Roller coaster

I have absolutely no idea what my mood is even doing right now. I’m having the weirdest mood swings ever. I can go from happy and positive to breaking down in tears and feeling suicidal again in a matter of hours. This has been going on for at least a couple of weeks now and I have no idea what’s causing it. I can usually pin-point what has caused a positive or negative change in my mood, but lately I seem to be getting very down for no apparent reason. This is bizarre and frustrating to me.

It seems that my depression has been trying its best to make a comeback lately as well – probably due to loneliness and social isolation. I’ve been trying to ward it off by doing plenty of exercise and trying to keep myself busy but it is still very difficult not to let those negative thoughts creep in. Nights tend to be the worst because I usually find it difficult to get to sleep and my negative thoughts just spiral out of control. I’ve been crying myself to sleep for hours lately, often wishing that I had friends to talk to or go places with or that I had someone special to curl up beside. Or I feel completely hopeless and can’t see myself ever getting better. It doesn’t help that most people around my age seem to be having the time of their lives right now. It seems that most people at uni are going to parties and getting drunk and having a great time with their friends right now – some of them no doubt going to music festivals or on holiday with their friends over the summer. My sister is either at a party or out with her friends almost every day right now. On Sunday, she’ll be leaving to go to Ibiza for ten days with a dozen of her friends. On Friday, she has her school prom, at which she will no doubt have a great time. I didn’t go to prom – or any school events, for that matter – due to my anxiety and the fact that I didn’t feel I’d even be welcome there. I’ll admit that it’s difficult not to feel jealous of her sometimes. Though her bragging about how great her life is, and mocking me because I have no friends or a boyfriend, I have social anxiety, and I’m a “freak”, “loser”, “weirdo” and so on certainly does not help. Even my best online friend (who I met on a suicide forum) seems so much happier now. While I’m very happy for him, his happiness simultaneously feels like a slap in the face. This is someone who has many of the same difficulties as I do (though he doesn’t have SA and -though he is very supportive – doesn’t seem to fully comprehend how horrendous and life destroying it can be), yet he seems to have made so much progress from when I first ‘met’ him. He is so much more confident, can make friends with people, and is finally at a point where life is going well for him. Although I’ve made some small progress, I still feel like I’m in the same situation now as I was years ago. This is the pattern that I seem to have with online friends – they get better and gradually start to have a life, and then they just stop talking to me and leave me behind because they actually have ‘real’ friends to talk to and hang out with now. I often worry that my 2 current online friends will eventually do the same and then I really will be completely alone again. It seems that throughout my life, that’s all I’ve really been to people -just someone to talk to until someone better comes alone. And then they ditch me and completely ignore my existence after that. This is a large part of why I can’t trust people and why I’m reluctant to let anyone in.

Like I said, my mood has been all over the place lately. I had an awful day last week when I had to travel to the other side of Edinburgh for an appointment with the uni counsellor. I remember walking between bus stops in Princes Street (city centre) when this intense wave of misery suddenly hit me. I felt on the verge of bursting into tears but thankfully managed not to. I felt like I shouldn’t have left the house – or even my bed – in that state. I felt completely drained and fatigued – almost as if I was physically ill. This mood continued for another 2 or 3 hours before gradually dissipating. I can’t attribute anything to feeling that way so suddenly other than, perhaps, the bad weather.

The mood swings have continued this week as well. Saturday was terrible. Again, I have absolutely no idea why but I went into my room in the evening and cried for about 40 minutes. Full-on sobbing. I even had to pretend that I was asleep when my mum and sister came in to tell me that dinner was ready because I didn’t want them to know or see how upset I was. When I eventually did go downstairs to eat dinner, I still found myself choking on tears and feeling sick. I felt completely overwhelmed with sadness and had thoughts of hurting/ killing myself. It was very sudden but it’s the worst that I’ve felt in quite a while.

Then the next day was the best that I’ve felt in quite a long time. It was the 4th SA meetup  that I’ve been to. Four of us turned up and it went a lot better than the last meetup that I went along to. Thought it was quite awkward, I managed to have a conversation with the organiser. It was nice to just be around people/ feel part of something. Then mum and I went cycling in the afternoon, in the gorgeous, sunny weather and I felt amazing afterwards. Exercise always boosts my mood.

