Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day by day

I was going to write about how boring my day was but then it struck me that boring isn't actually a bad thing. It wasn't sad, I wasn't depressed at any point, it just wasn't a laugh-riot, action-packed kind of day. But for someone with even mild manic depression, to have just a boring day - I think! - is a sign that you're in remission. Let me see if I can make sense of this:

You're probably all very familiar with the symptoms of depression: lack of appetite or eating too much (it's different for different people), sleeping poorly or too much, lack of interest in any type of activity, deep, unrelenting sadness. Less familiar is the mania side of the equation, especially if it's really mild like mine is, so here's what it can look like: a feeling of elation, of being on top of the world, of wanting to do every single fun thing RIGHT NOW. The transition between the two (mania and depression) is really wretched and it leaves me feeling even worse when I realize - as I usually do pretty quickly now that I know to look for it - that I'm not actually feeling wonderful, it's just the disease talking. Depression times two descends even more deeply as I realize how messed up things are in my head.

But for weeks now, I haven't had the crazy swings. No super lows, no mild highs, just what I think might be normalcy. It's hard for me to know what normal looks like because it's been such a long time since I felt it = have I ever really felt it? - but I think having a plain, old boring day without feeling the darkness or the desire to overcompensate with the mania is a really, really good sign.

It's OK to be bored or sad or frustrated. Maybe one day I'll feel happy. Maybe not. For now I'll take "normal".

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