Past Tense

One of the blessings of being in remission from bipolar disorder is the fading of bad memories from past mood episodes. It’s been almost eight months since the last of the depression left me in early January, and now I’m questioning whether it was really all that bad back then, or if it’s just that good now.

I suppose I shouldn’t play this game. It’s too easy to dismiss what was a very serious episode in the light of day, and I have both the hospital record and the diagnosis to prove it. But the intervening months of stability have mellowed my recollection of events to the point that I’ve found myself doubting that diagnosis…if only a little.

I’ve talked to a few of my friends about this, and of course they think I’m full of shit. And they are probably right. Time may have muted some of the horrors of depressions past, but it still happened and unfortunately is likely to happen again given the cyclical nature of my disease. But then I get to thinking about how much longer it’s been since I had a manic episode, and I can’t help wondering if those were as severe as I’ve been told they were, or if I’ll ever have another. I haven’t had a single manic spell in almost two years; in fact, I’ve only had downswings (along with a couple of mild hypomanic phases) since October of 2013. The meds are great at preventing mania…so how come they don’t keep the depression away too?

Anyway, I’m not wasting too much time ruminating because Will and I have been incredibly busy since we moved in with Ethan and Clark earlier this month. The living arrangements are still being worked out; I don’t get to roost in the bathroom for an hour every morning like I once did, we still have a new routine to get used to (which is more like no routine at all—it’s different every day), and our bedroom has yet to be fully organized. But there’s no question in my mind that the move was the right thing to do, and we are VERY glad to be here. I don’t know about Will, but I never felt comfortable at our last place, never felt “at home”. Here, we are family, and that makes it home.

And I’m still taking showers most days. 🙂


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.

10 thoughts on “Past Tense

  1. Glad you are feeling better.

    Question: while your bi-polar symptoms are in ‘remission’ are you still keeping up with therapy and/or medication (if you do it at all)?

    That was a hard lesson for my wife to learn. Despite feeling “fine” when she stopped her prescribed treatment when her symptoms came back, it was much much worse.

    Take care!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s called “euphoric recall” and it is famous among addicts/alcoholics as well. But you have your previous blog posts and our D.O.C. group posts (no, not Department of Corrections lol) to remind you. The biggest thing I have to remember is how close I can come to DYING, whether during mania or depression, and that wakes me up. I personally am glad you are still here!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m so glad you are still doing well, and I’m glad the move is turning out well. My therapist always says that the value of the journal/blog is to be able to look back and remember what different phases felt like. This is supposed to help notice when I swing into one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I almost wish I didn’t have the euphoria thing, because then I wouldn’t miss it. Although it’s the hypomania and not the mania that I miss—mania is just ugly and fraught with danger.


  4. Hey, bpnurse – I agree with kbailey374; euphoric recall is a dangerous game to play (as you also said you recognize). The curse of “our” illness is that we get back into thinking we are better and beyond and unstoppable when our mind can smash us again. I am so pleased to hear you are feeling better and it really is frustrating that I can’t be sure to trust that I really feel better any more surely than I can trust the memory of how bad I once felt. Sincerely, good luck today and tomorrow and for the next 8 months at least!

    Liked by 1 person

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