What Goes Up Must Come Down
That's what Issac Newton said. He was referring to gravity, but it can also be applied to bipolar disorder. I have done pretty well for the past five months. I have felt great, in fact. A few weeks ago I felt exceptionally good. I was really plowing through work, making a dent in the decorating that I have wanted to do for the past year and even cleaned out my closets. I bought some new clothes that made me feel good, despite the extra pounds that I put on during my depression and I found three new pieces of furniture for our basement at Home Goods. That all sounds pretty great, right?
I naively thought that I was feeling really happy, but when a whirlwind of energy, activity and buying happens all at once for me, it's usually a sign of hypomania. I always brush it off because when I feel good. I take the happiness and energy and run with it. However, about a week later I felt like I was hit by a train. I wouldn’t say I was depressed; I just felt weird. I felt like I had the energy was sucked out of me, my brain was foggy and I felt numb. Those feelings then triggered my anxiety because I was afraid it was the beginning of a downward spiral. I felt so let down and was trying to figure out what I did wrong, even though I know there was nothing I did to cause the mood shifts. Thankfully that low only lasted about a week. During that period I forced myself off the couch, fought napping, went for a walk and tried to engage my brain in some activity. Unlike during my last major depression, I was actually able to do the things I know would help keep me afloat. I wasn’t completely paralyzed, which was a relief.
I am back to feeling “normal.” I am getting my work done, able to think clearly and getting some energy back. I also don’t feel numb, but I do have some residual anxiety that is manifesting in the form of health fears. I have had headaches that must be brain tumors lately. Since this was the first true mood swing since I was put on my new medication regimen in December, I was taken by surprise, but I have to assume that this is to be expected. My bipolar disorder isn’t cured; it’s managed. So, I’m bound to have some ups and downs. It’s just that my brain always tricks itself into thinking my illness is gone when I feel good. I see my doctor in a couple weeks and I may go back to weekly instead of bi-weekly therapist appointments. I will take this slight bump in stride because I'm still 95% better than I was a year ago.