• Teresa Santana

My Moon Phases

This week wasn’t the best. I believe that I am in a better place to talk about it now than I was last week while it was occurring. I’m not sure how to put this in writing because I’m having trouble accepting it myself, so please, bear with me.

It seems my genetic pool, from my father’s schizoaffective and bipolar disorders to my mom’s innate depression, has led me into my pattern of hypomania and bipolar tendencies. I work in a pattern each month following what many say is an unhealthy and ineffective lifestyle. I like to think of this as my moon phases, days and weeks where light is waning and waxing in my life.

You see, I enjoy living and working for a solid 1-2 weeks and feel average; as if a clone of myself took a vacation and brought all my worries with it. Then that clone comes home. The stressors for its return is generally me taking a day to overthink how much other people really care about spending time with me. After that comes the dip in serotonin. A depressive episode resides in what I felt was a happy person. During these 2 weeks I feel very numb and out of touch with myself. It’s almost as if I was watching my life go by on a silver screen. And then comes the turn around. The depression seems to be evicted from my body when the opportunity to clean the bathroom, closet, desk, or any other part of the house arises. I will spend 48 waking hours working on a cleaning project until it is perfect. I will not sleep or eat unless I am forced to. This is the hypomania week. It will continue on until I come full circle to just enjoying life.

Now you must be wondering why I felt the need to share. You see, I mentioned earlier that I have a very dominant genetic pool of mental illnesses and that has unfortunately led me to the field of self diagnosis and fear of medical diagnoses. I tend to only accept the diagnoses I have given myself, but as soon as I hear the same words fall from a medical professional I express grand amounts of denial. For example, I have self diagnosed as OCD and General Anxiety Disorder. However the day I heard my psychiatrist define me with the same words I fell a muck. The PTSD diagnosis left me wordless because of my personal understanding and stigma against the disorder. Now that I’m showing signs of an eating disorder my world is upside down. This is not one I have ever been prepared for seeing as my family has always had a healthy relationship with food. I was semi prepared for the bipolar tendencies diagnosis as I was understanding it doesn’t make me my father, but this ED is rocking my world.

I feel like my spiral still has yet to be contained and that has to be ok for now. I need to spend my time focusing on the positives of the day where the gleam of light crossed paths with me. I hope you all get the chance to identify your moon phases so you too can prepare for the days when you find yourself needing a little more light.

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