I'm beginning to suspect I'm manic-depressive. But if I am, I spend 95% of my time manic.

The other 5% is where I am right now.

The day started out innocently enough. Got up in time to get to work on time. Had a full night's sleep. The morning went fine and I got to work only a little late, which is a bit early for me. Even work went fine. Mostly. Except for the receptionist's insistance that she has to spray scented Lysol into the air on a semi-regular basis. I'm positive that stuff's only making my throat trouble worse.

Things were fine through the day. I have some work I need to take care of tomorrow, but nothing too stressful. Work as usual, really.

Get home and dinner's ready. Roast beast with potatoes, carrots and gravy. And all is still well.

So I sit down for my evening session online. Check through my email, wait for the connection to get over a bout of trouble and proceed to play Diablo II for several hours without incident.

Then my husband gets home. Things are still ok. I'm coughing too much and my stomach muscles are starting to ache, though. My throat still isn't sore, just irritated.

It isn't until the internet connection drops again that the headache starts. And it all goes downhill from there.

I don't know what it is about certain levels of pain but they send me into a spiral. It's time's like these that I can understand why people kill themselves. I won't ever do that, but I can understand how more self-involved people would.

Tooth pain I can handle. Sinus pain I can handle. Sprains and strained muscles I can handle. What is it about tension headaches that cut through so thoroughly. I can ignore a sinus infection until the entire side of my face aches and I have to get antibiotics, but less than half an hour of headache and I'm reduced to tears.

I wish I cold figure out how to reach out to those I know care about me when I'm like this. I want to, but every time the opportunity is presented I just fold up inside myself and become a snapping turtle. All protective shell and sharp beak, unapproachable and pecking away at friends and innocent bystanders alike.

Why can I never let myself show weakness until after I've snapped. Why is it that the only place I ever admit I'm not some superwoman is when I'm writing. Never when I'm actually talking to someone. Never when the people I care about and who care about me can see that I'm troubled and want to help. Never when there's still a place where I can turn back. Only when it's beyond my ability to cope.

I'm not Atlas, I'm not Supergirl, and yet when I feel the weight of the world pressing down upon me, I still try to shoulder it all, not requesting help and even refusing what is offered. What is it I feel I have to prove and to whom?

I'm not even online as I type this. I got this far before the connection failed again. I had tried to "listen" to the conversation in the Chatterbox, but a few lines every three of four minutes just doesn't cut it. I don't know if this is even going to get posted. I'm resetting the modem now to see if that clears it. No telling. I don't know if I even care about it right now.

I wasn't kidding when I said I have two modes. I'm either quite happy and expressive or I'm flatline. I try not to let my family see me like this. It frightens them.