Spring Fever

It was 63 degrees today. The sun was out for part of that time, the breeze was soft and almost warm as it kissed my rain-frizzled hair, and over the sounds of traffic I thought I could hear birds chirping as I munched my tuna sandwich. I almost didn’t even need a sweater.

Spring may still be a little over two weeks away, but signs of it are stirring all over, including on the inside. I want to dig in the dirt. My appetite is going away and I’m sick of junk food. I can hardly wait for Daylight Saving Time to begin this weekend. And I’m not sleeping well even though I’m sticking to the script.

Yeah……oh, shit is right.

I get it every year, this spring-fever thing. Only I’ve learned to recognize it for what it really is, and warning bells are going off even as I lose myself in pleasant imaginings of the blooming flowers and warm twilights to come. All winter long I dream of sunny spring and summer days, and the intoxicating aromas of roses and watermelon and grilled steaks. Even now, with more rain to come in the days ahead, I’m ready to stash all the dull, dark clothes far back into the closet and bring out my bright turquoises and yellows. I want short sleeves and gauzy skirts and a tan.

And then I wonder for the 457th time how a perfectly innocent time of year can be so seductive, and yet hold so much danger for the poor schmuck who just happens to have bipolar disorder.

I’m not manic. Not even hypo, even though I was bordering on it as recently as a week ago. I don’t feel like I could jog the 40 miles home like I do when I’m in that state. (Broken toes don’t allow for much jogging, anyway. Neither does being too-many-hundred pounds and badly out of shape. Besides, I hate jogging.) I’m still fighting my asthma and I’m not healthy enough yet to actually go outside and start prepping my flowerbeds.

But I have the feeling that it wouldn’t take very much to turn the tide. I’m not sure if I can describe what the sensation is like; it’s almost as if your head is slightly abuzz, and the rest of your body is thrumming with anticipation—of what you don’t know, but it’s something you can hardly wait for, even as your logical brain says “oh, no you don’t either!!” It’s like Christmas and your birthday and all the days you’ve ever looked forward to in your whole life rolled into one glorious event, and you can hardly breathe for the excitement.

Ever wonder why people like being manic? There’s your answer.

Thankfully, the practical side of me is still in control and it knows that spring fever or no, I can’t have an episode of any kind right now. I’m at a crucial point in my training where things could either go well or suck rocks—not a good time to have to deal with this pesky illness. So I will turn the salsa music off, resist the temptation to have both the heater and the fan on to simulate a night in the tropics (um, yeah……I do that sometimes), and take my meds no later than 9 PM so I can at least wind down a bit before I attempt to sleep.

Wake me when it’s May, will you?



Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

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