Saturday, May 10, 2008

In the Bag

Homework is done for the week. Another econ test on Tuesday. Why did I decide to go back to school, again?

Ah yes, because it's a neat benefit.

But only one class next quarter, OK?

Time to do some writing out on the balcony and clean up the house a bit. Have I mentioned how much I love having my own place? One of the things I was really concerned about, living on my own, was getting caught up in that nasty cycle of living-by-myself depression that I sunk into in South Africa.

I took a lot of precautions this time around. Taking classes was one of those strategies, as was having a balcony, a tv that's constantly playing old movies, Buffy episodes, and Carnivale, a WoW account, over a hundred unread books, magazines on hand, a gym two block up the street, a new gym ball and workout book, and a kitchen full of recipes. There's also those French lessons I should get back into.

Oddly enough, ever since I was diagnosed with the diabetes and got it under control, those black depressed days I used to have have pretty much gone away. Sure, I get stressed and tired, and when I was job hunting here and slowly running out of money, I was feeling low, but it wasn't black depression. It wasn't "God I want to kill myself I hate myself I hate everyone die die die" depression.

When my sugar's out of control, I can feel it clawing back at me. It makes me wonder how long my sugar was out of wack. Was I always processing/producing insulin inefficiently? If I had kept up my teenaged lifestyle I likely would have had type 2 at 45 or so, with my genetics. How long were things wacky?

I don't get sick as often. I was sick all the time in Alaska and Chicago (I never got sick in Durban, but I sure was depressed a lot; living alone in a foreign country with no money can do that).

I've told people that I understand a little bit what it's like to be crazy because I know how I get when my sugar's out of wack. When I'm low, I want everyone to die and want to crush in their heads. When I'm high, I'm tired and dopey all the time and make sluggish, ill-formed decisions. The sorts of decisions you make without really thinking about consequences. The sorts of decisions that really knifed up my life and the people I cared about in Chicago.

The more stable I am, sugar-wise, the saner I am. I've been remarkably surprised at my sanity the last year or so. It helps that I have a job I love, I'm down to one credit card (big as it may be), I have health insurance, a book contract, and a roof over my head.

That shit isn't anything to sneeze at either.

But you know, having been chemically depressed for three years when I was on the pill (and again for a few months when I went back on it at 25, realized what was causing it, and ditched it for good), I know what the fuzzy of that feels like, and it's weird to be black depressed free for such a long period of time. I'd like to think that some of this is also because I've been working very hard to curb my litany of self-hate, that crap I've been carrying around since I was a kid. Confidence doesn't hurt either, but you know... I think a lot of it is being chemically stable.

Severe depression is about wacky brain hormone levels. Keeping my sugar balanced and stable keeps my brain balanced and stable too.

It's pretty awesome.

5 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Di Francis said...

Thanks for this. I'm actually in the process of figuring just what the fuck is wrong with me (starting at iron deficiency and thyroid issues). But what you say about sugars is really interesting. Especially since what they are saying is that though my numbers aren't impaired, it may be that my body is still processing sugar in a wacky way and I've noticed some mood weirdnesses (which could be on account of iron issues or thyroid issues) and now I can look at the sugar as an issue.

So I appreciate the post.

Travis said...

sanity is good... rather great..
depression sucks too..

Amie Stuart said...

WOW! I was diagnosed w/sugar issues about 2 years ago and can so relate (as well as thyroid issues). By the time I got to the doctor I was so tired and burnt out I could barely function (and have battled depression since I had my first kid 14 years ago). The change in diet and thyroid meds have been amazing...but that doesn't stop me from screwing up.

I recently went off for five days (I know my bad!) and immediately started sleeping too much--again (my drug of choice!). It's amazing how the tiniest things can throw our bodies so far out of whack!

And Di good luck to you!

ScottM said...

I'm glad to hear that life's still looking good. As you mentioned, it's nice that all of the many good things have happened-- but it's even better that your body isn't plunging you into depression.

La Gringa said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who used the background sound of the TV to fend off clinical depression.

My friends used to tell me all the time that I watched too much TV because every time they came over, the TV was on.

I would correct them and tell them "No, the TV is on. I'm not watching it." I'd be in the kitchen or the bedroom, cleaning, reading, scooping the litterbox, whatever. But I just needed the noise.