Bipolar Mood Swings
Have you ever dyed your hair on a whim? — Yes!
Have you ever moved to another country and did so within a week? — Yes.
Have you ever convinced yourself that you were able to control the people around you, if only you had enough coffee? — Yes…I have.
Everyone experiences mood swings. Your moods typically change as you go through your day, affected by other people and things. This is common. However, someone with bipolar disorder experiences mood swings very differently.
What a Bipolar Mood Swing Feels Like
I have experienced the very highest of highs and the very lowest of lows, only to turn around and repeat the process. My highest highs give me a sense of being untouchable. I’m “ten-foot-tall and bulletproof,” as my Dad would say. I could lift cars off babies and control minds. It is one hell of a ride, until the inevitable decline. It is like the fall of Rome, or so I believe. I find myself sinking in the quicksand, drowning, but no one can save me. I wallow in misery and defeat. Everything makes me feel worse. I can’t even find kittens and puppies to be cute anymore. I want to die. This is dangerous and I know it.
This happened repeatedly until I found medication, but that was only in 2017. I spent my teenage years, my twenties, and half my thirties riding the wildest rollercoaster available. My poor family and friends were there too. They were miserable and I saw that, but I could not look past my own misery or my own whimsy, depending upon whether I was up or down. There was and is no grey area for me unmedicated.
This is Called Rapid Cycling
What I experienced was called rapid cycling which involves extreme changes in moods four or more times in a 12 month period. Many people with bipolar disorder only experience one or two cycles of mania and depression. Mania is the high highs, and depression is the low lows.
The truth is that I miss feeling some of the highs, but I know now how damaging they were to my life and my family. I am aware and medication keeps me in check. I still have ups and downs, but they are more manageable. I haven’t tried mind control in years.
In all seriousness, I am a better version of myself now. I’m kinder, gentler, and more thoughtful. I am still a work in progress. I have a lot to learn about myself and the ways I process the world, but I have a great therapist, a wonderful wife, and great family and friends on my side.
If you’re struggling with bipolar disorder or think you might be, please reach out to:
Text DBSA to 741–741 (Crisis) or (800) 826–3632 (Non-emergency)
Text NAMI to 741–741 (Crisis) or (800) 950-NAMI (6264) (Non-emergency)