Communion Of Dreams


Right on time.
July 24, 2010, 10:21 am
Filed under: Bipolar, Depression, Health, Predictions, Sleep, Survival

Gah. I hate to be right, sometimes.

In January 2009 I wrote this:

As usual, it’s only in hindsight that you recognize it.  The typical seasonal downturn is something more.  Oh, you’re aware of the symptoms.  The intense introspection.  Desire to sleep more.  Lower level of creativity.  Difficulty in finding the motivation to do anything.  Lack of enthusiasm for the usual things you enjoy.  Tendency to drink more, without getting the slightest buzz from it.  You’re aware of the symptoms, but until you’ve been dealing with them for a while they don’t all add up to something that you can see.

The ‘black dog‘.

And as noted previously, my bipolar condition tends to run on an 18-to-24 month cycle, though that can be effected by external factors.

Count months. Yeah.

Which explains why teaching my class the last two weeks was so hard, so draining, for all that it was also very enjoyable. Being a public person in the midst of a depressive slide is doable, it just takes an inordinate amount of energy.

Ah, well.

But the good news is that once I realize how deeply I am into this cycle, it usually means that I don’t have a whole lot further down to go. Typically, just a matter of weeks. Something to look forward to. And now that the class is done I can put my energy back into the other things which need my attention, and slowly build on the small accomplishments.

Walk. One foot in front of the other. It’s the only thing that helps.

Jim Downey

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5 Comments so far
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Your description is timely. I’ve been wondering (and haven’t found a satisfactory answer in the medical literature): How common is it for bipolar cycles to run so long? I’ve heard them measured in weeks or even days, but you’re not the first person I’ve known who sees the swings occupying months or years. Perhaps it’s no longer called bipolar, but maybe something else? Or maybe the short cycles apply only to the “good” phases?

Comment by Robin

This is part of the reason why I have always described my bipolar condition as being very mild – the swings are so long that it isn’t traumatic, and the highs and lows are likewise fairly moderate. But they are real, and powerful factors in my life.

Perhaps there is a distinction to be made in the literature – I haven’t sought out the latest information, let alone any sort of medical treatment, in quite a few years.

Comment by James Downey

[…] now I’m fighting a mild depression, as noted the other day. And if I couldn’t find anything wrong with the saw on the first pass, it’d really piss […]

Pingback by Sometimes, I learn. « Communion Of Dreams

[…] pm Filed under: Bipolar,Book Conservation,Depression,Failure,Gardening,Health,Press,Publishing I mentioned last week that I was somewhere in the downswing of my bipolar cycle. It’s sometimes hard to […]

Pingback by What it’s like. « Communion Of Dreams

[…] some time now I have been increasingly aware of a shift, a change in the wind. From this: But the good news is that once I realize how deeply I am into this cycle, it usually means that I […]

Pingback by Another turn of the wheel. « Communion Of Dreams




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