Thursday, 11 September 2014

Emotional selfawareness — the rare success

So this is something I struggle with. Noticing how I'm feeling early enough that I could possibly do something about it. It was the main focus of my first therapy, back a decade ago: mapping my swings so that I could pick up on warning signs and figure out ways to disrupt them before they started a resonating, self-amplifying feedback mood spiral.

It is really hard to do though. Especially since many of my mood swings sort of self-reinforce. It's only natural that I feel crappy, because I should be feeling crappy, because I don't deserve to not feel crappy, so I shouldn't even try to knock myself out of it… things like that…

But today, a measure of success:

I traveled all day today. Got out of bed at 4.30am to fly from Vienna to Stockholm. Couldn't sleep yesterday night. Have been resigned all day to how sooner or later this sleep debt will kick off a mood swing. Just waiting for it.

It came now. Just as I was gearing up towards maybe packing myself into bed, I felt pressure behind my eyeballs, and my breathing got strained and sorta staccato-like, and an overwhelming need to cry.
Came and went in waves. There a minute, gone a minute

I realized that this wasn't how I should be feeling.
And then I remembered: I actually have something for this. I got oxazepam against the rare case where I want to knock out a feedback spiral before it starts. Together with a lecture about drug-seeking behavior, and cutting down the dose for each pill, but that's good enough for me.

Took one.

Knocked out the spiral.

I now no longer feel like a crash is impending. Nor like it necessarily needs to show up at all.

If only I could remember these the times I crash so bad my face goes weird or my movements just slow down…

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