It is my belief that bipolar symptoms run on something of a loop.
(My computer is broken, so please excuse the sketch I took directly from my journal.)
At the lowest point on the loop, we are at our worst (health-wise), while at the crest of the loop it can easily feel like we are normal, every-day human beings, functioning regularly.
Nearing the crest of this loop is one of the most dangerous places we can be, because, while in near perfect health, we lose sight of the bottom of that loop. Out of sight means out of mind, leaving bipolar disorder capable of doing something most illnesses can’t; convincing us over and over again we’ve miraculously healed.
I’ve been seeing a lot of instances of this phenomenon lately, and for about two weeks I’ve felt myself getting closer and closer to the crest of the loop. It is kind of funny to me how feeling well brings its own set of delusions, like I don’t need help, or I can work now, or I guess I don’t need this medication anymore.
I guess in that sense, even when we are well, we aren’t entirely well. Being free of the negativity of, say, depression, can leave one relying too heavily on the general optimism that works without it.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been tricked by the crest of the loop. The instant I begin to feel fine I am transported to another time and place, almost to another life. I revert back into thinking I am a high-functioning individual.
Right now I’m in the midst of an experiment. In the past, becoming blinded by the crest of the loop meant taking new jobs, or taking on new projects to apply my new found functioning to, and the loop has always carried on, taking me swiftly back down to the bottom.
I have been wondering if the loop happens because I take on too much? Am I driving myself to fall into the same bipolar pits over and over and over again? Is the stress dragging me to the bottom of the loop?
If that is the case, what would happen if I don’t take on something new, something huge, and something stressful? Could I maintain a level of mediocre functioning at the top of the loop? Or would I still fall?
This is exactly what I aim to find out.
The last couple weeks I have been feeling better. Not great, mind you, not nearing hypomania (by any means), but like I can function a bit better than I have been the last few months. I can feel myself nearing the crest of that loop, itching to pick up something new and exciting to meet this new level of functioning.
I am not going to.
I am going to ride it out and see where the loop takes me, whether that is back down, or if I can maintain some semblance of normalcy.
And if I do get dragged back down? Lesson learned.
I’m not too concerned, the loop always comes back around.