Then I felt crap again for most of Monday – just lethargic, sad and lonely – until I spoke to my online friend in the evening, for the first time in 5 days. It was a relief to know that he hadn’t been ignoring me but was just very busy getting ready to go to Australia (he’s leaving in 8 days and will be visiting various places in the country over the course of a year). I always seem to assume the worst if one of my online friends hasn’t messaged me back in a while – that they must hate me and not want to be my friend anymore, and that they never really liked me anyway. I know that this is perhaps quite illogical, yet it’s something I completely believe to be true every time this happens. Even if it’s happened many times before and the online friend has always messaged me back when they’re not as busy, I still feel the same intense sadness and worry that they hate me and that they’ve abandoned me and never want to talk to me again, every single time. And it hurts every single time – that perceived rejection. The way that I can’t trust people not to hurt me. The way that I convince myself that of course they don’t want to be my friend because [insert seemingly infinite list of flaws here]. It’s crazy but it’s the way I feel. Anyway…I talked to my online friend in the evening, which cheered me up a lot. I even felt a bit hyper/ loopy afterwards. Then I had my first driving lesson yesterday morning, which was awkward and difficult but not as bad as I thought it would be. I felt great after that. Then I had lunch and went on the internet for an hour and felt completely miserable for no apparent reason again. I just felt like I hated myself. Then I somehow managed to make myself go cycling for 3 hours – during and after which I felt great. Then I felt quite low again by the time I went to bed. My mood has been similarly up and down today, and tonight I feel quite low and like I want to cry again. I’m also quite annoyed with and disappointed in myself because I didn’t exercise tonight like I promised myself I would. I feel very agitated and on edge for no apparent reason. I’m not happy with myself.

It worries me that I don’t even know what’s causing my mood to get worse lately, as well as how suddenly it seems to hit me. My mood never usually changes this much in the course of a day, and certainly not without a reason. There have been some days when I’ve cried 3 or 4 times without really knowing why. My mood is like being on a roller coaster blindfolded at the moment. It perplexes and concerns me.

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2 Responses to Roller coaster

  1. You sound like you’re in a very fragile, volatile state right now. I wonder if losing the structure of school has thrown you for a loop. Are you still working with a mental health person? Some CBT (or a variety of it) delivered by a compassionate therapist might be able to help you deal with the thought spirals regarding fear of losing people, looking for signs of rejection, comparing yourself to others, and all thoughts leading to “the nevers,” as I call them.

    The fact that you’re still doing the SA meetups is actually kind of amazing, considering your current state of mind. Keep up with the exercise too. Do you meditate? Do you keep a journal? I find that doing both helps me recognize my feelings and thoughts (meditation) and put them into words (journaling), so I can stand back, examine them and spot patterns. I can often go back and see what events triggered certain thoughts, which then led to a drop in mood. It feels like a lot of work, but when you make a connection there is a certain sense of mastery that comes with it.

    Sorry you’re suffering. I hope you find some relief.

    • Gemma says:

      My mood swings seem to be getting worse by the day…I even burst into tears for no reason when I was out cycling today. I feel physically unwell/ lethargic almost every day as well. I’ve realised that there are actually quite a lot of things that could be causing this. Not having university/ studying/ a proper routine right now is definitely one of those. Loneliness and complete social isolation – as well as not being able to talk to my online friends as much – have also contributed to that. I also recently went on birth control for medical reasons and I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s one of the main contributing factors as I’ve never known my mood to change this much within the course of a day. And I’ve never felt so emotional and temperamental for no reason. I’m also quite stressed about a number of decisions I have to make and things that I have to do within the next couple of weeks, as well as worrying about the anxiety-provoking nature of the upcoming year of my course. Add depression and anxiety into the mix and I suppose it’s quite easy to see why my mood has been all over the place.

      I’m still seeing the psychologist every 2 weeks. The university counsellor is on holiday right now but I usually see him every 1-2 weeks as well. I might ask the psychologist about it when I next see him this Friday, though I’m not sure how to bring it up. It’s maybe the SA talking but I feel that I’ve already annoyed him/ asked enough of him as it is. I do really need to start getting back into doing regular CBT on my own…Hopefully I can get back into it once all of the more stressful things are out of the way.

      I used to keep journals quite a lot in the past but not recently. I’ll start doing so again. I find just writing it all down and getting it off my chest to be quite cathartic and it does give me a greater awareness of why my mood is the way that it is.

      Thanks again.

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