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Mood Swings

The more astute among you may have gleaned from previous posts that I have a long-standing, ongoing battle with depression and general mental demons that just won’t leave me be.
Since getting pregnant I’ve not taken any medication for my mental health issues, and instead I take supplements, most notably fish oils, which I take three times a day, without fail. They tend to work quite well at balancing out my moods and helping me to not jump face-first into the pit of eternal despair. I have, however, noticed a pattern emerging. This in itself is a good thing, as I’m usually so completely un-self-aware that I don’t notice things like this. I’m the girl who spends a week convinced everyone really is out to get her… and then realises when her “monthly visitor” arrives that it was just PMT.
I tend to coast along nicely, not quite 100% together, but nowhere near as depressed and miserable as I have been known to be. An even keel, you might say. After a little while my moods will start to deteriorate, and with them the housework and general organisation of my life. This generally culminates in one evening spent wailing, convinced I can’t possibly continue with anything. S will pick up on my mood and become suitably grizzly, thus increasing the despair. And then we go to bed, and in the morning wake up and look around a little like the Very Hungry Caterpillar coming out of his cocoon. The world hasn’t ended overnight, you say? Everything is just fine, you say? This day is invariably a day where I will go a bit manic and catch up on everything I’ve let slip for the last week or so. I will wash up, clean the kitchen, do as many loads of washing as I can get through the machine in a day, vacuum, prepare baby foods, cook proper meals for myself and stock the fridge and freezer. I’ll be like this for a good few days, merrily going along getting everything done as quickly as possible and generally being rather awesome.
This has happened over the last couple of days: S was not sleeping, either for naps or at night. I was getting nothing done, not eating properly, getting stressed at her lack of sleep. Whenever I did manage to get her to drop off she would usually be woken up by someone knocking the door, or the phone ringing, or me being clumsy and dropping something because I was so tired. I was completely exhausted, and it’s entirely possible that if Jack the Ripper had knocked the door and offered to babysit, I would have let him in. Luckily for us, Jack the Ripper doesn’t come round much these days. Over the weekend I finally cracked and spent an evening pushing S back and forth in the pushchair in the living room, trying desperately to get her to sleep. I was distraught, convinced there was no way I could do this on my own any more but with clue as to how I could remedy that situation. I felt lost and miserable and fed up. So I went to bed at 8:30pm and decided to deal with it in the morning. And what do you know, S actually slept quite a bit, which meant I managed to get some sleep too, and we both woke up the next day feeling a lot better.
So there we have my pattern – Extreme low is always followed by extreme high, and then it evens itself out again for a few weeks. This is possibly something I should write on a Post-It and stick to my fridge, so that next time I’m burrowing about in the depths of despair, I can at least tell myself the words I have tattooed on my wrist: this too shall pass.

Vicky is a mother, a blogger, a podcaster and a social media trainer. She writes about life as a single mother, parenting and lifestyle type things.

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