So, I’ve been working at my new job for a little over a month now. It is really great – I’m the only girl amongst a slew of burly men, and I must say they don’t hold back with the curse words and dynamic personalities. It’s interesting and I’m learning something new every day.
We have money in the bank and my husband seems less stressed. We are even able to treat ourselves to a nice evening out each week. But, we are still frugal. I think all those times of us planning our menu around what’s on sale at the grocery store and living on pasta and beans has taught us how to pinch our pennies. I have started trying new recipes out again, which is nice. The rut we were in with our menu had become old and boring.
Because of this positive change, I have been riding a bit of a manic high. I call it manic, but maybe I’m just happy. I don’t want to trust it because I know that eventually, I’ll start feeling low. But that brings me to the question: is being happy the same as being mildly manic? I feel like my emotions are defined (by others) as either manic or depressive, so I find myself using those terms to describe how I’m feeling. It is simply the aftermath of being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I am not rapid-cycling and my meds are good. I am religious about taking them because the alternative is crazy scary, literally. I walk the line, as it were.
I have an appointment in the morning with my psychiatrist so he can check in with me and see that my meds are still working. I really like him – he listens to me and actually has a conversation about what has been going on in my life. I’ve had other psychiatrists who spend 5 minutes with me simply to write in their prescription pads. I’m very lucky to have the doctor I have in my corner.
I think in the morning I am going to discuss with him what it means to be happy and what it means to be manic. I am not reading into things like the radio or seeing patterns in the cars, which is so very positive that I can’t express it in words. Point one for being happy. I find myself speaking rapidly and excitedly at work, simply because I haven’t had this kind of professional interaction in 3+ years. I think I’d give a point to both mania and happiness. But, I’m having trouble sleeping sometimes. It’s like I can’t shut off my brain at night time to go to sleep – hence why I am up writing at 10:45 at night. I have to be up for work at 5. Score one for the Mania.
I have a hard time staying awake at work in the mornings. One of my medications has to be taken in the morning and has been known to cause drowsiness. I didn’t really experience this when I wasn’t working, but I am wondering if this is factoring into why I’m having a hard time staying awake. I was at a meeting this week and I seriously fell asleep. My boss asked me if I was okay afterward. I gave the excuse that I didn’t sleep well and hadn’t had enough coffee. But, this is a problem. It’s EVERY day! Another topic I shall discuss with my p-doc at our appointment tomorrow.
So, is it mania or am I just happy? I hope it’s that I’m happy because I don’t want any of my meds changed. He’s not quick to do that, but you never know. All I know is that I’m pleased to have a job and excited to have a place to go each day. That is a huge improvement from where I started with this whole journey.
I still have much to learn about my condition. I can research all I want, but those are just studies about different people with the same disorder. Applicable, yes, at times. But does it always apply? I don’t think so. Everyone is different and every experience is unique – regardless if you suffer or not.
What I’m afraid of is the low that is on the horizon. I can’t be this up forever. The newness will wear off and I’ll become a little complacent, a little slower, a little less dynamic. Sad, on all counts. I can’t let this happen, but sometimes it is inevitable. So, here’s to wishing I stay on the happiness trail and the sadness trail stays in the distance. A girl can dream, right?