She’s a Maniac…

I’m not sure I’ve ever really identified a manic episode while it was happening. I know I have them, but I tend to realize it after the fact rather than in-the-moment. Hindsight is 20/20. Plus, I’ve never had a full blown manic event – I’ve never hopped a flight to Vegas and gambled my house away or bought a house full of furniture in a single spree. I have Bipolar II disorder, marked by severe depressions and hypomania. Here’s a great site for more info.  It gives just a quick explanation of Bipolar II. http://bipolar.about.com/cs/faqs/f/faq_bp2.htm

Anyway.

Last week I awoke several mornings feeling AMAZING. Like I had the best night’s sleep of my life and was headed to Disney World for the day AMAZING.

I knew I felt refreshed but didn’t realize there was a real outward difference until a coworker pointed it out. She remarked that I was “very focused” and “really organized and energetic”. These comments were made with astonishment, such was the difference in my attitude and demeanor. (That’s not to say I don’t exhibit these characteristics daily anyway, but the extreme to which I demonstrated these attributes this past week was startling.) I wondered if this was really just a return to the real me as I started new meds a few weeks ago.

When I awoke on Saturday morning, I didn’t realize anything was out of order at first. I got up, made my coffee, sat down to check e-mail and the news. But it happened quick. As I was sifting through the day’s headlines my mind started to wander.  Like a stone thrown in a pond, the first ripple of thought was spreading. And then another and another until my thoughts piled on themselves like snow falling in an avalanche. I was buried alive in a crushing mountain of thought that stifled my ability to translate thought to action. To say I had racing thoughts would be an unjust understatement – this was something far worse.

So, Saturday and Sunday I spent the majority of the time on the couch, locked by my own ideas into a state of paralysis. I have never experienced such a thing before. I was unable to complete any tasks or follow through on anything because I couldn’t follow the thought from beginning to end. It was at once both frustrating and frightening.

Today is Monday and, luckily, a day of rest thanks to the Veterans who have served this country. I was able to get to the grocery store today and I also showered. Yes, these were both pretty good accomplishments for the day. It is presently Monday evening and I am pleased to say that I seem to have begun the downward swing of this episode. I am again uber-focused, making homemade banana chocolate pancakes and bacon for dinner.  I have racing thoughts, but they are manageable and nothing like this weekend.

Some people with bipolar disorder spend weeks or months at a time trapped in an episode. Not me.  I’m what’s called an Ultradian Cycler. That means that my episodes last for only hours or days rather than weeks or months. It’s a double-edged sword, trust me. It was a good thing this weekend when I needed to get out of this mania, but it also means I spend a lot of time regulating my mood and reactions on a daily basis. It’s seriously exhausting and a full-time job in and of itself.

Coming back to square. Tedd’s just come home from his dad’s with a bag of Halloween candy and a smile. Time for me to fluff my hair, adjust my glasses and become Mom.

All in a day’s work.

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One thought on “She’s a Maniac…

  1. Unfortunatley, I know how very debilitating these episodes are for you – I’ve been there when one attacks and I’ve witnessed it’s aftermath. It saddens me to read about it in black and white. I wish there were things I could do to prevent them from ever occurring again but we know that can’t be. Just know that I’ll always do my best to give you as much understanding and support as any mother can. It goes without saying that I’m am forever here for you.
    Mommy loves her Sarah.

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