Wanting a Hypomanic Break

Wanting a Hypomanic Break

Sometimes, I wish I was hypomanic. I know that sounds bad, but I’ve been dealing with depression and suicidal ideations for so long, it would be nice to have a change. I don’t want to be in a complete manic episode with the negative effects such as uncontrollable spending or impulsive actions. I want hypomania, where I have enough energy so I can get everything done that needs to be done. In my hypomanic state, I’m energetic, I come up with a lot of ideas, I’m sociable (which normally scares me), and I feel happy. It would be nice to feel like that for a few days. I know it’s not healthy, but I’m so tired of depression that I would do just about anything to take a break from it.

I’ve been feeling like this and hoping for hypomania for several months now. I’m just curious if there are other people who feel the same way. I’m just wondering if I’m alone in this train of thought. I swing from one episode to another without much of a break to enjoy life. Is it so bad to desire a break from it all? My hypomania is pretty much a break because I’m able to enjoy most of it. Do others desire any specific episode?

I Did Well… For A While – My Life: Part 5

I Did Well… For A While – My Life: Part 5

After working at the rehab for 9 months, I decided I wanted to move forward with my life. I applied for many jobs in Phoenix. I got a job as a receptionist for a legal compliance and ethics e-learning company. I found an apartment in Phoenix and moved there with a guy I was dating from the rehab, but that relationship didn’t last. I don’t know when our relationship ended, but I think we lived together for about a year. I adopted a dog and named him Cash (after Johnny Cash). He was awfully energetic and liked to chew on everything. I learned how to train him, and he started to behave properly. Cash came with me to AA camping events, which was a blast. At some point, I found a great AA club where I would go to the same meeting every day at 6pm. I don’t like change, so moving was scary. I like to keep a regular schedule. I made a lot of friends at the meeting, but I would only go to that one meeting every day. One of the guys I met was Brandon, who became my best friend. He had the same sarcastic attitude that I have and we got along wonderfully.

I was doing really well at this time in my life. I got a promotion at work, I was able to live on my own, make friends, and maintain my sobriety and my mental health. I took my medication and saw my doctors regularly. I was seeing the psychiatrist that was treating me while I was in rehab. Brandon asked me to workout with him. I told him no for months, and then I ultimately caved and decided to go with him. I was terrified because it was something new, but Brandon made me feel safe. After working out with him once, I was hooked. I loved it. We started working out together 5 days a week. It helped me get through my days at work. I would go to work, then workout with Brandon, and then go to my meeting (often with Brandon). I was happy with this new schedule; it was working well for me.

In the beginning, I wasn’t open about my mental health when it came to my AA meetings. My close friends knew, but that was all. Eventually, I ended up talking about my bipolar disorder in a meeting. I felt as if it wasn’t accepted. Several times, I was told that I didn’t have a mental health problem. It was just an issue to work on through step work. That was a problem for me. I didn’t feel accepted. My mental health was a huge part of my life. Even when I’m doing well, it’s still a large piece of my life. I was stable for years. That had never happened to me before.

My psychiatrist decided to wean me off my meds slowly because I had been stable for such a long period. It was possible that my mental health issues were drug related, so we thought it was worth a try to get off medication. I was down to two medications, and then she took me off the Seroquel. About 4 months later, I started to fall apart. I thought it would be a good idea to go to therapy again because I started to remember things that I hadn’t previously remembered. These memories triggered what was eventually diagnosed as PTSD. With the PTSD coming up and the med changes occurring, it was like the perfect storm. I started having hallucinations and was shaking uncontrollably. My psychiatrist put me on Abilify, but that made it worse. I barely slept for 3 weeks.

My job let me work from home, but after a little while, I couldn’t even manage that any more. I went on short-term disability, which then turned into long-term disability. There were times that I struggled to feed the dog. My mom came out to stay with me for a little while, but she couldn’t be there all the time. I decided to move back to Connecticut because I couldn’t be on my own anymore. I’m lucky that she was able and willing to let me and my dog move in with her. My long-term disability turned in to Social Security Disability.

I thought writing my story would help my memory, and it has; but it has also become difficult for me. There’s a lot that I struggle to remember, and a lot of other things I wish I didn’t remember. I think I’m going to take a break from writing my story for a little while.

Bipolar Creativity

Bipolar Creativity

It is a well-known fact that individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder are often very creative. Many of us who have bipolar disorder are overloaded with creativity during manic and hypomanic episodes. Usually, in the beginning of these episodes, we tend to sleep less and be more productive and happy. There are many different forms of art including music, writing, artwork (drawing or painting), photography, videography, acting, and many more. Personally, I tend to write more and organize my house when I’m manic or hypomanic. I don’t see anything wrong with embracing your creativity during these episodes; however, it’s still important to follow-up with your doctors and attempt to balance out your life. There is a thin line between being creative and having psychotic episodes; it’s happened to me several times.

I recently received a gift from my mom, who knows how neat and organized I like everything to be. She gave me an adult drawing book and some colored pencils. What a great surprise! One of the coloring books she got me is all postcards; you color in on one side and write your message and address on the other side. I have been using it as an outlet for my frustration and my energy. Today, I finished my first piece of artwork. I had to throw my first one away because I wasn’t happy with the way it turned out. Now, I can go back and forth between writing and drawing. They are both wonderful therapeutic tools for me to use.

You don’t have to be manic or hypomanic to be creative, although it is more common during those episodes. You don’t even have to be bipolar. All I’m saying is that many artists are predisposed to mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder; and many individuals diagnosed as bipolar are predisposed to being some type of artist. There are many famous and successful artists that lived years ago, before people believed in mental illnesses. Some of these famous artists include Leonardo da Vinci had bipolar and dyslexia, Michelangelo had OCD, Isaac Newton had bipolar disorder, Beethoven had bipolar disorder, and so did Vincent van Gogh. There are and have been so many world-wide famous artists that struggled with bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses. I am inspired by these famous artists that struggled mentally but were very successful in their artwork. We don’t always have to look at our bipolar disorder as a deficit; sometimes there are good things that come out of the disorder, as long as we stay on top of everything and don’t let our episodes get too out of control.