This year, as winter has ended and spring has begun, I’ve taken it slowly and protected myself from overstimulation. You have not heard from me as much, as I’ve not been as active writing here or on social media.
You see, springtime triggers hypomania in me. Now I’m experiencing mild hypomania, irritability, and some mixed features. I feel myself internally crying, and on the verge of tears. I have good reason to cry, but my feeling of emotional vulnerability and instability goes beyond my current life circumstances. Perhaps, for I’ve never experienced losing my parents to dementia while raising a chronically ill teenager and living with bipolar disorder type II. Sounds pretty stressful.
My response is to cocoon, to reduce stimulation, to take sleep meds if I must, to reduce stress. When I haven’t been busy caring for my son or visiting my parents, I’ve relaxed and let my husband spoil me.
Hopefully I’ll feel much better once tax season is over. Exhausting and stressful.
By Steve Bressert, Ph.D. for PsychCentral
- Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity
- Decreased need for sleep (e.g., feels rested after only 3 hours of sleep)
- More talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking
- Flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing
- Distractibility (e.g., attention too easily drawn to unimportant or irrelevant external stimuli)
- Increase in goal-directed activity (either socially, at work or school, or sexually) or psychomotor agitation
- Excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (e.g., the person engages in unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, or foolish business investments)
Throw plate in sink
Let it shatter loudly
I see myself doing it
The image, the impulse is there
There – in my mind
No! I respond
Turn left NOW in front of oncoming traffic
No! No! No! Don’t do it
Wait for the green arrow
Yell at, argue with, my son, my husband
Pick a fight with them
No! Do not do it
Must fight the thoughts
Must fight the impulses
They make no sense
In a mixed state
There is no intent behind them
Just intrusive thoughts
Unwelcome images and impulses
Except this pain
These insistent hormones
It’s been months
Since last I bled
I’m 51, 52 this August
Give it up already
It’s not going to happen
No more babies
From this empty fibrous womb
So, stop it
Leave me alone
Leave my body alone
Stop with the pain
Like a fertile woman
I AM OLD
LEAVE ME BE
Let me become
The crone, the hag
I’ve earned it
Leave me be
Let me rest
Both my husband and my mother have expressed concern that I am ramping up (becoming hypomanic and experiencing mixed emotional states) as I’ve started the Ticket to Work process. I have had trouble sleeping, my mind is racing, I’m anxious, and I’ve shed a few tears. I put in a call to my psychiatrist. Both my mom and my husband think I should start more modestly, perhaps volunteering or taking an art class.
Whenever I take a step outside the structure, responsibilities, and expectations of my family life, and try to take on some other activity, I become overwhelmed and start to fall apart. It doesn’t take much to destabilize me,
I’m kind of freaking out.
The name of the Meet-Up that I plan to attend, a writer’s workshop, is “Sit Down, Shut Up, and Write.” Can I do so? When overstimulated by social contact, I tend to talk, to take over. Can I channel that into writing? Will I push people away with arrogance? Will I charm them? Can I just sit down, shut up, and write?
Here is what I fear I may do or look like: over-intellectual prig, snob, condescending bitch, insecure, scared, incompetent do-nothing, leech, poor mother, poor wife. Okay, now the tables have rapidly changed. Went from high to low. Mixed episode. Scared, insecure girl behind smarty-pants façade?
First written 3/1/14 at 1:08 pm