Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Hypomanic Hallelujah!

While I hate to admit it, today was the first hypomanic episode I've had in almost ten months, and it certainly was a relief. Because I know how to pace myself and control my behavior, it's not like I behave any differently. It's just finally nice to be done with an extended depression, and to have so much energy!

This morning and early afternoon I gardened. I'm digging out three of our flower beds and mulching them so I can transplant my herb garden home, and start a vegetable garden. Then, I rested for an hour to calm myself down, went to therapy, ate dinner, attended the last session of my digital photography class, and took my new dog Jack for a walk.

The only problem is that it's 11:00 p.m. and I'm wide awake. Because I know how important a full night of sleep is, if I don't fall asleep by midnight, I can take an Ativan, although I hate doing it because for me it's the toughest medication to stop taking. But, taking it is preferable to staying awake.

I could tell you how wonderful a hypomania feels after so many months of a depression--even a low-grade one for the last few months--but I sense you must know this yourself. A controlled hypomania must be a bit like being in heaven. I feel such a wonderful sense of well being that it's difficult to describe to anyone who's never felt this way. I'm so focused. I can accomplish so much, and yet I'm not the least bit tired.

Knowing that hypomanias can cause me to talk too much, I am mindful, and thus don't do it. Knowing that years ago they caused me to spend too much money (mostly on books, but sometimes on clothes), I don't do that anymore. If I feel it's the least bit of a problem, I give my husband my credit cards and checks for safekeeping, but it hasn't been a problem in years.

So...actually there's no real downside for me, except a lack of sleep, which I'll handle through medication if necessary. So, all I have to say is, "Hallelujah!"


Paula Joy said...

I "Amen!" your "Hallelujah"!!! That is great to hear, Susan. It's great when we have the energy needed to get things accomplished. I am intrigued by how you are in such control over your manic state. You are aware of your symptoms and can deal with them in the appropriate way (like giving your husband your credit cards). I think that is wonderful. GOOD ON YOU!! THAT is what I call wellness.

Kimminentdanger said...

Lack of sleep? Story of my life. I am hypomania personified! It's pretty much where I exist between episodes of depression (not very often - *whew*) and true mania (way too often *sigh*). As of this moment, I am on my 3rd day straight with no sleep. Luckily, I'm Superman(ic) and can leap tall yawns in a single bound. lol

But seriously, the lack of sleep isn't even a downside for me, as "Woooooooooooo Hooooooooooo" is all I know. MY downside is knowing that this will eventually click up a bunch of notches. That's when the problem begins.....

One of my older posts describes it better than I can at the moment... (tripping over words is always an added bonus when it comes to being manic lol) Here's the link if you care to give it a peek: http://glaringmadness.blogspot.com/2008/11/unbalanced.html

Anyway, didn't come to plug my blog posts, just wanted to let you know I can relate. And also to say enjoy the high tide while it's here! Hope it stays for a long while.... ;)

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Paula,
Thank you. Actually, it's a hypomania, which is a much lesser state. And someone wrote me privately about this, and brought up great questions, which I'll address tomorrow.

But, it is important to be in control of one's moods--whether it's they're bipolar or not, isn't it?


Wellness Writer said...

Dear Kimminentdanger:
Actually, I hate to burst your bubble, but perhaps I misrepresented my views on this. I don't think that a lack of sleep is a good thing.

In fact, I'm very careful to get eight hours a sleep a night, and I always have been. A lack of sleep causes mania, and while I was extolling the virtues of a hypomania--mine is just a slightly elevated mood, not a full-fledged hypomania or mania.

What I know is this: the higher you are, usually the lower you'll fall. And I would be willing to give up these hypomanias if I didn't have depressions.

My post was somewhat tongue-in-cheek. While I feel really good, it is within the realm of "normalcy." And mania or hypomania caused by a lack of sleep isn't.

And I'm really not promoting behavior that results from this. I don't believe that anyone who is sleep-deprived can exercise good judgment or make good choices.

So...if you thought I'm in favor of uncontrolled manias or even hypomanias, I'm not. And I apologize if my opinion on this isn't clear.


Howard said...

"Praise the Lord!" indeed! I echo your sense of relief at having a hypomanic episode. Depression is so...oppressive, that we really need something like a hypomania to give us a "rest"! Glad you know your limits within it. I'll be praying. And enjoy the activity, Susan.

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Howard,
Isn't that the truth? Thanks so much for the prayers!


Mariposa said...

What a shame we live miles away from each other, I'd love your company as most of the time I am manic! LOL


Wellness Writer said...

I'd love your company too, and I wouldn't even have to be manic!