Who Knew?

What a great weekend.  I went out of town with a special friend… Who also is bipolar.   We were both on an upswing, so the way out of town was a lot of fun.   I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time.  It was really nice.   Being a little hypo manic can be a good thing after all, and when you get it together with someone else in the same state, it can be freaking awesome.  I’m sure we turned some heads in the quaint little town we were in; nobody is supposed to have that much fun!  We shared an absolutely fabulous dinner at the best restaurant in town (money is no object of course!) and sat outside under the stars sharing many profound things and solving the world’s problems into the wee hours of the morning.  It was so late in fact that I decided that it was too late to take my evening meds.  I only take Lamictal and Risperidone at night, so I figured that one night off wouldn’t be a problem.  Getting to bed late never keeps me from waking up at the same time the next morning, and I was up at the butt-crack of dawn as usual.  I’ve gotten by on two hours sleep (or less) without a problem, so it wasn’t out of the ordinary or worrisome. 

Or so I thought. 

The day started out as awesome as before.   The weather was perfect and we set out for a drive through the country.  Again, we were singing, telling jokes, laughing and just being silly.  We were just enjoying fun of being hypo manic. 

And then it started getting away from me.  The silliness was getting a little too silly.  The laughter was a little too hysteric.  It wasn’t until we stopped for lunch that I begin to suspect that there was a problem.  Just like the point in the movie that the villain realizes his plan has backfired, and he was going to be defeated, I had that ‘uh oh’ moment.  This was not good.  The spring was again wound too tight and my skin had constricted; unable to contain the energy that was building inside.  My words could no longer keep up with the flow of thoughts pouring out of my brain.  I started to stutter, and my body would jerk sporadically like I had stepped on a downed power line.  This wasn’t fun anymore.  I started getting angry… it’s just not fair!  I hate the fact that I have to rely on so many chemicals to keep me functioning, and just missing one night is this much of a problem?  What the hell is wrong with me!  Having recognized what was happening, I struggled to bring it back down.  Deep breaths…  Keep breathing slow and deep. Lean back and relax…  Let the tension go.  Yeah, right.  I’m driving us home, and my friend has to keep reminding me to slow down before I get a ticket (Or worse).   Somewhere along the way, I managed to lose about two hours…  Not that I blacked out or anything, but there was so much going on inside my head that the driving because almost subconscious, aware of only my immediate surroundings needed to keep us safe.  We got back in town and I was totally over the edge.  My friend kept remarking that I must be crashing, as outwardly I appeared to be dull and listless.   And a crash after such a high wouldn’t be unusual at all.  But my reality was, the train of thought was moving too fast and had jumped the rails.  Talking became almost impossible… my head was just too crowded to filter out even the simplest ideas. My energy level had peaked to the point of paralysis.  But I was in luck…  I was with someone who understood.  She knew that eventually I would run of gas, and was patient and supportive until I started to run out of energy.   Eventually, I was able to calm down enough to make it home without incident, and took my meds and went to bed as soon as I possibly could.  I got a great night’s sleep, and in the morning I was back to being a little more like my normal.  I think today is going to be all right. 

Who knew?  Who would have thought that missing one night of meds could have that much of an impact?  Yes, it does make me angry that my life is chemically dependent.   But I am also thankful that the meds are there that help keep my illness in check.  It could really be a lot worse than it is.  I’m thankful too that there are people who can understand.  I’m fortunate to live in a time where there are so many effective medications, and very fortunate to have such a special friend.  Who knew indeed?  

Note to self:  Remember to take your damned drugs.   And never forget that you don’t have to deal with it alone.  And that you’re not alone.

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