Handling the Hypomanic

So I don’t know what my insurance situation is still. Until I do…I’m going to post on other topics.

Divider GreyMy hypomanic states leave me totally drained when they end. I mean…when I come down after days/weeks of being in that state, I just crash into a full-blown major depressed state that will last for months. It’s not unusual for me to go for months without having anything resembling hypomanic states. It’s hard when I’m in the midst of depressed states, because I think that things would be better if only I had more energy, more strength to move forward.

In the midst of my months-long deep, major depressions, all I can really think is that it would be so much nicer to have just a bit more energy to function. If I could just go into one of those “up” periods that I so rarely had…it would be better. I never knew what those more energetic periods were. I knew that I was far more irritable than usual, and that I could go for hours, near onto a full day or more without sleep to get things done…all without any real strain that was noticeable in the moment. I didn’t notice the way things were piling up on me, until the energy all left me, and the piled up stress and strain hit me at once, and I’d crash at the end of this energetic period and I’d be plunged back into a depressed episode.

I would try to trigger hypomanic episodes…without really knowing what they were, or why they left me nearly as drained as they did. Because, compared to my long depressions, having energy was a gift. Even for a short period of time. It felt like it was worth it. The annoyance it left me with, the strain it put on me…it was not something I really thought too much about. They were small prices to pay for being able to get things done without constantly struggling to get out of bed.

Now that I know what I’m dealing with…I’m more even-keeled on my medications. But, I have to remind myself that the bursts of energy and boundless determination that a hypomanic episode gives me are not the gift that I thought they were. Sure, they might give me an opportunity to work for hours on end without the hassles of being distracted, and I might get a lot of work done. But…that irritation, anger and annoyance are real issues, and I do get snappy when I’m in that state. And the crash that follows is problematic. Because I sink down, need a lot of sleep to recuperate. I get tired and sad, sluggish and just generally weepy afterwards.

Hypomania is not the occasional “fun” thing that I thought it was. It’s rare enough for me still to have an up-trend that I need to remind myself that these things are not helpful. They are not useful. Being even-keeled is good for me. Being out of control either hypomanic or depressed in direction is not useful for me. I like being in control, it helps keep me sane. So for me, it is a constant reminder that those little glimmers of how exciting the hypomanic is…they’re just false for me. They aren’t going to help me in the long run. They just contribute to long-term draining of my energy levels. That constant reminder that hypomania is not fun is how I handle the occasional thought that just this once I’d like to just tip over the edge and just let myself go.

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