lots of different coping skills over the years. I have fallen into writing. I enjoy listening to music. I enjoy fitness when my energy level allows. I watch movies, my favourites being the Fast & Furious Saga (eight and counting….wow….). I see my psychologist regularly to talk through what I’m feeling. It all helps, for awhile. But invariably I begin to back slide. The slide starts slowly, without me even realizing it.
I weather the storm though. I keep pressing through, and just like winter fades into spring, new hope creeps back just as slowly, but just as steadily, and I go until the next wave. After almost two decades of dealing with this cycle, this routine, I should be able to have it figured out.
In some ways I do though. Yes, the slides suck. Yes, when I am trapped in a slump, it feels like this time I am going down for sure. Then the storm breaks, the clouds recede, and I can breathe again. And even with these cycles, I haven’t self harmed in almost 2 1/2 years, though at times the urge has been unbearable. I have remained in a long term relationship with a supporting and beautiful wife, and my friends and extended family are over the top in their support.
I haven’t found the key to cure this miserable beast inside my mind, and it may yet take me, but it won’t be today. As frustrating and draining these slides are, the fact is I am getting better at weathering them, though at times it feels like it eats away at me.