Since the Day-Timer time management system upon which I based my mood charts was the two-page-per-day model, I had a second page to use as a journal. Sometimes, I reflected upon how I felt or wrote philosophical pieces about the problems with the way this illness is treated. Other times I wrote with anger, distress, or confusion about what was happening to me. On this day, May 23, 2001, I wrote a paragraph that I entitled, Horrible Experience. (I've just rewritten it a bit to improve it and clarify my feelings; ah...the beauty of rewriting.)
(The accordion below is a 12-button accordion, which is the kind I play--although the word 'play' may suggest an ability that is misleading. Since I loaned mine to a friend, I can't take its picture even though I now have my wonderful new digital camera.)
"At 7:00 p.m., I took more Geodon, Zyprexa, and Ativan. I was feeling so lousy that I spent hours playing scales and then chords on the accordion to see if I couldn't 'concentrate' so hard on the music that it alleviated the depression. It finally lifted at about 9:00.
"I must say that today was truly horrible. Out of nowhere I felt so unbelievably awful that I thought, "Oh, my God, I'm in The Twilight Zone. It felt like being pelted with 'hail from Hell,' or being 'draped in despair.'
When the depression finally dissipated, I could have wept with joy. Instead I put Alex to bed, and went to sleep at about 11:30. When will this nightmare end?"
Tomorrow, I'll write about the importance of mood charts, what I learned from keeping a detailed record of my illness for six years, how I utilized my mood charts when my doctors couldn't help me, and how I believe they fit into the category of "writing to heal." Stay tuned!