Allow me to just face it – there are times I miss my manic self. Colors glow brighter, I’m invincible, and there seems to be no consequence to any decision I make. Perhaps that was what conveniently contributed to my consistent forgetfulness when it came time to take my morning dose of medication. I blamed it on simply being too tired in the morning to remember it before work. But then, miraculously enough, I started feeling more energized in the morning. In fact, I began feeling quite fantastic. I sailed through work each day feeling more and more competent in my new job. My relationship with my husband began to improve. I just couldn’t get over how happy and blessed I was to be married to him. My sex-drive soared through the roof and was convinced this “new me” was here to stay. I started calling old friends to make plans to get together and while I was at it, why not apply to grad school… again? My appetite plummeted and I quickly lost 5lbs, which just made me even happier.
This is what a typical hypomanic episode looks like for me. I can still work, there are no signs of psychosis or other more serious manic symptoms such as delusions or wildly impulsive, dangerous behavior. I suppose I should be grateful that things did not escalate too far this time. There was no crash into deep depression afterwards, which is what usually happens if I am fully manic. And yet, I am left with a feeling as though I have been let down. The colors are not as bright, I’m no longer special, and the reality I must go back to feels rather dim. Such is life I suppose.
What was the trigger? My doctor loves this question and it was easy to identify this time. In addition to skipping out on my morning doses, I had to abruptly stop working and assist my son, who had to quarantine due to a close COVID contact, with virtual school. The resulting change in schedule and routine was all it took. I’d like to think of myself as stronger or more resilient but apparently a change in the daily grind is all it takes. I’m still not back to baseline but getting closer. I’m on day 4 of taking my full dose of medicine and next week I’ll have to go back for labs. I’m hoping the restlessness fades away soon. I’m sure it will. But the clincher in all this is, and I’ll be brutally honest here, part of me just wanted to hear angels talk to me again. It didn’t happen. I wonder if they are still there or if I will ever hear them again. But staying out of full-blown mania is a good thing. Or at least that’s what I tell myself.