AnxietyBipolar ThoughtsDepressionManiaPersonal History

What Stays

So, it has been almost two months since I have posted anything to this website.

For a good part of my time off I was still writing some, but absolutely nothing since my son was born. I’ll get into that later.

For now, this is what you need to know: I am symptom free, including all depression and most anxiety. I am drug free, I am not taking any medication, and I’m also not drinking much. I am not seeing any doctors, not a shrink, not a therapist.

I am doing almost none of the things that I did to work on being healthy. Not eating well or exercising, not sleeping on a good schedule or even much at all, not reading or writing much, not working on anything much at all.

But, I feel perfectly fine. Normal ups and down, nothing serious, barely any anxiety, a good amount of insomnia that I have been constantly dealing with since high school.

And that is what I wanted to talk about today, the things that stick with you even when you aren’t symptomatic, or even in ‘remission’.

For me, insomnia never went away, and coming off of my sleeping pill really reminded me of how bad it can be. And my normal sleep has gone from something like 7.5 hours on my sleeping pill to more like 5.5 hours off of it. But I feel so much less tired being off of it. And some days I’ll sleep 8 hours, but most nights it is bed after 11 and awake around 5. So far though, no complaints.

And to accompany this has been an increase in the frequency of my sleep paralysis. I get it maybe 3 times a month now, and I recently had it multiple times on Friday night and once again on Saturday. I didn’t realize how much my sleeping pill helped curb that.

The other part is just more of social anxiety. I just prefer to be alone most of the time. And if I am with people I just want to be with certain people and no one else. This sounds more like getting old than bipolar, I realize that, but the component of why I want to be alone is anxiety based. To be clear though, this is nothing at all like the type of anxiety I was dealing with on a daily basis before. No panic attacks, no Klonopin, no alcohol, nothing like that. This is just becoming reclusive, a trend that started about a year ago and hasn’t dwindled with my recent sustained upshift in mood.

And then, there are just those personality traits that show how deep into your life the disease can grab you, and how hard it can be to decipher. Racing thoughts, difficulty focusing, falling down the rabbit hole on strange topics that pique my interest, I still experience them all.

The obvious question you might have is, well, are you manic? Hypo-manic? No, I doubt it. At first, I think yes, I almost certainly was. But that was March. This is September. And I noticed a big shift back towards ‘normal’, two actually, one in May and one in July. And now I just think that this state, this is just normal everyday bipolar Steve.

This is how I was a lot in high school, staying up late reading or playing guitar, watching movies. This is how I was in college, staying up late reading things on the internet, playing guitar, watching movies, and doing homework. This is how I was after college, staying up late reading Wikipedia, playing guitar, watching movies and drinking.

The only period where I wasn’t obsessing over things I read about, or staying up late consuming movies and TV, was the last few years, when I believed it meant I was broken.

And maybe I was, I assuredly was. But maybe those things weren’t the sign of it.

Yes, I do believe those things are part of my abnormal psychology, but no, I’m not sure they are problems.

So after three and a half years of dealing with very serious symptoms of bipolar, I am now walking on the other side and seeing what I still carry with me. And no, it isn’t perfect, but it is a start towards normalcy, and I’m sure I can live with these things on my shoulders.

Welcome back to the blog! I am feeling much more like writing again and hopefully I can remain consistent!