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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

With Apologies to Tommy Roe

Busy, I'm so busy my head is spinning*
Like a whirwind it never ends
And it's adrenaline makin' it spin
It's all keepin' me busy...

In the last seven days, I have:
  • applied to graduate school
  • led 3 writing workshops (#4 is tonight)
  • proofread two magazines (and turned down three)
  • written a proposal for a writers group I'd like to start at the local women's prison
  • attended orientation at said prison
  • auditioned for Winnie the Pooh (no word yet, but I think I'd make a smashing Kanga)
  • been doped up on codeine and antibiotics and generally felt crappy but had to keep going because I had so freakin' much to do

As if that wasn't enough, I also felt the first stirrings of a manic episode. Which is seriously not a good thing, particularly when my physical reserves are already depleted.

I had my last--and only--episode a few years ago, and at the time, I had no idea what was going on. I just thought I was in a really great mood. Well, I also thought I was a creative genius. And that I'd finally become The Person I Was Meant To Be, a woman who had finally learned to speak her mind. Loudly. And, according to The Engineer, very, very fast. And funny, Lord, I was funny. (Everyone thought so.)

But then it all came to a crashing halt. What happened to my tremendous energy? What about all the amazing personal insights? My life-altering epiphanies? Gone. Lost in a crushing haze of depressive fog. Which, in comparison to the glitter and glee of the manic period, seemed even more oppressive than usual. I wasn't sure I would survive it.

Months later I was reading Jane Pauley's memoir and recognized my own behavior in her description of a hypomanic episode. What? Hypomania? Like in...bipolar? I'd had depression all my life, and mild mood swings, but nothing like the euphoria of mania or hypomania (mild mania). How could I, all of a sudden, be bipolar? Realizing that I'd had a hypomanic episode made me feel better about the depression that followed. It wasn't that I was a bad person. It wasn't that I couldn't hold on to all that wonderful progress. I was depressed. It was chemical.

In case you're wondering, I did not engage in "risky behaviors" or buy a house (which is what Jane Pauley did). I did spend quite a bit at Office Depot, but I don' t think that's a sign of anything sinister. I can spend lots of money in there at any time, for any reason, and keep trying to convince The Engineer that a gift card would be a really cool gift. (I love office supplies! And notebook paper! And pens! And highlighters! And paperclips! And notebooks! And sorters! And! And! And!)

At any rate, if I was, in fact, feeling something more than what The Engineer calls "wound up," it seems to have passed. Either that or the codeine has drugged it into submission. All I'm feeling now is tired. Who knew I'd find that a relief?

*Yes, there is dizziness. And nausea. But so far none of that spinning and vomiting I was worried about.


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