I often wonder how long my moods will last. I spend a lot of time thinking about how I will deal with any changes and always have a heightened awareness of my current mood. As you can imagine this is draining. I never know who I’m waking up to and that is frustrating at best.
I would give almost anything to be “normal” and I do have extended periods where I am really super stable but most of the time I swing between symptoms, something hard for me and everyone around me. In fact I often have more than one symptom at a time. I can most frequently been found between hypomanic (which for me exhibits itself as general happiness combined with agitation and irritation along with desires to start unrealistic projects) and depression (which shows up as a desire to do less than nothing and crawl back into bed). But how long does each mood last? It really does just depend on the day.
I read somewhere that when you have bipolar you never know if you’re waking up as Tigger or Eeyore and that is certainly true for me. I can go to bed bouncy and happy, full of ideas on how to make the world a better place and plans for everything I’m going to do the next day and still wake up feeling like the world around me is gray and sad, then internalizing that feeling and holding it far too close for comfort. I can then swing into happy and productive while at the same time feeling overwhelmed and doubt my abilities to keep details straight. Fortunately, even in the midst of all of that I manage well as it’s something I’ve gotten used to over time.
There are also times too though, where I am in the same general mood for days on end and am able to manage to deal with the much smaller waves of mood changes. But they are just that, waves, and some days they come crashing down around me while others I can sail atop them. It just depends on how capable I am of using my skills and when I’m depressed they often aren’t available to me so I tend to isolate to keep others from having to deal with me during those times. Not unlike people with regular depression I suppose.
My bipolar does seem to have become worse as the years have passed though and I am increasingly aware of how little time there can be between my moods. It can be hard to navigate the waters. Even with therapy and meds and my care circle, sometimes there just isn’t enough support or sufficient skills to stay on top of it enough to see the waves coming and I’m caught off guard. Other times, which happen much more frequently as I gain new insights, I am able to catch the mood shift before it happens and prepare myself with behavioral changes and can give those around me a heads up. I try to improve my ability in this area every day, it’s an important one.
Why? Because my family (and me) deserves to have more Tigger than Eeyore. This is why I work so hard to manage my bipolar and I hope that as time goes on I will learn to be more bouncy and happy than sad and withdrawn. I suppose it just comes down to how well I learn to sail on the sea of symptoms, yes?
I hope you have lots of happy Tigger energy in your day today 🙂