Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I'm So Excited, and I Just Can't Hide It!

#HAWMC Day 15:  Get Excited!  What revs up your internal engine? When you see, hear, feel this it gets you excited and ready to face what comes next. Tell us what it is!

I have hypomania and a generally excitable personality. Lots and lots of things get me excited. It get excited when I get a new shade of mascara or a new flavor of Keurig. This morning I heard the Rocky Theme (AKA Philly's unofficial theme song) and Bad Medicine by Bon Jovi back to back on my drive into work. That was exciting, in a 1986 type of way. I love to celebrate the little things in life. There are so many setbacks, especially in life with chronic illness, that if you don't savor the tiny moments, it's going to be a long damn life, and not in the best of ways.  If I can't enjoy the get excited over fun day to day things, no matter how small they are, how the hell will I get through the depressive cycles? 

But if I had to pick something, and this is tough with a brain that goes in 20 directions at once, I'd say creating gets me excited. When I create something from scratch, either on my own or with the help of others, I feel accomplished and in control. For a person who's condition often results in a lack of control over....err.... everything... the ability to create something of my own and see it through is thrilling. 

Some examples: my novel. I'll probably be the only one who ever reads it, but it's exhilarating. I'm writing a novel! I created a book, a whole story, out of thin air, just using my imagination and power in my messy brain, and I've seen it through - I'm almost finished the first, very rudimentary draft. 

Another example: the mental health work I'm doing. With the help of a couple of friends, I created Go the Extra Mile for Mental health, and with the help of loved ones, we held a charity hike and raised money for brain and behavior research. I'm also working with another friend to create a mentor program for youth with mental health conditions. This one is still in the "discussion" stages, but the ability to partner with someone and even consider putting this together is exciting. What's extra cool is this is a person I met via twitter because of our mental health awareness work, and now we've become friends and are combining forces in something that we're both passionate about and that we feel there's a great need for. I feel like I'm using my brain and my condition for good, to help others, and that most definitely gets me revved up.

Creating also allows me to get out of my "everyday brain" and reach into another part, a part I generally keep hidden because I believe my constant desire to create probably annoys people (read: I think my continual brainstorm of ideas and my desire to talk about them is akin to an excited kid asking "are we there yet" constantly over a long car ride). But for me, it's a solace. It's a place where, I'm not cyclothymic or depressed or hypomanic, but just me. It's a place where I can reach into the part of me that's so interesting to explore, that makes me truly, perhaps for the first time ever, at home with myself. It's the part of me I understand best, even if others understand it least. Perhaps, it's finally finding that part of me at all that's really what gets me excited. 


  1. If diving headfirst into something is a sign of hypomania, then I and your sister Melissa are diagnosable as well. I think it is just a family personality trait to get super excited about something that feels creative too us. By the way, you won't be the only one to read your novel (unless you want it that way) because I definitely will!

    1. Well yes part of it is general personality. The hypomania is more the rapid switch from the depressive cycle into diving right into something suddenly and the constant energy supply that comes along with it. Energy might not be the right word, I can't really describe it. To me the right adjective is manic but that's a bit redundant in this particular description. And yes I should have specified anyone who's not a blood relative haha. On the second to last scene, by the way!