Now that I am on an even keel, all I can do is shake my head in wonder.
A week and a half ago I started slipping into a depressive state. Now because I am prone to rapid cycling bipolar I just go with the flow as it usually only lasts a few days. But if it lasts a week or becomes unmanageable and I decline into not wanting to be alive, I reach out for help.
Wednesday I woke up and it had been a week since the decline had commenced and I was worse. I hadn’t bathed in days and needed to go out to do a presentation at the local Mental Health First Aid class on the lived experience of mental illness. I pulled on all my energy and resources to bathe and get myself out of the house; this was one commitment I was not going to cancel, as I had done with many others.
I emailed my Doctor and Psychiatrist to provide them an update, advising that if it did not improve by Friday, I would increase my antidepressant as previously discussed and agreed. Only two hours later, I had declined significantly and no longer wanted to be alive. I again emailed my Doctor and Psychiatrist advising I was increasing my antidepressants immediately, putting my "Safety Plan' into action and promised to call WallE (my husband) to come home from work if my suicidal thoughts became more than just thoughts.
I struggled through the next several hours, practicing my self-care strategies, later distracting myself by reading. The ability to lose myself in the plot of a book has been one of the best strategies for me when I need a distraction. But then I started to feel restless and couldn’t concentrate or focus, reading the same paragraph numerous times before giving up in disgust.
By the time WallE got home from work at 5pm I was in an elevated agitated mixed state. How that presents in me is that I am full of restless energy, easily distracted, inpatient, agitated, become very productive, but flit from one task to another often not finishing the one before. I become quick to anger, snippy and can’t settle to go to sleep; in fact I only slept for 1 hour that night.
When I awoke from my one hour sleep on Thursday morning, I was still in the same state. By mid-morning I became hypomanic. Oh how I love hypomania. I felt content, euphoric, energetic, productive, happy, driven, motivated, with clear logical and inspirational thoughts and ideas. I wish I could stay like this forever. I enjoyed this time immensely.
I slept for eight and a half hours Thursday night; my usual is five to six hours, so I awoke well rested. Friday my mood was on an even keel, I achieved much, caught up on some things that had been pushed aside while depressed and felt satisfied with my productivity for the day. I went to bed at the usual time and slept for two hours, then “boing” I’m wide awake again. I get up at 11.15pm and over the next five hours throw myself into the remaining tasks that had been pushed aside while depressed. I don’t know how to explain what state I was in; I was elevated, very focus, driven and motivated, but without the euphoria that usually accompanies hypomania.
I went back to bed at 4.30am, slept until 11.20am, arose sluggish, lethargic and drowsy, with a frown because I knew I had to get my arse into gear to go to my Mother-In-Law’s for her birthday and I was struggling finding the energy to go bathe and get ready (oh reading that last sentence I should clarify, I was frowning because of the lethargy, not because I was going to my Mother-In-Law’s, lol). So, again I pushed myself to meet my commitments and off we toddled on our 1 ½ to 2 hour drive.
By the time we arrived there I was becoming increasingly elevated and cycled back into hypomania. They had trouble shutting me up, I had to comment on everything said/topic raised. About a half an hour away from home on the way back, I began to come down and completed the rest of the day in an even keel mood. I was able to be relaxed enough to make myself comfortable on the couch and watch a couple of episodes of a series.
Thinking back on the previous four days, I went to bed wondering what tomorrow would bring. What coping strategies and techniques would I have to put in place? Will I be able to function enough tomorrow to attend my Daughter-In-Law-To-Be’s birthday afternoon tea? Will my head be clear enough to drive (if it isn’t I don’t drive. I loathe the idea of putting anyone else in danger)? Will I be agitated and unpleasant to be around? Will I be elevated, talkative and humorous?
I know I don’t have Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), but I feel like there are at least six different me’s and I don’t know which one is going to be the most dominant from hour to hour. Sometimes I struggle with these constant shifts and sometimes, like I stated at the start of this post, I shake my head in wonder and keep going.