* * *As much as I've taught myself about hypomania, I still sometimes surprise myself when I feel I have behaved badly. And it's a humbling experience. Two days ago, when I was at the event for my friend's child, in retrospect I talked too much. Without my husband to monitor me (we spent years working out a system), it's sometimes difficult for me to recognize the "Chatty Cathy" behavior until afterwards.
It's not like my behavior embarrassed my friends. And certainly there are people who aren't bipolar who talk too much, but it still bothers me. With most other things in life, once I've learn a new skill (whether it's playing a sport or a musical instrument) or figured something out about who I am (whether it's that I'm an introvert by nature or hypersensitive), I take what I've learned and go with it.
But hypomania is different. For one thing, it's seasonal--for me. In the last number of years, if it's June or July, I'm hypomanic. For another, it's not easily controllable, not matter how hard I try.
The positive side is that I've gotten much better at it. The negative side is that I've still got a ways to go. While I've developed a number of methods to slow myself down--including breathing, meditating (after a fashion), and taking an adult "time-out"--it's not always easy for me to remember to do these in a group situation.
I'm far better at utilizing these skills if I'm alone or in a small group. I wonder why it's so difficult to say to myself, "Susan, be quiet. You've talked enough." And when I forget to do this, there's an aspect of it that's quite humbling.
While I understand the importance of humility, it's not always easy to deal with.