It sucks. I hate rollercoasters. Real rollercoasters make me vomit; mood rollercoasters make me miserable.
I’m bipolar II, meaning that I alternate between clinical depression and hypomania when I’m sick. Hypomania consists of increased energy, decreased need for sleep, increased self-confidence, racing thoughts, distractibility, increased activity, and impulsiveness. Sounds pretty good, right? When teaching about this, I always said “Imagine the best you’ve ever felt”. What a stupid, stupid thing to say. Hypomania can be euphoric, as my episodes always were: “It feels so good to be alive!” But it also can be dysphoric: extreme irritability, an inability to hold still, and feeling as if you’re going to come out of your skin because your body is so tense and you can’t be still. If I ever teach again (that’s the depression talking) I’ll be sure to explain that a little better.
I’ve been having health problems, and my psychiatrist decided to try to help me by increasing my dose of Effexor, my antidepressant. Higher doses help relieve pain, and for several days I experienced almost no pain! However, antidepressants can be dangerous for people with bipolar disorder. I started pacing and frantically starting projects, only to switch to a different project midway through. Monday Bunny Blogging showed pictures of Bumble in the now-clean closet under our stairs. That closet was a nightmare-crap piled up to the ceiling, and you couldn’t get anything in or out. I moved everything, cleaned everything and got rid of stuff. I did other projects. I ran errands. My husband begged me not to overdo it, after all I have laid in bed for the last 3 months. I couldn’t stop. It would be three o’clock in the morning and I’d shake if I didn’t let myself move. I was so irritable I was yelling at my husband (for daring to ask me if I’d had lunch, the bastard), my books, characters on tv (well duh, they deserve it), and I was even pissed off at Bumble. He didn’t come over to eat his hay like usual and I was pissed. Don’t worry, I did not yell at him, and we do not punish him. Still, mad at Bumble?!
buzz buzz buzz went me, and then I CRASHED. Hard. Depression is always awful, but plunging into it from a heightened state was even more painful. Right on cue, the death thoughts appeared (I am not yet suicidal). I called my psychiatrist today, and he wanted me off that higher dose pronto. High dose effexor wiped out my pain. Hypomania wiped out my fatigue (and seemed to wipe out the mental confusion, but I’m not trusting that). Now I’ll be saying goodbye to the higher dose and hypomania, but hello to pain and fatigue.
I’m very proud of myself. I’ve been reading blogs and I put a moratorium on commenting until I was out of this (which may be the end of the week) extreme irritability. I didn’t think any of you needed me starting a flame war over something unreasonable: “Only stupid people would spell it ‘grey’ instead of ‘gray’!”
And I promise that I’m trying to get to real posting again sometime soon. Otherwise I’m going to rename this stinking blog “The Whiney and Complainy View of the Sick One”. Did I mention how much I’ve been on my own nerves? You wouldn’t believe it if I told you.