I feel like I should cook, but I know that’s against the rules. I might break the rules and just be hypervigilant and set timer alarms for everything I do. OK, Google, help me cook a hypomanic meal! Google? Google!!! I demand you cater to my needs. I really hope the AI decide to be nice to us when they rise to power.
Sometimes I want to stay up all night. Sometimes my body forces me to stay up all night.
And at very, very special times, I am propelled forward at incredible speeds because both these things happen at once.
Tonight is such a night.
Hypomanic means “below manic”. The distinction is important: my episodes are hypomanic almost every time, and for years now I’ve used the term “manic” incorrectly. I have Bipolar II, so my episodes have faster swings in shorter time frames. Bipolar I episodes last a week or more; they can last months on end. My uncle has Bipolar I. He seems to be in a permanent state of hypomania, but when his real episodes hit, he’s either high or low for weeks at a time. No mood swings and no in-between. He is incapacitated during an episode. Many Bipolar I episodes require hospitalization and almost all require some degree of supervision. Doctors should be consulted during a Bipolar I episode.
My full diagnosis is “Bipolar II disorder (mixed-state, rapid cycling episodes with psychotic features), generalized anxiety disorder, and strong borderline personality disorder traits.”
My episodes are a mix of everything. Episodes differ from one another in type and scope. This one tonight feels primarily like hypomania. The world is glistening with promise, I’m full of energy and light, and I just want to spill out my joy into the world. I want to do that with my writing. That’s all I ever want to do with my writing.
In hypomania, my common-sense filter is not completely removed, but… it’s at least ajar. For the moment, I’ve mostly got my faculties. Sometimes, not so much. I’ve been having tactile hallucinations in both my big toes of being pricked by something that feels like a cactus spine. Same place in both toes, just a little prickle now and again.
I’m losing grip, but it feels lovely. Mania (hypomania) can be hell, but this feeling is amazing. I’d get addicted to this feeling if all episodes were like this one; I’d be inducing one every week. Most of them are hell.
I try to ride the waves of the good hypomanic episodes as high as they’ll take me without getting self-destructive with substances or self-harm or otherwise endangering myself. I know the rules. No cooking, no gas appliances, no complex tasks. This must be why it just took me 15 minutes to figure out how to change the view of my document in Word! It’s all becoming so clear.
It’s 2:16 AM and I cannot wait to go running. I’ll mostly walk, but I’ll jog some, which is my equivalent to running. I’ll go as hard as I can push myself. I’m really out of shape. I’m about 60 pounds overweight and want to get back to 150. Yes, that means I weigh approximately 210 pounds. 208.6, to be precise. I switched to a vegan diet because of climate change, but then a vegan started challenging me to think critically about the animal industry, and now I know too much to go back. So my plant-based diet lends itself well to eating healthy food, lots of plants, lots of fiber, and a very happy body that is willing to shed weight. I can eat until I’m full because the calorie count is so low compared to meat and dairy.
My ears feel fuzzy on the inside like someone is rubbing fur into them. My jaw is clenched. I have to stretch it or my headache will come back.
I did the dishes today. That felt like a victory. I am always so proud of myself for just doing the goddamned dishes. It’s really hard to make myself do them. I keep my sink empty for as long as I can, washing each individual item as soon as I’m finished with it and placing it in the drip-basket, which ideally should be almost empty. I don’t think it’s actually called a drip-basket. Drip dryer? Air dryer? The thing people dry their dishes in when they hand wash them.
Doing the dishes completely changed my mood. I’d had an upsetting Twitter fight earlier in the day, and I felt very unsafe because of it. My whole body was shaking from anxiety. Now I’m lightheaded and giddy, and I feel like I’m floating two centimeters above my computer chair. This is the good life, people. These are the ones I enjoy.
*This episode is over; I am (and was) safe.
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