At 2.30 AM last night, I found myself on the phone with the psychiatric ambulance of the hospital where I’m getting treated as an out-patient, and I’m still struggling to put into words what exactly has happened.
As mentioned in my last entry, I already had a strange urge to move yesterday, and last night the psychomotor retardation suddenly fell away completely. I had gone to bed relatively early, but couldn’t sleep, yet the later it got, the stronger the urge to go outside for a walk became. First I rocked a bit back and forth in my bed, then I got up and started walking around in my flat. It wasn’t agitation, though, I just felt – for the first time in years – like I had more energy at my disposal than I was using. My brain suddenly felt like someone had flipped a switch and I went from stand-by into active mode, and with it a flood a memories washed over me that had not been on my mind for years, some of which made me cry.
It scared the living daylights out of me. I was completely clueless on how to behave, what to do. I have no idea at all what it is like to not be depressed, and facing terra incognita in the wee hours of the morning became a little too intense, so I called the hospital, got connected to the wrong doctor first, and then felt utterly foolish when talking to the psychiatrist on duty. What was I supposed to say? “I’m not feeling depressed, please help me” ?
There wasn’t much she could tell me – I have no sleeping medication in the house since for years the problem had been sleeping too much – but the assurance that what I felt was not out of the ordinary and in fact part of the process already helped. She suggested taking a shower for calming down, which actually relaxed me enough to fall asleep around 4 AM (the first birds were already singing outside), even though I kept tossing and turning and woke up several times. So most of today I was really tired and thus back in familiar territory, not scared anymore.
My therapist, whom I had emailed after the phone call, wrote back this morning with the reassurance that everything was just the way it’s supposed to be and that it’s normal to be scared when the brain switches over to proactive thinking.
This afternoon I had another spell where I just wanted to go outside and walk, so I did just that and it felt really good – like I would never tire if I just kept going. I went quite a bit further than I had originally planned to, but returned home after an hour.
What threw me off, I believe, is that for all of my adult life (and adolescence) I have always fought into a certain direction, always against the same enemy. Last night, I suddenly did not go into my default reaction as every single time before, and subsequently was rendered absolutely clueless, with no orientation at all. Like a stranger to myself.