I’ve been up since 4a.m. For some people, this would just be a night of less-than-ideal sleep. For me, it’s trouble.
Which is so hard to accept because I feel invigorated, energetic, smart…. how could those things be bad?
So many people talk about struggling with depression, but my struggle with mania–with poking a hole in and deflating the puffed up shiny balloon of a mood that is floating into the stratosphere — has been just as hard.
Below I’m going to try to go through what’s been happening the past couple days to try to gain some insights into mind and hopefully connect with anyone going through the same thing.
Here is what I wrote yet didn’t publish Tuesday night:
I should start by saying that this will not be my most polished blog post because I’ve taken my medication early tonight in hopes it will kick me back to normal. It’s already started to work; I feel so incredibly groggy I can hardly type. But I wanted to post, still, because I have some more insight into my mood this evening.
Definitely getting manic-ish. One of the huge indicators that I am getting too high is, unfortunately, this blog. When I get manic I lose my filter, become more self-centered, and I like to talk about bipolar.
My mind is racing so much I can’t have a clear thought. Going to go to bed and hope to wake up better.
Yesterday morning, I did wake up “better:”
When feral thoughts dominate my mind like wild cats herded into a tiny cage, there is nothing I can do–other than sleep– to quiet their impossible hissing.
This morning, after seven hours of shut eye induced by Seroquel and Lunesta, I did wake up feeling much more centered. I also felt fantastic, though I knew the feeling was a warning sign that I’m still too “high.”
And now, today:
One of the hardest things about living with bipolar is that the high that can kick in after a depression feels sacred. Like the most beautiful gift–an offering from the gods you’d be silly to cast off because, finally, after months of doom-and-gloom, you feel not just hopeful, but excited to be alive.
With this hope comes, for me, responsibility. It’s not just a “good mood” it is, possibly, the first stage of an episode.
What has helped me most over the years is really understanding my own personalized symptoms of hypomania. Here’s what happens to me :
1. I obsess over cleaning house and grooming myself
2. I lose my filter and tell people a little too much personal information; I also tend to talk about “my bipolar disorder.”
3. I look in the mirror and feel really attractive.
4. I become the center of some kind of tornado of work drama that seems to be caused by outside forces.
5. I talk too much, too fast, and I lose my train of thought. “I forgot what I was even saying….” I will tell someone. This never happens to me when I’m in my normal mood state.
6. I feel popular and loved even the reality is that, as I noted last week, I am unbearably lonely.
Because I can, after so many years of managing the illness, see these symptoms arise, I can also monitor them.
Today, I know I’m going to be running on fumes, inclined to talk about myself too much, long-winded, egotistical. But I will resist those urges as much as I can; that’s how I’ve been able to keep a full time job and live like this.