Whelmed.

“I be high, then I be low.”-Kid Kudi

But seriously, this is how my life used to be. Before I sought out help to maintain my moods and take control of my life, I was constantly told that this is a normal reaction to things that happen in life. I believed that for so long because my life was in constant chaos. I mean, I guess I still have a lot of chaos but I am in more control now. I used to have these reactions to situations that everyone has play out in their minds. I would go from zero to one hundred in the blink of an eye.

What they don’t tell you is that you will plateau. You level out on mood stabilizers and I cannot describe it in any other way but nothingness. I believe that we (those with mood disorders) are so used to feeling an extreme that we lose our sense of being okay. It is almost as if I am looking for the next big dip or rise.

I guess I just need to get that thought out there. Now that I write it, it seems silly or pointless. When I started writing my blog I thought that it would be a place for me to reason with myself and my emotions. A healthy outlet to express what I am feeling and maybe find others who can validate what I am feeling because everything about getting better is new and foreign.

Now I feel that there may be people out there who are searching for a raw look into what those with mood disorders think and feel during “recovery”. As I write this I took time to look up “plateau bipolar” and found a rather interesting article describing the feeling as “whelmed“. LOL…literally LOL. I love that. It is perfect in describing that I am not overwhelmed or underwhelmed. I have hit a spot where my medication is adjusted just right (crosses fingers) and although I know that the appointments and therapy are necessary, I just don’t want to go because it seems like a chore now.

We all have things that we must do, but don’t realize the importance of until we stop. Brushing our teeth is a great one. We just do it and one day we might fall asleep on the couch without brushing before bed and wake up with a very REAL difference. My difference would be late night writing of lists and effortlessly running on 4 hours of sleep until my body gives out and I fall into a heap of exhaustive tears.

tomato tamoto though amirite?

I never mean to discount what all people feel. That is the best part about the internet. There is always someone out there living a different life that can relate on some level. Regardless if they have an identical illness or lead a similar life they can find a way to relate to that feeling you get.

I don’t wish that anyone has this feeling, but if you do I would love to know if you have anything that makes you feel better in the moment. For me, it is connecting with all of you beautifully minded people.

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12 Replies to “Whelmed.”

  1. I have BP-T1, and don’t take medications.

    However, I do know many others who do, find this plateau after a few adjustments, and then wonder the same two things: do I still need these sessions and what do I do now in this state of proper normal?

    For these friends of mine, I always stick with: please keep attending and visiting. Adjustments might still be needed; we don’t know the future but we can better prepare.

    For the other, I help them with understanding that the out of control flights helped guide earlier but now it is their turn to decide. Most dislike this since the ups, downs, and all arounds became the new normal and this real normal of searching, finding, and accepting as more difficult.

    Overall, I just help them on the side of their more major needs: proper visits, health, and focus on stability.

    1. I appreciate your view point on things. I think the biggest take away is do what you need to in order to keep living a healthy and full life. For some that means therapy and for others medications. Whatever works, keep doing it and if doesn’t change it. Change is good and necessary some times. I’m glad you have a balance. Thanks for reading and providing more insight!

  2. I get this. My new medications don’t work as well as my old ones did before they stopped working. On the old meds, I experienced some contentment, evenness, razor sharp focus, good sleep etc. I thought that all meds could make me feel better. My new ones, 10 years later, do nothing of the sort. They act kind of how you describe. Nowheresville. Not content, focused or even but not crazy up and down extremes. I guess they are doing good at making me feel “ok enough” to get through the week usually? And I’m equally ambivalent about all the other stuff I am having to do that probably just keeps me functioning “ok enough but without it, it would be horrendous.

  3. Due to the opioid epidemic, my state has cut down on the amount of benzodiazepines a person can have per month. I was dropped a whole milligram in one fell swoop. They are for my PTSD and Panic disorder. I do not feel nearly as stable as I once did due to the drop in dosage. I don’t know if I have ever hit a plateau. I have had one session with my old psychiatrist where he marked me as being in partial remission, but for the most part I live in rapid-cycling, mixed-episode world. It’s great fun! I never know where I’ll be mood wise, but if you don’t like my mood, just wait a while, it will change. On a side note, I think for the most part my meds work well. They just don’t always work as well as they ought to. I do not think I have ever really felt “normal.” Good post!

  4. Medication can become a problem. I have Bipolar Type ll. A therapist I once saw drew a flat line (It was your description of “whelmed.” I like that word.) On top of that line, he drew a curved line slightly higher then slightly lower. I’ve never had an extreme manic episode, but the highs were experienced as days when I worked very hard jumping from task to task with none of them being completed. It was frustrating to go to bed at night only to discover I had only three corners of my fitted sheet tucked in. I often pick up jobs cleaning house for others, and on those days I don’t clean one room then go to the next. I work in every room. Since I’ve been hired to do a job completing it takes three to four times as long, and I wind up exhausted with cleaning supplies scattered all throughout the house. That may last for a few days and quickly drop below the line which is my usual state which is called dysthymia. The combination of medications that I take causes me to be unable to cry. It can also feel in a flat state of this low level of depression relatively void of emotion. The mood stabilizer (Lamictal) was the first drug I ever took that kept me from rapidly falling into deep depression and stopped my episodes of crying without cause. I don’t know how others feel, but a good cry can release a bunch of pent-up frustrations, and the medications have stopped it. It even kept the crying in grief over my Mother’s death minimal to the point that it seemed to others like I was unaffected. I had to hold that grief inside.

    1. My medications keep me from crying too. I kind of miss a good cry because it just feels so cleansing, and now they are few and far between. I feel like I have a lot of pent up emotion because I have a really hard time crying. I am sorry to hear of your mother. That must be hard for you.

  5. I meditate every morning for 15-20 minutes (I use the Headspace app). I either take long, brisk walks or go on the treadmill almost every day. Both meditation and exercise imrpove my moods for the rest of the day. I’m more postive, calmer, more focused and have more energy. They days I write for my blog (or work on my new podcast) are also always positives for me that translate into better days.

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