Sunday, September 01, 2013

Hypomanic -- or just happy?

Since lowering my lithium dosage, I've been feeling remarkably happy. So happy, in fact, that I started worrying. Was the lower dose sufficient to prevent another episode of hypomania?

I've been processing this on twitter for a few weeks.

8/15/13: Home improvement projects are so much easier when you're not depressed.

I've been making small improvements to my apartment. Reorganizing, throwing out clutter, putting anti-slip appliques on the tub. Even bought and assembled a new desk chair.

I should blog. I should be productive. I haven't slept well in a week. How do parents of infants manage? Although I was moderately productive at work. I supervised counselors all over the place, met with a few patients, signed a bunch of charts.

I haven't been sleeping well. Which is sometimes a harbinger of hypomania, or a symptom of seasonal depression, or a result of work stress. Without going into details, I've been dealing with a number of stressful situations and people at work. But it's not getting me permanently down. Even if I get very angry or anxious thinking about or dealing with a particular situation or person, I shake it off and keep... enjoying life.

That's right. Enjoying life. Even though my knees hurt constantly, my job is stressful, my surgery has twice been denied by my insurer, and of course I'm still single.

So am I happy, or hypomanic?

I'm happy- but not TOO happy. Gone is the simmering resentment anger bitterness envy. I'm content with my life for the first time in- ever? Is this the person I was always supposed to be? Are the seething neurochemicals in my brain finally balanced? Am I naturally exuberant?

I'm productive & efficient. I'm in control. I make people happy. I solve problems @ home & work, & everything is so EASY. Not simple or oversimplified. But I just think of the right intervention for a patient or the right way to organize my shower & it works.

Life is working out. Want to go to a party to see friends, not to meet a husband. Feeling like that's enough of a reason to leave the house.

I'm not hypomanic. I'm just productive, creative, effective, efficient, hilarious, empathetic, vivacious, solution-oriented. And... happy.

I almost don't recognize myself. But this is who I want to be. I see how I'll progress- get my LCSW and CASAC, then a better job. Organize & fix up my apartment. Get a cat. Make a nice life for myself no matter my marital status.

1 symptom of hypomania is "excessive involvement in pleasurable activities" - shopping, sex, food, etc. Been shopping a lot but not SPENDING a lot. I'll pore over a makeup store for an hour & buy a lipstick for $1. My bills are paid. No debt.

Have not been having sex with strangers, or friends for that matter. What I do in my own home w/a vibrator and @JamesDeen is - reasonable.

So far, I'm not hypomanic. I'm just exuberant and managing my life.

I hope the last tweet is true. But I worry, especially when I'm not sleeping.

8/16/13: Up at 2am agin. Sigh. Work stress. Hope I sleep Friday night. At least I have fun plans for Saturday and Sunday.

Perspective: almost 20 yrs after my bipolar Dx, I finally feel like I'm really the person I'm supposed to be. Question is, do I stay with the psychiatrist who didn't help me change my meds to get to this point? A psychiatrist who, incidentally, doesn't take my insurance? He knows me well, but is that enough to stay with him?

one thing's for sure: as many bad mistakes as I've made, I'm still grateful for the ones I haven't made, or married ;)

Enjoying making weekend plans. Tomorrow: lunch w/friends. Sunday: baseball game w/friends. Next Sunday: hope to see nieces/nephew.

Labor Day Weekend: hope to go to CT and bake with a friend (lemon bars and red velvet cupcakes, not marijuana).

Again struck by how easy and enjoyable life is when you're not depressed! Even when you don't have a bf/husband/lover! don't get me wrong, I still want a husband, or at least a lover, but I'm not MISERABLE without one or obsessed with finding one

Making use of terminal insomnia: extra time in the morning to ice my knees & get dressed.

I've been really enjoying my life, and it's been so effortless.

8/18/13: Enjoyed the simple pleasure of wandering thru a flea market, not kept at home by depression or knee pain. Got some bargains too! Going to a party. Just to see my friend & have fun - not to meet a husband. What a difference less lithium makes ;)

Nervous about the party. But not anxious. Blessed difference.

Great party. Good food, saw friends, met new ppl, even got a tattoo. AIRBRUSH tattoo, don't panic, it will fade. Knees will hurt tomorrow.

SHIT is GOING DOWN at work. But I'm still happy. Not deliriously happy. Just calmly joyful. Life on less lithium is AWESOME!

Sometimes I wax philosophical on twitter.

8/19/13: Today was especially stressful, waiting for a shoe to fall that STILL hasn't fallen BUT WILL. Despite this, I'm still joyful and grateful.

Give without thinking about what you'll get, and you'll get more than you can imagine. Or you'll burn out and die.

But not sleeping does take a toll.

