in {and out} the mood

I have a hard time writing lately.

It’s not that I don’t have anything to blog about…goodness no!  I never believe someone when they say they have run out of things to say.  How can that happen?  I could sit here and tell you about a million things.

No, not having ideas is not my problem.

My problem is my ever-changing mood.

I will get a post all written out in my head just waiting for my fingers to be in contact with a keyboard. Thirty minutes.  That is all I will need.  And the post will be down and ready to schedule or publish.

But what happens between my head composing it and my digits typing it is a change of heart.  A change of mood.  Something that was so earnest and heartfelt the day or hour before is now gone.  It fall flat when I go to type it.

Chances are, the sentiment and feeling behind it will come back…but it will be different.  It will have played itself out.

Upon working with my psychologist and my psychiatrist, I am finding that my hormones and other chemicals have not leveled out yet since giving birth in March. Technically, a woman is considered postpartum for a full year after giving birth.

My ups are way up, and my downs come crashing out of nowhere.

In both cases I feel the need to write.  To record my feelings. To hammer out these thoughts that flood my head.  But it is rare that I can muster it back up when I am in front of a computer with ample time to write.

I’ve been tracking my downs.  They come during the second half of my month.  It’s like my brain is literally on a roller coaster.  I am climbing a hill and enjoying myself for two weeks.  I have more patience, I am less likely to snap at people.  Small things don’t grate on me.  I can let things go much easier.

For a brief day or two I am on the top of that hill.  Things look rosy and anything seems possible.  I feel like I could take on anything that the world throws at me and do it all in the most pinterest-worthy fashion ever.

The down side of the hill is much more abrupt and I find myself hurling toward the bottom.  Things feel out of control. My hair whips around my face and it’s hard to see how far from the bottom I am.  What do I need to do first?  How do I prioritize and why in the CRAP do stupid people exist?  Just to bother me and make my life miserable?

And then I bottom out.

Thanks to some new things we are trying with meds and to my new SAD Lamp, these lows are not so hard-hitting.  They are less jolting than riding the Mean Streak, but they are not quite as smooth as the Millennium Force. I mean ultimately, roller coasters are pretty fun.  The cycles of the chemical levels in my brain are annoying and not what I would classify under “fun”.

The super great days and the super crappy days are very short-lasting. The building and the falling last much longer.

And sort of both suck in their own way.

I’ve read it on other blogs of people who have anxiety and/or depression, and I’ll say it too…I never know anymore what emotional responses are “normal” and what are because of the chemical levels being “off” in my brain.

I am constantly asking myself if I am over-reacting, under-reacting, having too much sympathy, being to apathetic.  Are my expectations of other people to high?  Do I write too many people off?  Am I over-thinking?  Should I care more?

Whenever I feel like I am stretched too far that I may just break I wonder, “Am I really?  Or am I used to saying that it’s my anxiety, so I just automatically chalk it up to that? Can I really get through this or is this the straw that is going to break my back?”

I wonder if I should push myself less or more.

When I am overtired and overworked…am I?  Or am I being a wuss?

Or am I being a crazy overworking, no sleeping, put everyone before her woman?

How I write about experiences is based on the mood I am in when it happens.  How the experience struck me.  If that mood runs away, I can’t muster it back up to put words to it.

And so it goes…


This post may have some amazon affiliate links.  If you buy it I get, like, a quarter or something.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. I understand what you are saying about not knowing anymore if your responses are normal, or if they are due to the chemical levels. This is something I struggle with all the time.

    When I’m in that falling place (and definitely when I bottom out) it is hard to write, and it is hard to call up the emotions from a different day when I was in a different place on the roller coaster….all of that to say – I get this. It sucks. You are not alone.

  2. Mamaintheburbs says

    Thinking of you! I know how it feels to ride the rollercoaster and it sucks. Hang in there. Can I ask you the name of the SAD lamp and where did you get it? I live in Boston and I’m just petrified of the upcoming long winter.

    • I bought my SAD Lamp on amazon (the link is up there in the post). It was recommended to me by another blogger and I really love it!

  3. I’ve been in the bottoming out phase lately and I don’t know what it is. I’m not depressed, sad or anxious. I’m just blah and meh and I don’t know what to do about it. And now I’m laid up with post-op appendectomy and have plenty of time to sit here and figure things out.

    Except I haven’t. Know that I’m thinking of you. xoxo

  4. Every bit of this rings true. Every bit. Hang in there.

  5. Oh, Kate. Those few words “or am I used to” are perfect. I find myself questioning my actions/reactions/mood and trying to figure out if that’s how I genuinely feel or am I playing into what I’m “used to” feeling.

    And it’s ok. Write anyway and leave them as drafts. I tend to go back to them periodically to see if it’ll come out. One of mine just let me get it out with the same gusto I had for it back in August, so you never know.

    • Girl, you should see my drafts folder…it is a MESS! Ha! It stresses me out every time I log in to my dashboard to see that mess in the right hand corner. But you’re right…sometime something over there catches my eye and suddenly I have to revisit it and finish it.

  6. I’ve been feeling the same way. I’ve also felt so very disconnected from the world. Weirdly enough I’ve started going to church (alone). If you know me…you know my history with that…but it’s making me feel better. I’m not sure what I believe, but know I feel *something* while there. I’m happy just to be doing something different rather than wallowing.

    I hope you feel better soon!

    • I do know your history with all that, and I am glad that at least trying something new is helping. That is sort of how my butt ended up back in church too. Something felt disconnected…I needed something. I am definitely not as…um…conservative as most, but there is something in the spirituality of it that is helping fill the void and make my brain less fuzzy.

      That and anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds 🙂

  7. Wait! You link to the Millennium Force! Can I BUY that?? 🙂 Merry Christmas to me! xoxo

    I get this, though perhaps to less of an extent. But I understand what you mean when you say you want to record the emotions or the moment but lose it in the time it takes to sit down and record or that you find it’s morphed into something else. I hope your ride becomes smoother soon.

  8. Your whole experience with the first two weeks versus the second two weeks resonates deeply with me. The only difference is, I had my last baby ten years ago, so it’s not postpartum for me. (Maybe premenapause – ick!) I think we can both agree that hormones suck all around, right?

  9. This resonated with me so much. I’ve been in the dumps a bit lately. This time of year seems to make it worse. Hope it gets better for you soon. And if you ever need some super duper Florida sunshine, door’s open! Hugs!

  10. You know, you just summed up a great deal about why I’ve been a bit sporadic on the blog lately – I come up with an idea, and by the time I actually have a chance to write it, the only thought I have is “damn, I’m tired.”

    Simply, right now, I’m wishing that you find where your normal is – because, once you know that, you know how to aim for “high” more often than not.

  11. This time of the year is hard for so many people. The pressure and the weather have a lot to do with it. Hang in there, lady!