I’ve been in a bit of a manic phase for about two weeks. I can drink more, sleep less, and do everything that my whirling mind comes up with, to no ill effect. I still crash every day after lunch, and do need to sleep if not go catatonic in front of Blue’s Clues with my son for an hour. Also I smoke to calm down. That’s crazy, I know, but it forces me to go outside and sit still for five minutes. (This is my theory on why most people smoke.)
This state reminds me of Ayelet Waldman’s description of hypomania:
"This is hypomania: You wake up in the morning; make four lunches, preparing three individual sandwiches (one peanut butter, no jelly. One turkey with mayo, one turkey without mayo but with tomato, blotted dry so it doesn't make the bread soggy) and a thermos of soup. Each lunch gets a drink, two snacks, and a piece of fruit. You wake, dress, and feed four children, reminding everyone to take vitamins, and Omega III. You sign permission slips, and load up carpool. Then you go to the gym, do email, make plane reservations for family vacation, copy-edit essay, put finishing touches on novel, revise short story for submission to anthology, drop off meal for family with new baby at preschool, and order new bathing suits for everybody because, suddenly, despite the fact that it is February you decide that everyone needs new bathing suits and that if a single day passes without each and every member of the family having a new bathing suit the well-being of the family will collapse. Then you reorganize the kitchen hell drawer, go online and order nine superpacks of size 4 diapers (and swim diapers for the baby, too, because, after all, what's a bathing suit for a baby without a swim diaper underneath it?). Then you pick up the children from school. You never, never, do anything without talking on the phone at the same time. Most of these phone conversations should involve volunteering for things you don't actually want to do but feel you should. That is a day in the life of the average hypomanic."
So I had a few days poring over the blogs and websites of my favorite local music men, which typically I don't have or make time to do, because more important things call. I ended up posting something on Sean Nelson’s blog, about sadness being the other side of the creative coin. It's impossible for me to skip an opportunity to comment on depression.
Anyway, I wonder if I am hypomanic (which would likely mean I have bipolar II)? I kind of doubt it. I think what’s happening is a cross between the effect of Celexa being somewhat of an upper, and being totally unmoored from depression. The tethers have come loose, at least for now, and I’m flying high.
This all replaces introspection and journaling, though. It is what it is; it won’t last forever. If I ever stop journaling, someone should take note and suggest I switch meds. That would be a true personality change.
During the last depression dip, I collected several names of psychiatrists. Now that I’m better I haven’t given them a thought. I will probably wait until I feel shitty again. I have a lot going on right now.
I should probably stop drinking coffee. The thing is, I’m enjoying this. I want to squeeze every drop of productivity out of it. I mean, I’ve actually hung a few pictures on the walls around here and done a whole bunch of stuff with the kids. This is good compared to the depressive state, during which I kick aside toys, wear dirty clothes, and defrost chicken nuggets for dinner.
Another weird thing is that I’m experiencing boredom with yoga. It could be, as M. suggested, that I’m just taking too many classes.
Just checked in on Ayelet’s website, and she’s coming to Seattle in September! I’m so excited. I’m totally going to go see her, clutching my hardbound copy of Love and Other Impossible Pursuits. Now that I'm 35, there's just no reason to have shame.