22 June 2013



Long time, no see. No write, more precisely.


I guess I owe an explanation. It is not going to be a post on GNOME or coding or documentation or anything techincal, and it is going to be a bit long, so feel absolutely free to skip. But, nevertheless, I feel like I should write something about the reason why I disappeared for about four months.

Let us start from the beginning, more or less: six years ago I doctor told me I have bipolar disorder. That is: mood swings so intense that they condition your life, and not for the good. It was not exactly a shock: I had always been moody, but lately I had started to be a bit more than that, so much that I was spending one week doing all sort of stuff (cleaning the kitchen at 4am, check) and ten days in my bed being unable to do little more than sleeping and crying, unable even to read more than a couple of pages. So: bipolar disorder. As a side dish, attacks of depersonalisation and derealisation: nothing seemed real, I was so dizzy I could barely stand, I had no accurate perception of sizes and distances and sometimes even colours.

Bipolar disorder, so: medications. To make a long story short, I tried four combinations of molecules before finding one that did not give me too many side effects (although I gained 25% of my weight) and allowed me to do something with my life (although on occasions I had a couple of relapses into depression). Life was not that bad.

In november last year, the medications stopped working. By december I was a wreck. I went to my doctor and he referred me to a specialist (I am seeing a doctor for the depersonalisation, but he is not allowed to prescribe medication: I am very grateful for the NHS, the UK national health service, which provides quite a good service for free, but sometimes its bureaucracy is a bit intricate). In the meanwhile, I managed to do a couple of things, as I told in the last posts, but I was not doing well. My referral got lost, then found again.

Finally, in March, I saw the specialist: enthusiastic, nice and thorough. The first change of medication she tried did not work: although not so depressed anymore, I spent one month sleeping 14 hours a day and being tired all the time. She then decided to try another road; but this medication had to be introduced very, very, very (that is: very) slowly, due to a risk of allergic reaction that could have sent me to the emergency room or worse. And that is what I have been doing for the past months: living below the working dose of medication, waiting for the molecule to work. This means that I have gone back to mood swings again, mostly of the "depression" kind (I have been depressed ten days out of two weeks, on average). The first results of the therapy should be seen, finally, in about four weeks. Hopefully.

In the last week I have started feeling a bit better, anyway. I managed to read four books - graphic novels, to be honest, but given my reduced intellectual abilities for the past months it has been a real breakthrough. (By the way, "Hawkeye" by Fraction, Aja and Pulido is fantastic.) After an evening out, I haven't always had the need to spend the next day sleeping to recover my strength.

There are no words to thank all the people that have patiently stuck with me all this time, that has been kind to me, sometimes just sending me a message in a dark day. The greatest thank you goes to Emmanuele (my husband), of course; he has literally saved my life, and even more than that.

So, this is the story so far.

Wish me luck.

And see you soon.

And if you have any question or comments, feel free to leave them below, or write me an email. I will be away next week (mother/daughter bonding time, most of it at the opera in Milan) but I promise to answer as soon as possible, as far as I can.