My episodes are not always straightforward. Instead of looking like a game of tetris (lovely solid interlocking chunks), my mood charting the last two weeks looks more like the work of a seismograph.
One day of depression. One day of mixed symptoms. One day with a depressed swing and a hypomanic swing. Two days of hypomania. One day with a depressed swing. One day with two depressed swings. One day with a hypomanic swing and a depressed swing.
And so on.
Around the first day of spring, I knew things were beginning to change for my mood because I was experiencing increased insomnia. That, and Corey (my boyfriend) was heading out of town, and I wasn’t pulling my usual hysterical, “I’m going to die without you,” bag of tricks.
Actually, for the first time in the six years we’ve been dating (and countless projects he’s gone across the country to work on) I felt fine about his absence. Confident. Relaxed. Awake. Giggly. Awake.
It wasn’t until I was dancing around the grocery store with a cart full of tater tots, laughing wildly and scaring the other customers that I realized it had come.
I was elated (well, literally) about finding myself feeling so good. Despite almost wanting to talk in whispers (as not to scare it off) I shouted loud, animated, boisterous jokes.
Despite being as careful as I could about my sleep schedule (and taking Ambien without it doing anything except causing me to black out and wake up with paragraphs of nonsensical, albeit passionate writing on my phone) the hypomania stuck around for a few days.
Going, in a matter of days, from a deep place of loathing toward everything to suddenly loving everything can be a very interesting experience. After all, depression has this obnoxious ability to make it seem as if it will last forever. It seems like every couple years I reach a point where I begin to believe it, and this has been one of those years.
Having said that, it might be doubly frustrating to experience things in the opposite direction, as I did Monday. Going from feeling great, to crashing miserably in hysterics and despair, another instance of those mood tremors I was talking about.
At this point I am grateful for a change, even if it is an erratic one. Feeling great (even for a small fraction of the time) is preferable to feeling great none of the time. If my ascent out of deep depression into hypomania involves a lot of peaks and valleys I don’t feel like I can complain, because at least I feel like I’m moving forward again.