What a difference

What a difference a day makes.   That’s the joy of being bipolar… whatever the mood is, it will change.   Of course fiddling with the meds and dosages helps too.   I’m on two mood stabilizing meds; Lamictal and risperidone, and last night I just took the Lamictal.  I still slept OK, and woke up in a much better frame of mind.  Of course my legs are bouncing a mile a minute this morning, and my thoughts are a little accelerated, but so far it’s a fair tradeoff to the way I felt yesterday.

I’m not exactly sure why I’m going through so many mood swings.  I won’t say it hasn’t happened before, but my cycles usually last an extended period of time.  Some time the mania has lasted over a year.  There were fluctuations between hyper and full blown mania, but there wasn’t the daily (or hourly) flip flop between the highs and lows.  The depressions can last even longer than the mania, spanning 18 months or more.  There doesn’t seem to be any external influences that are causing the rapid cycling; life is as ‘normal’ as it gets.  I’d like to blame the meds, but it seems like I have to adjust the dosage to react to a change instead of as a result.

All these mood swings has me worn out.   I’m just emotionally worn out as well as physically.  My meds help me sleep at night, but even when I’m depressed I only average about six hours per night.  I get even less sleep when I’m running high.  Six hours sleep just isn’t enough to get me completely recharged.  And the lack of sleep creates a vicious cycle.  When I’m down, the lack of sleep just makes everything seem worse.  I already have a lack of energy, and when you add the sleepiness on top of it I’m really drained.  And of course, functioning on two or three hours during a manic episode will quickly wear a body down.

The emotional fatigue is what really gets me.  I am so tired of the fluctuations.  I know everybody has ups and downs, but mine are to such an extreme.  I just want to feel stable and steady for a while, but I can’t seem to get that relief.  All these wild changes remind me every day that I’m dealing with a devastating and life altering illness. It really pisses me off.  Even when I’m depressed I find the energy to be angry about not being able to be ‘normal’.  There’s just no break from the illness.  My therapist and Doctor keep telling me that it is possible to maintain, and I know some bipolar friends that seem successful in controlling the swings.   I can’t help feeling like my illness is so extreme that it can never be completely controlled.  That adds to the challenge as I get so tired of having the constant state of flux.  Separate and apart of the emotions and feelings I go through every day, the knowledge that this is an incurable illness is sometimes almost too much to bear.  But the mood changes again, and although I still feel out of control, it becomes at least livable.

At least today is better than yesterday.  Who knows…  Maybe tomorrow will be too.

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