Missing (Hypo)Mania

Yeah, I admit it. After all, there’s a great big beautiful spring out there, with warming temperatures and even more sunshine to come later this week…..the intoxicating aromas of flowers floating on the soft breeze…..the promise of summer just around the corner. This is one of my favorite times of year, when it’s not TOO hot and the house is still comfortable for sleeping at night, when life is kind and I’m limited only by my imagination.

And where am I in the middle of all this? Parked on the front porch steps like a bump on a log.

Well, at this particular moment in time I’m actually in front of the computer screen, but you know what I mean. This is the beginning of my first week of unemployment, and I’m getting a taste of freedom that ought to be savored before I go back to the nine-to-five grind. I’m calm, I’m not freaking out at the knowledge that we’ll have to move soon because we can’t afford our house on $360 per week in unemployment benefits, and I’m reasonably sure that I’ll be able to find some sort of job fairly soon. I just lack the get-up-and-go to do something about it.

Of all the times I could use a little hypomania, this is it. Yet it’s nowhere to be found; the sunshine does not evoke the boundless optimism of previous springs, and even the prospect of 80-degree weather later this week brings none of the usual energy that spurs me to activity. I’m not depressed; in fact I’m pretty happy given the circumstances I find myself in. It’s just that everything is pleasant, rather than exciting, and that’s just….well…..boring.

There. I said it. I miss my mania. Or rather, my hypomania…..full-blown mania is too freakish and too damned dangerous to be any real fun. What I want is the feeling of being ten feet tall and bulletproof: I want the ability to do ANYTHING, and the vim and vigor to surmount any obstacles life may put in my way. I want to hit the ground running every morning, and clean the house and work in the yard I probably won’t have much longer. I want to put on my best face and my best clothes and go knock ’em dead at my next interview, even if it’s just Starbucks. In short, I want to feel awesome!! 

You’re probably thinking I must be crazy. I wouldn’t blame you, and part of me even agrees with you. Who but a crazy person would WANT to be in a hypomanic state, even though it provides tremendous energy at a time when it’s desperately needed? It’s taken over two years and many med changes to get to this point of relative stability…..why in the name of all that is reasonable would I be mulling over ways to manipulate my treatment so that I can get the benefits of hypomania without all the bad parts?

OK, now that I’ve worried you, let me reassure you that I’m sticking with the program, even though I am sorely tempted to cheat and kick myself into a higher gear. If you’re not bipolar, you won’t understand these urges; if you are, you know exactly what I’m saying. I’m telling you this only because it’s better to talk it out than ACT it out, and now that I’ve done so, I feel less like doing it. How about that?

And I owe it all to my audience, because you read my work and thus hold me accountable. That’s a good thing. Thanks for being here. 🙂


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.

15 thoughts on “Missing (Hypo)Mania

  1. Oh, yeah! When I have a lot on my plate the thought of doubling my ADD meds crosses my mind for sure. If 5mg helps a little 10 will help a lot. Um, wrong! I get too shaky outside and racy inside to do shit. Then I wonder about coke and wish I wasn’t such a goody two shoes chicken to experiment when I was younger. Then I just plug along and “fake it till I make it. ” Most days. Other times, I’m just a boring slug and try again the next day. Exercise works surprisingly well and it’s easy to forget when I’m in slug mode. Having no working car for the past six weeks has been a blessing in disguise. I’m on foot or light rail if I need to get anywhere. The kids need to get back and forth to school most days, errands need run, I need to work. Since it’s working out, I’m not killing myself to get our van up and running ( stopping actually, the abs is shot).


    1. Exercise is a good thing. Unfortunately I live on a steep hill and have bad knees, so there’s not a whole lot I can do except work in the yard, which I do when I have the opportunity. I’m glad your workouts are helping you. 🙂


  2. I’m not bipolar, yet I definitely feel I can relate to what you’re saying. I do get days of that kind of high energy, unbeatable, ready to take on the world sort of feeling, and I will admit that I love it, because it’s different from simply feeling content. It’s just such a good feeling, and I don’t blame you for missing it.


    1. Thank you. I do miss it, but not enough to mess with what’s working to keep me stable. I’d have people lined up all the way to the state line waiting to slap the snot out of me if I were ever foolish enough to do that! LOL


  3. I’m with you. Mostly I cycle from really low – to meh. Every once in a while, I experience what you speak of, and it is indeed lovely. My problem now is I’m cycling several times a day. I’m exhausted. Hope it figured out soon.


      1. Actually, no, but I certainly can believe it happens. I get so tired of fighting with this disease and I simply cannot fathom how anyone with ultradian cycling gets through the day.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Stay the course! I miss the delerium and the lofty heights of ecstacy that I used to find myself enveloped in. I REALLY miss it. The truth is that my last serious episode of depression was close to ending me. I have heard that a dose of SAMe can prompt mania and once I’ve been on Quetiapine for six months, unless I’ve found a way to tap into that old buzz I’m going to give it a try and see how I feel.

    Truthfully – I’d love to have my cake and eat it. I’d love to have active hypomania but for me personally – the depressions and psychoses had gotten dangerous. At times I believed I could predict the future and at the end of my last depression I knew I wasn’t able to kill myself because of my family, I knew I didn’t want to ‘inflict’ myself on them, so my only option was homelessness, or so I thought. Without the intervention of a very close, and clued-up friend I would now be in a sleeping bag on the streets somewhere.

    Stay the course and stay well. Tedium is a fuck-sight better than the crushing depths of advanced depression. You know it! 🙂

    If you get where you think talking to someone would help, but you don’t want to ‘bother’ anyone in your life outside of cyber space – message/call one of us on Skype. We only log in and make ourselves available when we’re feeling strong enough to support people (so no guilt on your part). You won’t upset anyone and as well as genuinely wanting to help – we get it.


    If that doesn’t help at all, then I sincerely hope that you find tedium more acceptable than the swings. I came this close to knocking my medication on the head recently, for exactly the reasons you outline, so I really do get it. I remember reading that when you abandon medication and attempt to recommence treatment under the same drugs – you run the risk of the treatment losing some/all of it’s potency. If that isn’t a good incentive to keep going then I don’t know what is.

    All the best,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is an incredible piece of wisdom. Thank you so much…..it really does help me focus on the fact that I need to continue doing exactly what I’m doing so I can stay well. It’s taken two years to get to this point where I’m having longer periods of remission; thanks for the reminder about how treatment tends to lose its effectiveness if one goes off and on. I’ve been through a lot of meds and am on five of them now. I definitely don’t want to mess with my regimen when it’s working!


  5. CoffeeandBipolar, I cycle through my moods several times a day, but I don’t have Bipolar. I have Borderline Personality Disorder. I am able to manage it really well now though. I just keep working through my slumps and it passes within hours. I find that having a planner helps a lot; I lay things the night before if I have to go somewhere/do something; if I am expected to do something, I do it as soon as possible and do not push it off. I and try not to make excuses and take responsibility for things (it gives me self control) even if it isn’t pleasant. I go to counseling, too.


  6. Dear bpnurse,
    Your article just reminded me an almost lost memory at the summer vacations of year 2000 when I was about to return home from my aunt’s cottage and before getting into her car I saw the sun rising above the mountains. I was ecstatic… Pure magic!!! Some months after came my first full blown mania and psychotic episode and hospitalization but nevertheless these memories make me keep going. I weeped and I like it. See you at psychforum. Thank you!


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