Depression I know. Mania I'm learning about. When I was happy, the relief was so great that I would fly, never giving thought to the whens or whys. Since my last hospitalization 9 years ago, I have learned the ugly side of them. Playing with my meds to "fix" my depressed feelings have lead the highly irritable, raging side of mania. The crazed insane feeling of needing a straight jacket. I understand my depression, which has lead me to take care of it as I need. When the thought occurred to me that I must also manage my mania, it was revolutionary.
First, I had to grapple with my addictive nature to stop playing with my meds. I had to make a conscience decision to stop. This was a tough call. A recovering addict, with a way to get out of being stuck in this deep dark pit, you've got to be kidding. Suffer a day more, when there's a way out. I fought with this new addiction that I couldn't give up for about five years. It was tough, to say the least. Nothing seemed to help my depression and my manias were short-lived as they turned insane. I finally came to the realization, manias were no fun anymore, they were frightening. Petrified, I had to surrender. I made a conscience effort to take all my meds as prescribed. Even with this stark reality it has taken me a couple of years to actually get 6 months straight of medication. (though you'll noticed during an early post, I was beginning to slip again) It did make a immense difference though. After about 3 months I noticed a leveling of my moods. The actually physical nature of the highs and lows were began to diminish. The last two months the highs and lows were more like a strong undercurrent. There are still rapid spikes and drops through the day, like as described in post below. They are strong enough to get my attention, but not strong that I'm able to get a hold of them eventually. This has been my greatest blessing in studying my own illness and trying to steady that electrical current. A rewiring of sorts. Something I will explain in another post. Everything is still a struggle. I don't want to be this, having to take meds and feel like a rocket ship taking off and crashing, but I here I am. Other days, I appreciate and accept my illness and believe it is part of me and has developed who I am, the gifts I have and the unique person I am. And sometimes it just is what is it is. Nothing I can do about it. Whether I fight it or accept it, I am here. It is here. We are here together.