Friday, October 26, 2012
Eye of the Storm
In previous blogs, I've given a glimpse into what both my hypomanic and depressive episodes, more or less as they were actually happening. What I haven't yet been able to describe in "real time" is the actual cycling between the two. Primarily, that's because depressive cycles usually hit me in the middle of the night, and I simply wake up in them. They hang on for a couple days or even up to a couple weeks until I'm gradually back to status quo. It's very rare for me to actually experience rapidly moving into and out of a depressive episode. Yesterday, though, afforded me just such an "opportunity" and so I thought I'd share with my readers what it was like in the eye of the storm, so to speak.
Yesterday morning started off wonderfully. Still feeling equally calm and quietly excited after my first visit to the Buddhist meditation center Wednesday (more on that later), my morning writing session was incredibly productive and creatively empowering. So the day certainly started off on the right foot.
Mid morning, a few small instances occurred that frustrated me. With each one, I realized I was getting more and more peeved. In fact, I was feeling downright angry. While the situations were annoying in and of themselves, they shouldn't have particularly angered me, especially with such a promising day and a half behind me. But they did. Then, I began to grow more and more detached. I didn't want to talk to anyone, I didn't want to see anyone, I just wanted to remove myself from society for a while, to hide until the feeling passed. It took me a while to figure it out, but I finally understood that I was experiencing a hypomanic cycle drastically crashed into a depressive cycle. The anger was the crescendo of the hypomanic episode. And in mood cycling, what goes up, must come down. So I dramatically plummeted into a depressive episode. The anger and frustrations didn't cause the mood cycling, they were, in fact, the result of them.
As the day wore on, I started feeling more myself - neither hypomanic nor depressive. I did, though, feel horribly drained emotionally and physically. Not only do I feel completely empty after a severe cycle (either hypomanic or depressed), but my body feels shaky, my legs hurt to walk on and sometimes feel like they'll collapse underneath me. I have no appetite - and when I don't want to eat, you know something's wrong! Think about when you have the flu for a week, and how it feels the first few times you try to move around once you finally start feeling somewhat human again. It's a lot like that.
Every cycle is a little bit different. This one surprised me because it took the reverse tactic of a mid-day depressive episode, and one that only lasted a couple hours at that. I was caught completely unaware. However, regardless of the timing, the feelings in each cycle are the same, more or less. The complete exhaustion afterwards always exists. I hope, after such a violent and rapid cycle, I'm back to feeling myself for a while. The cycles, while not desirable, do always remind me of an extremely important point - to enjoy every good, non-cycling moment I have, because things could truly get much worse at any time, and I never want to look back and realize what I've missed because I wasn't paying attention.