I have hopeful news to share. Once I got through the first 48 hrs of constant nausea, each day there has been improvement. Yesterday I only had one nap and it was for less than an hour. It has always been worse when I am home because there is not the same degree of stimulation as when I am out doing something. So being home is where I will notice the biggest difference. So far so good. This does not come without risk. Being triggered into hypomania. Since I brought it up…I guess that will be my topic.
As far as the medical community (plus me) goes there is a difference between hypomania and mania. Mania is used in reference to Bipolar I and hypomania for Bipolar II. Hypomania is when you rule the world. You have an excessive amount of energy and your brain runs on overdrive at approximately 200/kms per hr. Some people get very creative but there are risks. People often cause themselves trouble with spending too much money. Another danger is that you lose your discretion as to what is right vs wrong. Morals get tossed out the window and sexuality can lead to many problems.
Mania is more dangerous. It can lead to psychosis, hallucinations and hospitalization. My experience was very unique. I have not read in my research about others with similar experiences. But I am sure there must be more than just me. Then again I always was amazing at blazing a new trail for trouble. For a variety of reasons I experienced and would have been classified as both Bipolar I and Bipolar II. I guess that makes me well versed in both.
Things have changed to a certain degree on how people view mental illness. Once the stars started coming forward with personal experiences, it was like society went…oh well if they can get it I guess it is real. We still have a long long way to go. I have noticed that the majority of the focus has been on people who suffer from depression. At least those are the ones who have been under the spotlight. My idol Carrie Fisher was one of the few that cried out bipolar disorder and talked about mania.
Society, the ones outside of our world have little understanding on mania. It is usually defined as being really happy. Well how can that be bad? That must be the bonus you get to balance the bad of depression. Oh and depression is just being really sad. Sorry to burst the bubble guys but I view both mania and depression as states I try to avoid at all cost. The depression causes chaos on my insides. Mania causes chaos in my outside world. With depression it is mostly me that suffers. With mania I can take anyone who is close to me down with me.
When I was manic, I crossed over into psychosis. I had hallucinations. I took my whole damn family down with me. Caused damage that I can never repair. Fortunately that only (I laugh when I use the word “only”) 2 years. My point there is that it ended. I settled nicely back to my standard hypomanic state. I remain scared shitless of mania. I will pray now anytime I notice my mood going up that I never go back. Hypomania is bed enough. I spent a period of years where there was never a “normal” state. I was either in depression or a cross between mania and hypomania. Determined by how much pain I had caused.
Now I have periods of time, which are usually brief that I experience hypomania. But I recognize my triggers. I could probably avoid trouble if I never had to go to a store again for the duration of my life. SALE! MANIA! I said that for effect but I stick to hypomania now. I do not know what it is about a sale sign, but it is like a light switch goes off. I may have $200.00 in my account and it has to last me for 1 week. If I am out shopping I cannot rationalize the “for a week” thing. I have $200.00 to spend.
I also lose my ability to subtract. If I have $500.00 in my account at one store and I spend $100.00. Well when I pause (2.5 secs) to decide if I should or should not buy something, I still have $500.00. Do not ask me how I rationalize that. But somehow it makes complete sense in my brain. I do not think it has ever happened that I have gotten home from shopping and not said “Oh shit!”
At least now I only mess up with our spending money, not our bill money. My bills are paid every month. Here is a good laugh…I am in charge of the finances! But I do a great job of it…on paper. When I was manic, I was happy to spend our rent money. So mostly if some small shopping has to be done, I just get my husband to do it. If we are out and have to go to 3 places and at the first store I spent money. I will stay in the car while hubby does the next 2 stores. It is so important to recognize triggers
I thought I could do mind over matter. Just take control of my mind when the hypomania shifted into gear. Nope! That does not work! I may get little lapses into a rational brain and pause before deciding to grab a future purchase…at least now I can. But if I am on a roll, that rational brain is taking a nap! It had been so long since I had experienced it, just being excited first felt weird. Not deciding to run for Prime Minister or start my own yogurt business is kind of cool.
I have an understanding of my illness and how it manifests itself in me. Much of the time now I have a pretty good idea what to expect. Mania is not all about living a 24 hr party. There are many dangers involved. But my family understands my mania as well. If I jump off the couch and decide the living room needs to be completely re-organized…my son will probably look at me and say, “Feeling a little manic today are we Mother?”