8/20/13: Work stress is very bad for my sleep. Not happy. Like they're trying to make me miserable so I'll be too afraid to quit.

Slept badly all last week b/c of work, no sleep 2nite b/c of work. Callin in sick today so I can go out w/friends later. I deserve a life.

fuck, I am SO TIRED but CAN'T SLEEP. I hate terminal insomnia. & my knees are killing me.

I'm not a robot. Mess with me, stress me out, and I will get sick.


You know you're stressed when you lie down on a Stearns&Foster pillowtop mattress & everything hurts. Truly need a mental health day.

Rested. Took Tramadol+Voltaren. Pain eased. Ran some errands, did some more home improvements. Needed this day to heal after all the stress.

Had a great time @ the party. So glad I went. Got a ride home, he didn't want to let me out of the car, but I think he's too young. For the record, we were ONLY TALKING. He wanted me to friend him, so I sent him a friend request. He accepted. Ball's in his court...

Dr. Incompetent called AGAIN, clearing browser history didn't help. So sick of her. I'm glad this is making her miserable.

Terminal insomnia AGAIN. Despite calcium supplement & Vitamin K. But the pervasive body ache is gone, so I'll go in to work & function.

8/24/13: Spontaneously organized my desk drawer. Doing a lot of organizing lately. So EASY when you're not DEPRESSED. Amazing.

8/25/13: Hit 2 parties 2nite. Repulsive men liked me, hot men didn't. Story of my life, but I had fun anyway. Saw some old friends & met some new. Guy said to me, "you seem like a happy person." On the right medication cocktail, I guess I am.

Didn't sleep much, will nap letter. Knees sore, but not as bad as expected. Will have a semi-productive Sunday.

sleep LATER, not LETTER... obviously did not get enough sleep

danced last night, running errands today, pretending I don't have knee problems. we'll see how long that can last.

should blog but feeling lazy. had a massage. masseuse says I'm storing tension in my face & body, retaining water & looking puffy. ya think?

Sorting organizing discarding consolidating, it's all SO EASY when you're NOT DEPRESSED. I feel like I'm who/how I want to be.

8/27/13: woke up OW knee pain OW burning OW OW OW OW OW took Percocet & ibuprofin, can't call in sick 2moro OW OW

Exhausted & in PAIN all day, nevertheless put in a great day's work. Consummate professional, that's Ayelet.

Life would be pretty good if my knees weren't so horrendously painful. I've taken one of almost everything I have, and they still hurt.

Plus side: Knees don't hurt. Minus: skin ITCHES & can't sleep. At least I don't have to run a group today...

I've been wondering about other signs of hypomania.

8/28/13: Horrendous pain & so fucking horny. Must be ovulating under intense barometric pressure. NOT a happy state.

And waxing philosophical again.

I think, therefore I suffer.

But not philosophical for long.

Took painkillers, iced the knees, and received some online shopping deliveries. Ridiculously happy.

Online shopping is the gift that gives twice. Once when you purchase, and then when you receive the package. Unfortunately, I wasn't happy for long.

oh the pain is bad, worse than it has been in a long time. rheumatologist is on vacation. taking more painkillers than I thought I should. not so many that I won't wake up, but more than I usually take in a day. not happy about that, but I have no choice. if I don't sleep tonight, I'm calling in sick tomorrow. this is ridiculous already. every day this week a day of pain.

Dr. Kind was on vacation this past week of pain; won't see him for another few days. Still, even in pain I'm projecting happiness and confidence.

when your lithium dose is correct, and you're happy, people come out of the woodwork to set you up. 2 suggestions in the past 2 days. it really is about the positive energy you project attracting more positive energy. or whatever, but despite the pain I'm happy. 

things are chaotic and negatively-charged at work, but I leave that at the office and don't let it affect me. you have to stop expecting life or work or anything to be FAIR, because it ain't. but I'm doing better @ this job than any previous.

8/30/13: I feel like a junkie for hoping that Dr. Kind will write me a Tramadol script. But I don't see how I'll be able to function otherwise.

The upshot? I'm performing well at work, spending time with friends, addressing my health issues, and making my apartment a pleasanter environment. I'm shopping hellalot online, but not going into debt. So far, I'm happy, not hypomanic. But my friends are invited to watch me carefully for signs of mania.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. OMG!! You sound so good? Ive never read your rely of life -to be so....normal? are you content or do i need meds? Idk im not a professional and who can really judge " norm " ? ...but you sound balanced not too happy , not too low and with a nice realistic take on where your at //Life is working out. Want to go to a party to see friends, not to meet a husband. Feeling like that's enough of a reason to leave the house.// mmmmm the only thing a bit off in this whole post if - why am feeling happy reading it! I guess ive been rooting for you ?