Today, however, has not been a productive day at all thus far. Towards the end of last night I felt the productivity start to slip away, and what replaced it was just... emptiness. Eventually I started to feel like I'd been hit by a wave of negativity. I went to bed feeling frustrated with myself, with the situations I often find myself in, and overall I just felt like I've been run over a few dozen times by an M113 armored personnel carrier. Today has shown only marginal improvement on my mood. I still feel like I can't focus on anything in particular, like I'm easily distracted and just not capable of performing even the most simplistic task. I'm just downcast and gloomy overall. Hell, I'm even frustrated with my moods, I'm annoyed that right now I'm quick to anger and that in general I am just not feeling particularly sociable (Yes, yes, I'm not a very social creature to begin with, bite me). I have absolutely no reason to be feeling this way... but there it is none the less.
What's worrying me is that lately I've been thrown for a loop in terms of how the barometer of my mood has been fluctuating. Recently I've been riding a wild roller coaster in terms of my mood, at times it's been very good and other times it's been very, very bad. I'm fully aware of the bipolarism I labor under, and have for the most part been able to cope with it and correct for it. Yet when that condition exerts its influence it usually does so over a longer timeline, with the ups and downs more gradual and of a longer duration. The current coaster ride I'm on can have me manic at two o'clock in the afternoon and depressed by four the same day, for no rhyme or reason. It's nowhere near the predictable sine wave that it usually is, and I'm left feeling a little disturbed by it. You see, I am not by nature a take-charge sort of person, I often don't feel like I want the burden of responsibility that comes along with being the leader or person in command -- but that changes a little when it's my general well-being that's involved. That is one thing I like to feel I am firmly in charge of, and the idea of being out of control scares me a lot. My extend family has a background history with a number of problems ranging from abuse to alcoholism, and I know some of those lovely traits found their way into my blood. I'm constantly having to be on watch to make sure that I don't slip from being the general boozer I am into being a full-blown alcoholic. There have been times, too, when it was all I could do to hold my temper -- and even then I know it was barely held within check and. What worries me about that is what might have happened if it hadn't... I could very easily have done something that would have wound up landing me in jail. It's for those reasons, and because of those near-misses that I am all too well aware of the need to stay in control of myself. When these moods hit, however, it's much easier for that control I need to exert to begin to slip and I'm that much closer to being a danger to myself or to somebody else. It really is disconcerting to think about, so I try not to as much as possible. But, like everything else, ignoring it doesn't make it go away, either.
Another aggravation about this recent shift in the patterns my mood follows has to be the impact upon my work and hobbies. At the office I've been cycling between throwing up my hands in disgust and the near total opposite of jumping to the front and ruling projects and meetings with an iron fist. You know what happens when you leave a lamp turned on, then take the cord and unplug it from the wall? You disconnect the electricity and the light goes out -- that's me on the bad days. I sit at my desk, displace air and that's about all. Plug the cord back in and the light blazes back into life -- that's me on the good days, I'm involved in everything and trying to do my best. Now, make a cycle out of it: disconnect, connect, disconnect, connect, disconnect, connect. Off, on, off, on, off, on -- that's me in general these last few weeks.
The problem is that when you disconnect and reconnect the lamp enough times, fast enough, eventually you blow out the bulb.
Well, that was an encouraging thought.
As I mentioned, it's not just work that is suffering because of this. It's affecting everything I touch and enjoy. For example, I've been left feeling quite isolated at times, like I'm removed from my usual groups of friends or in some way separated from them by an invisible barrier. It's like I'm just not clicking with them anymore, and I'm involved with a group of strangers that I thought I knew. At times that feeling has bordered on outright abandonment, which I know just isn't true -- but I can't deny that I'm still left feeling that way. Additionally, I can't get as engrossed in conversations or roleplay (not that I ever indulged in RP that much to begin with) as I used to be able to. I used to be able to hold my own fairly well in a conversation, make a few dry jokes, or write some fun poses for the games. I look back at my logs from four or five months ago and compare them to more recent ones and the closer we get to the present the more... flat, dull, lifeless it all reads. Another example of this malaise would be my journal: I am not writing in it as regularly anymore, nor with the same passion or flare. It's not that I've burned out on LiveJournaling in general, in fact it's quite the opposite, I'm still very much infatuated with it. The problem is that I either just don't feel the initiative to write in mine, or I can't write something that I'm happy with. Each day I usually spend ten or fifteen minutes staring at my LJ client and after a couple abortive attempts I get disgusted and close it up with the thought Better quit while I'm ahead -- by not posting anything at all at least I don't look like an idiot. I see the same gradual deterioration in my style as I go back in my LJ, too. My entries of a year ago seem so much more enjoyable and vibrant than the ones I write today. I don't think it has to do with "writing for an audience," as some folks find themselves doing; I also do not think that it is closely related to the shine of newness wearing off the whole journalling concept, either. I just haven't been as inspired to write, some days I don't feel like it's even worth writing about. I'm not as exciting or engaging as other people I see writing here, and I feel sort of... pathetic compared to them. Yes, that is just the wee smallest hint of jealousy you hear in my tone there. But it's only a small pinch of it, mind you, and every once in a while we must indulge ourselves.
Ahem. Sorry, got distracted there.
I need to get out and clear my head. It's a pity the Camaro is still as broken as it is. I could stand to take it out for a spin on the toll ways, just mindlessly burn some gasoline, exercise the ponies under the hood and empty my mind by putting some miles behind me. I used to do that a lot in the old days, and it's something I've begun to miss. Incentive to fix the Z28 up, I guess!
This evening I expect I will bail out of my apartment and go North to hang out with roho and enveri for a little bit at their place. Maybe have some dinner with them, put back of a few gin-and-tonics and talk shop with Tallears about the database system and how to architect the interface. I'm also going to bring along my copy of the Criterion Collection of RoboCop. Violence just seems to be what I'm craving right now, perhaps as an outlet or escape for the way I'm feeling. It's better to watch your favorite character blow somebody up in a movie than to try doing it yourself, especially if you don't know how to make your own TNT.
With luck I can spend some time without stressing out and find my center of balance again. I really hate feeling like this.