Monday, June 09, 2008

A bit high

I've been stable for so long I had almost forgotten I can still have mood swings, just like other people with bipolar disorder. Funny how you start thinking you're invincible. Today I'm realizing that I'm showing some signs of hypomania.

I've had such a hunger to read books lately - lots of books. And then I get all excited about what I'm learning and want to - no, I need to - discuss it with people. Such a yearning to philosophize! I've called my best friend, needing to talk about stuff. I've emailed a couple of friends with thoughts that are overflowing. Asked my pastor to recommend some courses and books to help me with the work I'm doing. I have this feeling like I need to get some really good training to better prepare myself for the things I want to do. And I'm 62!!! Wanting to start all over as a student again!

Crazy thing is that I've been thinking I need to limit my activities. My husband has been complaining that I spend far too much time on church stuff, and that includes Living Room.

What is happening with me now reminds me of the time I first got sick when I was nineteen. I was at university and also hungry to read and learn. I bought many different kinds of books I couldn't afford. And I talked a blue streak to my friends until they couldn't understand me anymore. My mind was travelling faster than my words could keep up with. I gradually became psychotic and, after far too long without help, ended up in a psychiatric hospital, brought there by ambulance.

So you see, I need to take care of myself right now. Perhaps do a little less reading and lighter material, nothing that would encourage me to philosophize too much. Perhaps a novel. And I should do some tidying around the house (much needed). I could play my music loud (because my husband is away) and do some ironing. My ironing could become a cultural happening, with records that I haven't heard for a while.

I'm fortunate that I have a good friend who understands my disorder quite well. She mothers me. She caught me tonight, planning yet another activity that I could do. I respect this friend, know she is wise and cares for me, so I listen fairly well to her. I'm so grateful to have her.


Coco said...

Hurray for cultural happenings!! I'm happy to hear you have a friend who is in the know about the disorder. I have one too, who is trying to become educated, and it makes a big difference in feeling supported. You're wise to try and reign yourself in a bit. I've been doing the exact same thing, as I'm starting to notice a trend of wearing myself out physically and then getting sick because my immune system is down. I've asked my husband to try and suggest I 'do' less when i'm hypomanic. I wish you luck with this - it's hard. Mind you a lot more fun than mucking about on the opposite side of this disorder.

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear Marja,
I think that having someone tell us when we're hypomanic is critical. My husband does this for me. And, now I recognize all the symptoms myself.

I find it interesting that you and I both have bought lots of books during hypomanias. I used to buy books that I "had to have," but which totally didn't interest me when I was "normal."

And planning too many activities is definitely another sign. As is moving from one activity to another without completing the first one.

I also think your husband is right. Anything in excess, even something as important to you as the Living Room, needs to be rethought.

The key for me is balance. If I'm too high, I need to quiet things down. If I'm wanting too many books, I give my credit cards to my husband for safekeeping. If I'm talking too much, I try to stop talking altogether.

It's a humbling experience, isn't it?


Nancie said...


Glad that you are recognizing symptoms of hypomania and you have people around you who cares for you and tell you. Looks like this is an ongoing challenge for us!

Thanks for all your prayers and encouragements. Thank God for strengthening me day by day as I continue to wait upon Him and persevere in my wellness activities.

Take care. Have a blessed week!

Carol said...

Thanks for this post! My husband is kind of coming at things from the other direction--he's been unstable for quite some time, and now it's tough for me to figure out if he's having normal (but slightly excessive) interest in his newfound work, or if he is still having some's tough, because for so long he's done very little, so now he's doing a lot more and I want to complain about that, too??

AR85 said...

I just came across your website. im 23 yr old male and am undergoing treatment for Bipolar- and I can really relate to your post especially the 3rd last paragraph. Except I finally threw in the white flag, overcame denial and saught out help before things got out of hand. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

marja said...

Hi Coco: Yes, so good to have someone who loves you enough to want to understand. So good to have someone who you trust well enough so you want to listen seriously to their advice.

marja said...

Hi Susan: Yes we are similar in that way. We are both book people, but we are when we're stable as well. The desire to read just becomes more urgent when we're high, doesn't it?

And you like to talk about what you read as well, as do I. Isn't it great to have a blog where we can do that?

marja said...

Nancie: So good to hear from you. I hope you're doing better. I'll try and look in on you today.

marja said...

Carol: Welcome to my blog. Thanks for visiting.

Yes, it's very often hard to distinguish. Are we just in a natural good mood, or are we excessively high? That can make it difficult to look after yourself.

marja said...

ar85: Thanks for visiting. I hope there will be more of my posts that will be helpful to you.

I remember when I was your age and just learning to live with the disorder. Those first years are really tough.