Well, it’s been an interesting week. The last seven days or so are the first time that I’ve been hypomanic and actually aware that that’s what was happening. I’ve come to realize that prior to being diagnosed, I had these so-called unexplainable bouts of terrible insomnia a few times a year. Nope. Hypomania. I just dismissed or didn’t notice the other stuff that went along with the insomnia.
I slept a maximum of four hours a night over the last week but still had tons of energy. It was like I couldn’t talk fast enough, think fast enough, move fast enough to keep up with everything I wanted to say and do. I got an insane amount of organizational projects done at home. I wanted to spend every dime I have to my name because hot damn shopping feels good. I wanted to screw anyone willing and able because…well, I don’t think I need to explain that one. For me, to be manic is to have no anxiety, no sadness, no pain, no fear.
It’s goddamn amazing.
I didn’t realize how afraid I’ve been, and for how long, until I got this break from it. Over the last six to nine months or so, I was looking at my depression as something that was most likely going to kill me. I knew I couldn’t hold on forever in the pain I was in; one day, maybe not for years, but someday, it was going to hurt just a little too much and I was going to be just a little too tired to carry it anymore. I had expressed the fear that that might happen, but I never told anyone that the fear had turned into certainty. Not even my therapist. And that is a godawful thing to walk around with. And then I got my diagnosis and suddenly it made so much sense that my depression was so severe and my treatment wasn’t working, which was a huge relief, but holy shit, this hypomania. This hypomania almost made me forget I was ever sad. I haven’t been able to even fathom the idea of dreading a new day, much less wanting to die. No anxiety, no fear. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say this hypomania is a gift. How weird that mental illness, at least this one, can feel good sometimes, right? How bizarre.
I think I’m coming down now. Last night I actually felt tired and fell asleep at a decent hour and didn’t wake up for the day at 3:30 in the morning like I have been. Today I feel like I’m talking/thinking/moving at a more normal speed for me, and the elevated mood is sliding down into irritability. What I have to do now is keep my fingers crossed that I don’t keep sliding and end up in a depressive episode, because OH MY GOD I have spent enough time in that place, fuck you every much. I saw my psychiatrist today and he said it could go either way. I might level out and just be normal until my next episode, or I might get depressed. Everyone is different. Bipolar II is annoying as hell because it can look so different for each person and doesn’t have the predictability of bipolar I. I’m still on a super tiny dose of Lamictal but I’m on enough Abilify now for it to be doing its thing, so my doctor said I may just level out or if I do get depressed, it’ll be over quickly.
I can’t even tell you what that feels like, to know that I’m on medication that is going to help – not hopefully, but actually. At last. The fearlessness of the hypomania is not sustainable, but finally having the right diagnosis and getting the right treatment is taking away my fear in a more real and enduring way. And it feels so good to not be scared.