Wednesday, November 08, 2006
My doctor has talked to me for several months about the impact of me drinking alcohol. He says however minor my "symptoms" are, the social / lifestyle adjustments & choices that I need to make to manage those symptoms are much more rigorous. Around alcohol, it's not like I drink more than maybe twice a month, one or two glasses of wine usually, or maybe a beer at a happy hour... but I've been looking at what it takes for me to be able to decline in those settings. It's nearly impossible. The setting that is the most difficult is when I am with others. If I'm by myself, I can say no. When others are around and they are joyfully buzzing, I have no will power. All that is beside the point, because I am okay with my lack of will power and I'm okay with the fact that I allow myself whatever I want. That's just the way that I am and I won't be harsh with myself in allowing myself that room to breathe and "have". It's just worked better for me than trying to beat myself up or force myself to be any other way. The main point of me commenting on all of this is that I keep a daily mood(y) chart where I track depressed / activated mood. There's a scale from mild to extreme and also a range for irritability / anxiety. The very very worst (feeling) is when I have what's called "mixed state" which is both depression/activation at the same time. The very best is when I am solely "activated" which is more like hypomanic (exceptionally high mood). I've been reading this book called "Why Am I still Depressed: Recognizing and Managing the ups & downs of Bipolar II and Soft Bipolar Disorder", it's excellent. Talks about the difficulty of diagnosing this because the symptoms are indeed NOT extreme. They're slight, soft, whispers... but cummulatively (especially if not managed) can be sort of like a needle prick, over and over and over and over until you EXPLODE. Anyway what was I saying. Alcohol. So, with this daily mood tracking I've been seeing this pattern. Friday night, one glass of wine. Sunday (day two post-wine), slight depression. Monday (day three), agitated. Tuesday (day four), irritable. Yuck, eh? Today it's not feeling worth it!