Friday, September 25, 2009

Triggers-One Man's Ceiling Is Another Man's Floor

As I wrote in a previous post, this past week I had a very bad  bout from wrestling with the Black Dog. It was one of the worst I had in quite some time. Most of the time, that type of depression , brought on by a single  trigger, doesn't stay more than a day or so, and I can just ride it out.

This time it went on for six days, and was very impossible to ride out.  Fortunately, it ran it's course, and as it was lifting, I had an Eureka! moment- i knew what caused this one. Silly, but once realizing it, I felt like I had climbed Mount Everest without the Sherpas. It was a comment made on a blog by someone I used to be very close to but am close to no longer. It took a lot to take him out of my RSS feeders reader, but it's for the best. Right now everything he is writing is triggering me.  And it's not his fault- it was this time of year when our relationship ended.  Don't get me wrong- he is a good writer- (But I am  as good, by his own admission , and  much  cuter, LOL).  I have referred people to his blog- and I hope he reciprocates to mine. But right now- E is - off the list. I don't think I can take another depressive episode like that again this year.  It destroys your soul- as seen in the post- but it also destroys your body and your health.

I feel like Sisyphus, during these episodes. One step forward, ten steps back. There is the end of the road- where things will get better or normalize- and I can't get there. It's beyond my grasp.

                         Ever feel like this cat?

Paul Simon wrote a song after he broke up with Art Garfunkel.  "One Man's Ceiling Is Another Man's Floor".  That is how I see triggers. I can identify my triggers- and I guess  to 99.9 percent of the universe they'd be  nothing. But then, I am not triggered by spiders or snakes- though I've never seen a King Cobra or Black Widow spider.

One of my triggers are babies, and small children.  I need to wrap my head around this- at this point in my life, biologically I am still young and healthy enough to have a child, but without a boyfriend, or a steady job, or finances,  it is not going to happen. Seeing my friends with their children is painful, hurtful. It isn't their fault, it's mine. I think of the child I carried for 13 weeks and want to cry.

When I turned 30 I wanted the little white house a  with picket fence, two children, a dog and cat, and a station wagon. I had a good career, was making money, now was the time to listen to my clock. This was the life my mother had- this was half the women I knew in college wanted. The illusive  'Mrs", degree. The other ones wanted to work, and subscribed to the adage  ' a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle'.  Is it any wonder my generation was the first one to grow up confused between our mothers who came of age in the 50s, and our cousins who came of age in the 60s and 70s?

What I found was the men I dated- all good men- were kind and sweet, but when the relationship got to the point where it was getting "serious",  they backed off or broke up. The reason- I know they loved me- but did not want to father children with a woman who was bipolar. When I turned 40 I met the Ex - who like me was bipolar. In hindsight, that was all we had in common besides our writing. His dreams were not mine, mine were not his.  It is not a blight on his character.  He was older and wanted different things in life than I did. In hindsight, the relationship was doomed from the first date  at the Guggenheim.  But I can take comfort  in that for a little bit I did know him, and he taught me - a very independent woman at the time - that living with someone is really, really wonderful. Some days I miss him, some days I don't. From now on, the days when I do- I cannot read him. Not if I  do want to stay grounded and stable.  I want to get well again, and  not look back but look forward to a future. Right now I cannot grasp the idea of a future. I am stuck in the present. But I will understand future again.


soulful sepulcher said...

Smart woman!

Bitter Animator said...

Some people say 'absence makes the heart grow fonder'. I have found that to be true only in the very short term. After a while, absence makes the heart forget.

And this is true too when it's not so much of a case of 'growing fonder' but being attached in some way or being invested in that other person when we know that's not a good thing or when it affects us in a very negative way.

In those cases, absence is the best cure.

Taking him off your reader/feeder/thingy is the best thing you could ever do.

Be well, Susan.

Ana said...

Love you Susan!

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan,

Thank you for reminding me that depressive episodes can have triggers, and these triggers can be consistent. I have known for a while now that depressions can be triggered by events, but for the triggers to actually be consistent things that one can name and know "If I am exposed to xyz, it may/will trigger a depression" is something that I sort of wondered about in the back of my mind but didn't know if I was just being silly or if anyone else had experienced it. Thank you again.

Now that brings up a you think that repeated depressive episodes can contribute to some form of PTSD? Is it just me, or is having your mind, your very self (if "I think, therefore I am" is true) be inconsistent from one day to the next a potential trauma?


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