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
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.