Mania Alert! (Don’t worry, it’s “hypo”). Hypo is not a typo. (See what I did there?)
It’s shifting time again, as it seems I’ve started a bit of “hypo-manic” stage. It’s the “less-dangerous” version of full-blown mania in Bipolar Disorder and usually pretty manageable.
If you follow my Facebook page, you’ll know that I’ve been on fire these last few months, doing everything from teaching writing in Vietnam, to blasting through Chicago to see international rugby, to reporting on visiting Japan, to traipsing around the Bornean jungle looking for Orangutans with Crazy Cora.
But lately, it’s been a little too much fire.
People have been asking me lately what Bipolar Disorder is like. I explain the mood swings. And then recently I’ve been saying how great I felt (even though I have Bipolar Disorder) and that I’ve been super-productive and am just doing so many different things even on very little sleep. And then…and then…it hits me. This is hypo-mania, it’s happening now.
So, hi, Bipolar Hypo-Mania! You know, I’m just feeling so amazing and getting so many things done, it’s hard to be critical of the state. But it’s just a little too much. My husband notices that in normal discussions, just shooting the shit, “The racecar is in red and there’s no slowing it down!”
Time to buckle up and downshift, but just today I’m trying to figure out how to do that. I just have so many ideas! Maybe it’s time to sit down and start writing my fiction book that I go the idea for the last time I had a manic episode. (Damn, it was brilliant! See, that hubris is classic Bipolar.)
Anyways, what to do? People always ask what to do in these situations.
-Well, I emailed my doctor for one.
I always go for medical treatment in these situations! Someone this week sent me a blog post about people giving medicated people a hard time. I spent 7 minutes yelling in the mirror about what I would say to those people who try to shame people for taking medications to battle mental illness. (Basically, fuck off. But I have soooo many excellent words to say it with…there’s that symptom again.)
-I talked to my husband about devising some strategies for managing the behaviours at home before it causes problems.
We haven’t figured anything out yet, but being on a team in a relationship if really important when you have mental health problems. Good thing it’s only one of us!
-I want to start up so more meditation this week.
Meditation does not trump medication. Ever. But it’s a helpful tool and feels pretty good to give myself permission to just sit. Also, observing my thoughts helps me see the mood patterns. Chiefly, the goal is not to be UP all the time, but rather in the middle.
-I have this plan to buy a statue of Guan Yin, the Chinese Goddess of Mercy, whose figure was in the title of book by a bipolar Singaporean lady I met at a book signing.
In my head, I’m ready to negotiate with the store that sells the statue. You see, I’ve been eyeing this statue for about two years and every time I go to check on the price, they give me a different price. But I’ve got the cash stashed in my wallet and it’s been there for a few weeks. It’s time.
-I ordered some kind of brainwave headband that shows you what your brain state is whilst you’re meditating.
I’ve been looking at these brainwave devices also for several years. This one isn’t too expensive but one brand, which is approved by the FDA for depression and insomnia, is several hundred dollars! The one I bought just measures brainwave activity but the expensive one actually changes it. Maybe down the road I can try that one…
-And I’m writing this blog again after a long break.
It’s funny, I don’t always feel compelled to blog when things are normal. Truly, it is way more interesting to blog when the “racecar is in red.” (And do you know I can type more than 120 words a minute, especially in the racecar? Fucking brilliant. And there’s that classic Bipolar grandiosity again…)
I’ve just told my husband that I’m doing some writing and he’ll probably say to stop immediately, LOL! But it seems like the right thing to do now. Aside from that, I’ll stick to my manic schedule, which includes a charity event for writing, walking thousands of steps in my two ongoing Fitbit challenges ( just won one last week, thank you very much), doing a radio show interview, planning yoga and mediation and shopping for the week, and getting ready to go to Bintan island for a long Chinese New Year weekend.
Go go go, Speed Racer!
–Rise from the ashes, never give up. Haven’t said that in awhile.
~Andrea, The Bipolar Phoenix