An Up and Down (and Up) Day

This morning started with a lovely ride in to take my darling wife to work, followed by a leisurely ride across town to see my medication manager. (The majority of mental health patients see a psychiatrist directly for this function; in my case, I see a psychiatric nurse practitioner working alongside a psychiatrist. The relationship is arguably the best that I’ve ever had with a medication manager.) I got there with more than an hour to spare, so I sat down at a local coffee shop and had a cup of joe to while away the time.

I Frankensteined my coffee (what I do to coffee with cream and sugar changes its species, and besides, since Frankenstein was a doctor, I’m technically still “doctoring” it) then sat down to casually and happily peruse my tablet. It’s a new addition to our growing family of quasi-sentient handheld devices, and so I’m still tweaking it to get the widgets and apps just right.

At about 8:45 am I look carefully at my calendar widget. It tells me that today is Veteran’s Day, and that I have four hours and forty-five minutes until my appointment at 1:30 pm.

Suddenly my mind … transformed.

I was an IDIOT for driving all the way across town needlessly. I was less hip, more unattractive, almost downright scorned for being in this pretentious coffee shop. I wanted out, I wanted to hide, I wanted to just completely disappear with no one there having any recollection of my being there. I couldn’t suck down my trendily over-roasted coffee fast enough and slink off into the chill of the windy Austin morning.

The peace and tranquility of the commute across town was over.

It was driven even further from my mind when I missed my exit back home and had to punt to get back to my sanctuary.

I came home, stripped, crawled under the covers, and went to sleep. Some may call this hiding from the problem, but in reality a short, hard nap can do wonders for resetting a downward spiral in mood and energy for me and for a good deal of others that share my diagnoses.

A phone call woke me shortly after noon. The darling wife was checking in. We spoke briefly while I wolfed down the Black Forest turkey sandwich she had lovingly prepared for me earlier in the day. I could tell it was lovingly prepared; it was one of the better tasting sandwiches I’d had in a while, and I couldn’t discern any other flavors but turkey, mayo, bread, salt, and pepper. And then I laid back down to sleep.

I woke at 1:10. My appointment was a good 35 minutes away and I had 20 minutes to get there. A frantic call ensured they’d hold the schedule, so I flew like the wind and made my appointment. (I drove legally, of course; I never, ever speed–oh, wait, move to the left a few steps, would you, that’s about where the lightning strikes when I lie through my teeth.)

I had an errand to run afterward, so I ran that, and by the time I was done with the surgical strike at the bookstore, a thought struck me.

“Hey, Steven, why not gobble like a turkey the entire trip home?”

So I did. I gobbled to passing cars, I gobbled to cars that I passed, I gobbled to the Doobie Brothers on the radio. And by the time I got home, I was in gigglefits over how silly I’d become.

And believe it or not, the full mood swing of the day is fairly atypical. Usually by this time, I’ve managed three or four cycles.

Is it any wonder that I’m tired all the time?

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