In my earlier post, which I actually wrote in the late afternoon on Monday, and then republished so it would have Tuesday's date (which is when I said I was coming back from my vacation), I said I was quite irritable and wasn't feeling like responding to comments.
And there were a number of people who commented on this post, and I planned on responding this afternoon, but then I realized these comments necessitate another post. By asking the question about comments, I somewhat negated the importance of my original post, which was that I am learning to figure out why I get irritable, trying to deal with the causal factors, and attempting to come up with solutions.
For me, irritability, anger, and rage are huge issues. When I think of all the years I didn't understand they were bipolar symptoms, I literally want to cry. These days, some authors write about them as symptoms and I believe that's critically important.
The key questions for me, which few--perhaps no authors--answer are: Why do we get irritable? Is it because of hypomania or mania? Is it because our feelings have been hurt, and we don't know what to do with those emotions and so it comes out as anger, rage or irritability? Is it because we feel so deeply in general?
Or is it because we feel like we give so much during periods of hypomania (I'm not sure if it's the same with mania) that we're spent when the episode is over. And now we want others to give to us in return, but we don't feel they do--or at least not with the same passion we gave to them when we were hypomanic. All interesting questions, don't you think?
These were all things I thought about in the middle of last night, and I realized that responding to comments was a part of suddenly needing people to give back, rather than a problem with my blog or my readers. And writing about my irritability made it go away, and thus I can respond to comments, and it's now a moot point.
Having said that, I would like to thank all those who responded to this post, including Girlblue, KJ, Gianna, Bradley, Catatonic Kid, Robin J. Foote, Tamara, and Marja.
FYI...here's how I feel about comments when I'm not irritable:
1. In the past I have responded to all comments because I truly believe that everyone deserves a response.
2. I no longer leave comments on blogs where people don't respond to my comments unless I have a personal relationship with them and we email each other offline, or they frequently leave comments on my blog.
3. For me, part of the value of blogging is developing a sense of community and that's why comments are so important.
4. My feelings do get hurt when people don't respond to my comments, or perhaps equally important, I feel it's a waste of my time. The point is that I only spend so much time online each day because as I've written before, it doesn't make me feel good to look at the screen for hours on end. And...if I take the time to respond to a post, it's because I want to show my support for the person who posted or to share information that I think might help. I truly dislike being ignored, and thus after commenting a few times and being ignored, I usually stop reading the blog.
5. However, now that I've read other people's point of view on comments, I'll think about the subject anew.
What's great about my earlier post and this one is that writing about something that was troubling me enabled me to heal once again. Thank you one and all!