Our expert says:
Gosh, this message is so long, I think I'll need to stop for a cup of coffee and a short lie-down after reading it. Do try to edit your questions, folks, not only out of kindness to me, but because the exercise is in itself useful for you.
Alcohol ( and the amount you describe drinking is rather a lot, though infrequent ) adds to mood instability, notoriously.
Anyhow, if I understand what your question eventually was, it sounds wise to focus on useful but less emotionally demanding areas of psychological work, as you have outlined.
Cyclothymia may indeed be a valid diagnosis. What puzzles me is that in your whole lengthy saga, there is no mention of any form of treatment or evn of any proper assessment by an appropriate expert. If so, why not ?
DO ( especially while it could be arranged through your educational institution ) see a really good shrink for a full assessment, and a discussion of treatment options.
Cyclothymia is less responsive to medications, but could be more amenable to CBT-style psychological interventions.
Now I just need a damp cloth to wrap around my forehead ....
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