I have always thought that, as a diabetic of nigh on fifty three years, my condition has been as much a blessings as a curse. Without the strict regime that I have tried to adhere to I would not be virtually the same weight and shape I was at eighteen. As conditions/diseases go it is easy to manage IF you are strong willed and determined.
One thing that has not been so easy to manage, and something that has grown worse in recent years, are my mood swings. This has always caused me to question my self. Am I the monster that I seem? After all I can be horrid to those I love when my mood changes from placid to near psychotic. I become bad mannered and cruel saying things that I later regret. Sadly, once a thing is said it can never be retracted.
I recently learnt that these mood swings, these black depressions may be linked to my diabetes and as daft as it may sound that comes with some reassurance. After all, it is not me but my condition that drives these unpleasant changes. Of course that is no excuse and I still have to struggle to control this side of my nature but at least I know that I am not the monster I once thought I was becoming.
Go here for more info on diabetes and mood swings
Here is my take on how it feels when the panic attacks begin...
I feel the white space of emptiness stretch before me; a dull weight that burdens my hours with relentless phobias. The spark I seek flees down caustic wires, cackling as if Lucrezia Borgia was running from the scene of a murder. A dark sense of constant foreboding haunts me, shadows flitting over damp walls, frail spectres with vicious words that fill the head with cobweb fears. I know they are such but still the irrational thoughts persist. The smothering duvet that wraps it evil self around my face and head, the shower that drags me down into a swirling oblivion. All the childhood notions, the childish, dismissed notions return with hammer hard blows that attack my psyche every time I think of situations that I cannot find solutions for: my marriage failure, the stony end to my career, my lack of success with finding a publisher. All these things can be resolved one way or another but for now they take on the size of monsters that prowl and devour what little confidence I have left.
We are animals still and no matter how we try and convince ourselves otherwise we are captive to our emotional response’s far more than our intellectual processes.
How I wish, at times, I could close my eyes and sleep the eternal sleep. That of course is selfish, self pitying, self centred and cowardly. I cannot run from my responsibilities or the love for my family but sometimes to shut my eyes on those vile days would be very good.
all words and art are copyright © of C.J. Duffy.