Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Mild Confrontation = Misfiring Amygdala


I used to be great at it, sometimes I still am, but right now I have a struggle with confrontation. If things are a bit off for me, or I need them otherwise, sticking my hand up and putting out a few words can seem like a great struggle.

It's unusual for me. I used to take pride in how I could address situations but these past two weeks, I've just been letting things pummel over me.

Sleep, as someone with bipolar disorder and as a Margaret, is crucial to my well being. Sleeping in can be vital, just as routine, so when I'm woken up before I'm ready, it's a "thing."

I've got a lovely housemate who lives upstairs.
No qualms with her personality, she's loving and kind. Only thing is, she doesn't realize how far sound carries -- or that I hear every, every single step she makes. Now the steps, dude, nothing you can do about that. Step away, I get that. The past few mornings, though, I've been waking up to this,

"BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM."

Jumping.

Jumping at 5:30 AM.

My folks got me a noise machine to mask out when she runs the blender and coffee grinder at 5 AM (it works great! I sleep through it all) but this new development in her routine wasn't one I could keep up with.

Waking up to banging is not idyllic, for me.
Waking up at 5:30 AM is not doable, for me.

So I knew I needed to say something to her. It's not like she's got ill intentions or is even thinking about how it affects me (it just wasn't on her radar).

Right after the pounding, this morning, I rolled out of bed unwillingly and went upstairs to ask her to skip the jump-part of her routine (she likes to exercise in the morning).

Of course, she understood instantly and was apologetic and I suspect jumping won't happen again in the morning.

Problem solved, right?
Right?
Sure.

And then there was the aftermath that I got to deal with. This is why I'm writing. Asking your roommate to not jump above your head at 5:30 AM isn't really a thing.

I was experiencing a new set of feelings I'm not used to. As I took a step down the steps, I felt like my leg was going to give way. My legs felt weak, like gelatin desserts, and I didn't trust 'em wholeheartedly to get me back to my bedroom.

I would attribute that to standing up too fast, but I know what that's like for me and it involves the world turning black.

My head was pounding, my heart was pounding and racing.

It felt like some poorly written drama, but it was all happening in extremes (extremes for me based on my experiences). Generally, my body reacts to uncomfortable situations with brain-prickling and a stomach ache. Here, my body was reacting with sheer terror.

I think just means my amygdala was misfiring. It is pretty awful and knowing when I'm in danger and when I'm not. In this circumstance, it registered strongly in my brain, "DANGER!! DANGER!!" even though there was no danger, not even anger.

It was bizarre.

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