The Absence of “WOW”

I don’t want to seem ungrateful or anything, but what I could really use right now is a good dose of hypomania.

Yes, I know it’s ridiculous. Yes, I know it’s stupid, especially after everything I’ve gone through to get to what I consider to be relative stability (although Dr. Awesomesauce argued that point with me the other day; he doesn’t seem to think I’m quite as stable as I think I am). But I miss my fire and my passion, and I can’t help thinking that getting them back might propel me out of this lassitude and into taking action to correct the course my life is on right now.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad for the decrease in what used to be some really wild mood swings. It’s not a bad life, although most of what’s happening in it basically sucks. It’s just what I call—for lack of a better term—the absence of “WOW”.

Now I find myself wondering if this is the way most people are all the time. Is this how it is to never be too hot or too cold? To be sad, but never depressed? To be happy, even joyful, but never, ever the least bit manic? I guess my perspective is a little skewed because up until recently, I’ve never known life without the full spectrum of moods. And I imagine it wouldn’t take too much messing around with my meds to set the clock back.

I keep thinking about calling Dr. A and asking him to let me taper off the Zyprexa and see what happens. He definitely doesn’t want me on two anti-psychotics forever; he said as much the other day. And then I remember what happened the last time I tried decreasing the dose—not only did I go off track, I went too far the OTHER way and wound up having serious thoughts about getting off the choo-choo altogether. No bueno. So I’ll wait till I see him next month and if I’m still feeling dull and unmotivated, I’ll ask. I’m not foolish or reckless enough anymore to try it on my own.

See? Even my willingness to take chances is strangely absent. That’s probably a good thing, but I feel like I’m missing out on something.

Now, I realize this line of thinking can be dangerous. Lots of bipolars have gone completely off their meds (and their rockers) for the same reasons. I would never do that, simply because I remember how long it took to get my illness under control and how many med tweaks I’ve had to endure. (At last count, I’d been through a grand total of 26 adjustments.) And as a clinician, I know that the odds are against me wrestling this beast back into submission easily if I were to turn it loose, even a little. So I don’t let myself think about that too much.

I just wish there were some way that I could be silly, funny, creative ME without all the bad stuff that sometimes accompanies hypomania—the crappy sleep, the irritability, the inability to focus, and the chance that it could develop into full-blown mania. I want my “WOW” back!




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 “The Absence of “WOW”

  1. I know just how you feel. For me hypomania mostly means the absence of depression, which is wonderful. I’m also in an in-between stage, which is about as close to average (I hate using the word normal) as I’ve felt in a long time. I’ve recently faced a few triggers without cycling into depression or adjusting my meds, but I wonder how long that can last with that “WOW” factor missing. This has given me something to bring up in next week’s therapy session. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like what “Tales” said above about “average” v. using the term “normal.”

    In which direction does Dr. A seem to think you’re going, or are at?

    I would say most people are not experiencing what we are when we are (I’m thinking …) when we are “flat.” But flat seems to be the alternative to unstable. Maybe I’m wrong, I don’t know. I definitely understand you when you say you could use a tiny bit of hypomania! If only! Sigh… But to achieve that is to place our entire lives, our freedom, even our family and friends, on the table, and wager away with a set of loaded dice. Yeah, no pleasure cruise for sure… Rolling those dice may be exciting – but losing everything – not so much.

    When I proposed to my shrink recently that I wean down on the benedryl (right now a pretty much sure-fire way for me to get to sleep) – she suggested I wait another month of stability before we try. I have to admit that I was definitely disappointed, but I have learned I have to concede the title of “Dr. Bailey.” Ticks me off, after all, I know myself, don’t I? mmmmmmmmmm, no. I do not.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think it’s easy to get hooked on the highs, just like people get hooked on the high they get from drugs. It’s really difficult to give up but we have to. Just like kbailey374 said, if you roll those dice, whilst it may feel exciting and fun we always lose. In the end we always lose far more than we gain and we hurt our loved ones along the way. When I get hypomanic it feels wonderful, I feel at my most creative and have huge amounts of drive, I can do three times as much as normal. But and its a big but, I also get delusions of grandure, I think I am much better than I actually am. In reality I make irrational or rash decisions not creative ones, I make lots of mistakes whilst I do three times as much and I’m totally unaware of it. It’s like when someone is drunk and they think they can sing or dance like a pro but to every one else it’s clear that they’re tone def and have two left feet. You’re going through a really stressful time right now, that could easily trigger a major episode, the last thing you want is to not be thinking straight.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You have a point there. I do the same thing with the delusions of grandeur—get to thinking I’m totally awesome and then I do stupid things that I don’t realize ARE stupid until I come down off the moon. Damn reality!! LOL


    1. re: You have a point there. I do the same thing with the delusions of grandeur—get to thinking I’m totally awesome and then I do stupid things that I don’t realize ARE stupid until I come down off the moon. Damn reality!! LOL”

      aaaamen! Reality bites!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. As I’m sure you know flat is not stable, but sometimes we must slog through a period of flatness to achieve stability and only then (under MD supervision as you noted) taper off to a clearer, not hypomanic, but fuller range of emotions. Wishing you the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Flat is not stable. But you know it. Maybe it’s better for ÿou now, to get through… but later… don’t settle on medicated slush and try to convince yourself this is how normal people feel.

    Ever read Tom Wooton’s work? He is all about expanding the zone of comfort as opposed to medicating yourself flat. Just something to consider. NORMAL is to get excited and silly sometimes. Even spontangeous.

    And as for your loved ones… if they cannot take you for what you are and prefer the overmedicated version of you…. they shouldn’t be loved. Sure they are not materialized perfection either and you don’t force them to change.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good points!

      I have read some of Tom Wooten’s work and its amazing. I’m a long way from “bipolar in order” but it’s something to strive for. There’s got to be a better way…..


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