It is worse at night when I am restless, alone, and trying to find sleep.
My Bipolar Life – Mania and Mixed Episode Edition
In this “Bipolar life,” mania is something that does and will happen. I don’t often talk about my manic side because I understand it less than my depression. There is no cure for the Bipolar disorder, so that means that my mania will come up, and when I least expect it to make an appearance.
Recently this past week I talked to my therapist about some changes that I was feeling in my life over the past week or two. The biggest has been my decreasing need for sleep. It is always one of the earliest signs that I miss when it comes to my mania. My lack of sleep has been well documented by my doctors, but this goes beyond my insomnia– I feel as if I don’t need rest at all. That can be dangerous because of my mental health, getting sleep is the most critical part, and the hardest to stay on track.
Not sleeping is a bad sign and one my therapist asked me to track since the early part of this week.
The other signs started to fall into place, and it made me realize that as far as I have come in understanding my Bipolar disorder, my mania can still give me pause and wonder. I have been restless to the extreme every night, I can’t lay down for more than twenty minutes before having to get up and walk around my house. I go outside and walk when it is possible, but most of the time I pace my house in the dark.
The last few days I caught myself moving about my house at all hours that I should be sleeping. What is worse is I am getting to sleep later and later (when things are right I am asleep around 11 pm and awake around 5 am.) Last night it was three in the morning before I crashed, and that was only with a max dosage of Seroquel.
My thoughts have been racing a million miles a minute that I have become numb to it again. I tend to forget that racing thoughts are not good, and a sign of what I like to call “Manic James.” This version of me is reckless and quick to anger. I get these ideas that I could write my next novel in one sitting. I think that there is nothing I can’t do, and I forget that there are limitations for someone that is Bipolar– it is just the truth.
That does not mean I what I want to accomplish can’t be done, it is the opposite. But I have to stay within what makes me productive and not change my mind every five minutes about what I am going to do that day.
Yesterday was the worst of it. My concentration was wavering since the moment I opened my eyes. I tried to write to get my mind straight, and it failed. I quickly switched to editing to no avail. I thought, okay James, let’s play a video game. That lasted about two minutes. Maybe it was the game? Nope. The next game on the list failed to keep my attention. I worked on my blog for a bit answering questions and blog surfing. Even that became too much. I could feel myself falling. It wasn’t long before I could feel a shift in my mood– this time depression began to creep in.
So, I sat down and wrote this blog post. It was the most productive thing I could do, and even this most likely won’t go down as my best work. It was important to me to not only share this experience, as it can be impossible to focus when switching back and forth from mania and depression. This mixed episode should make the rest of my evening an and weekend an interesting one.
I know this is just a part of the Bipolar life. Mania comes and goes. What I found particularly interesting when discussing my current episode with mania with my therapist is a lot my mania happens during the summer months. I fail to understand it because I do so much better from May to October with my dperession. When I feel like I can do anything in my writing, it is a good thing, but I have to also understand that not taking my manic side seriously can have some adverse side effects.
I will keep fighting this fight. I will continue
I will continue the narrative here on The Bipolar Writer blog with the hope that one day I will better understand this life. I have come so far, and I have learned so much, but this will always be a fight.
Always Keep Fighting (AKF)
If you want to know where AFK started you must check out this campaign from Jared Padalecki: https://represent.com/store/jared
He doesn’t pay me to advertise, but I have bought many AKF shirts and hoodies over the last few years. I love that somoone famous is trying to do good for the mental illness community that he is a part of.
James Edgar Skye