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Here Comes the Wave: Life with Bipolar Disorder

By Dr. Tiffany E Wicks

For the past three weeks, I’ve been in a manic state. For me, it means I’ve been cleaning, taking on new projects, hanging out with lots of people, talking fast, and never sleeping. I also like to drink more in this state. To be honest, my typical mania lasts for four days or so and I don’t have time to enjoy it before the next depression surge hits. However, I started new meds so this is a welcome change.

But today, the light switch turned off without my consent. This time I didn’t see it coming. I went within, growing silent, moving slower, and needing a lot more sleep. The wave was coming and I wasn’t ready or willing to drown. Even though I can do all the things to try and tread water when the water overtakes me, not much changes. I still drown in a sad, lonely existence that I find myself begging to end.

ve spent the better part of the last two years in deep depression. Add on a pandemic and it was/is excruciating to live through. However, when I was diagnosed as bipolar and given meds that actually work, I was hopefully I wouldn’t have to get lost in the ocean that has become so familiar as of late. I was hopeful I could be productive and happy but realistically down without the darkness. Today told me that’s not always true. Today was gray and I hope it doesn’t get darker. But the girl last week who wanted to talk to all her friends is back to wanting to stay at home in hermit mode watching TV until she falls asleep.

I’m trying not to chase the mania, but it’s hard not to want that. I want to feel, to be alive, to ride the wave and stay on top of the surf. I want to do all the things because when I’m manic, I CAN do all the things. Today isn’t that, and I just want it back.

I better put on my life jacket, because here comes the wave. I just don’t want to go under for too long. And maybe, just maybe, I can start swimming sooner than later.

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