KAIT MAURO

Based in Birmingham, AL

February + March 2017

Manic Depression, Field Notes, PhotographyKait Mauro2 Comments

So, long story short, I tried quitting smoking at the beginning of February. I got hypomanic and thought the nicotine patches were triggering hypomania in me somehow but Edward said he thought I was getting hypomanic already and that that’s what caused the urgency I felt to quit smoking. So then quitting didn’t work because I got super depressed. I remained super depressed until about mid-March when my doctor finally found an SSRI that worked to lift me out of my depression. One of the only good things about being bipolar, in my opinion, is that SSRIs work much quicker on us than people with just depression. It was really humbling because I’d felt confident that I was mostly done with the bipolar episodes and I have no idea what brought on the hypomania/depression rollercoaster again. Nothing happened in my life or with my meds that would explain why I suddenly got hypomanic. Luckily I didn’t do anything self-destructive while I was hypomanic or depressed – I just got a lot done, creatively and otherwise, while I was hypomanic then didn’t get much done while I was depressed because that is the nature of my depression.

Some bad things that went on in February and March: I meant to get a lot of reading and writing done and didn’t really accomplish much of either. I have like 9 books in a stack to read right now. I am hoping I can do better with getting a lot of reading done in April. I didn’t write much in this space but did overhaul it a little bit – tweaking the layout, removing posts I didn’t feel proud of, etc. The only downside to that is that when I put some posts back up it messed up the dates on them, but it isn’t a big deal. I’ve been meaning to write the Sophomore Year part of my mental health story for about two months but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I’ve been struggling a lot with motivation but am trying to do better/more. Another bad thing is that I was physically ill for over a month, I lost more than 12 lbs from just being nauseous and having no appetite, and after many stupid doctor appointments I learned that I had an infection. Then the antibiotics meant to treat the infection made me ill. But I have been feeling better since I got done with the antibiotics so hopefully the infection is gone. The worst part of February and March though was definitely the depression, I was crying almost everyday, sometimes multiple times a day, for everything and nothing all at once and all I could see was darkness.

Some good things that happened in February and March: I started my “Magical Objects” series and did an interview for a website that features artists and their work. I got a new tattoo on Valentine’s Day that has really been helping with my anxiety (I think I have eight or nine tattoos now, I’ve lost count, and some are so big and some are so small that counting seems a little silly anyway). Edward remembered that he has this fabulous stone, crystal and fossil collection at his mother’s house from his childhood so we got it and brought it to our home and I’ve been photographing it for said “Magical Objects” series. I love stones and crystals so this was very exciting for me. He said his childhood self would have been thrilled to know how excited his future wife would be about his rock collection. I started “365,” which is a challenge to take at least one photo everyday that a lot of photographers do. I’m now on day 23, I think. I’ve fallen behind a few times because depression/lack of motivation, but I am still doing it. Edward and I planted a little vegetable/herb garden on our little balcony, which I love looking at, with cherry tomatoes, broccoli, kale, butter lettuce, lavender, rosemary, fernleaf dill, a lot of basil and one other herb plant I can’t remember the name of. I discovered a new favorite bar called The Marble Ring which is 1920s themed (I had been watching Z: The Beginning of Everything on Amazon Prime and got super into the 1920s for awhile). Edward and I went swing dancing for the first time and it was really fun, though I don’t know if I’ll be able to convince him to go again… I watched season 3 of Grace & Frankie on Netflix, all the way through twice in a row, which was great because it got me out of my own head for a few days. I didn’t need any klonopin those days because I was so absorbed in Grace & Frankie land. And I finally started going to meetups! I’ve been meaning to since moving to Birmingham to try and make some friends but finally found the motivation to do it. Swing dancing was a meetup and it was so much fun. If I can’t get Edward to go back with me I might just go alone next time. I actually went to a meditation meetup because I’ve been trying to start meditating but it turned out “social meditation” meant mediating silently while staring at someone else who was meditation, not socializing, so I decided it wasn’t a good way to meet people and left early. Then I went to a meetup for people who use Wordpress but it was more for the more tech-savvy Wordpress.org users than people like me who use Wordpress.com, so I left that one early too. But still, I got out of the house and tried to meet people!

I think being married to Edward is the only thing that hasn’t disappointed me in life in one way or another so far. I love being married to him so much. He’s the kindest, most supportive husband I could ask for. I was feeling overwhelmed today, like my life was a little bit out of control, because I am a little behind on work for my art history class, I have some photography jobs coming up that I’m nervous about and I have been slacking off on the housework because of depression then lack of motivation. I also just hate housework but I need to get over that because Edward is really busy with school and I’m the one who has the time to do it. I think I am just used to living such a simple, very low pressure existence that now that I have more things to do, I just need to readjust to the stress that brings.

See some photographs I took of some of these adventures below, along with some others from February & March.

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