Are your moods are like an elevator with no control buttons? Mine are.
Ground floor ... I feel normal, content, just quietly getting on with ordinary, everyday life, loving my family and friends. This is as it should be. And maybe there's nothing wrong with me after all. Live.
Going up, top floor. Oh look! There's a shiny thing! I want to sing! Let's go buy stuff! Let's have a big party and invite the world! What could possibly go wrong! Woooooo hoooooooo! Play.
Going up (a different day) top floor. What do you mean you don't agree with me! I'm right! Why don't you think like me? Keep up! How can you be so illogical? I'll f-ing shred you if you don't do what I want! Rage.
Going down, lower ground floor. Flat, listless, can't be bothered. Can still function but it's a drag. Cope
Going down, basement. I'm never getting out of bed again. I'm useless, worthless. Total idiot, how could I ever imagine I could do anything, nothing ever goes right because I'm wrong. I'm a burden to everyone. Hide.
Welcome to my bipolar world. It's always been my world, but it's only recently I've seen it for what it is. About 15 years ago I was diagnosed with clinical depression during one of my 'basement' times. I had a lot of lower ground floor times too, on and off, and I kept out of the basement (so I thought) with alcohol. Until that took me into the blackest ever basement with only one obvious way out. Having survived doing something very dangerous I realised I had to stop drinking or I really would die.
I never took much notice of the playful times or the anger, that was just me, I was fun sometimes, and sometimes I was a devastating bitch. Ha! Deal with it people!
Well, yes, but in time the elevator started going up and down too quickly and, as I became more aware and more knowledgeable about mental health I realised this wasn't good. Doctor. Diagnosis. Bipolar 2. Lithium.
So, I've started this thread in the hope that other bipolar folks will join me, to share experiences and strategies. In my 'beginners' understanding, we are different from other fellow travellers of the back dog. While we experience depression as many others on this site do, the hypomanic or manic ups and, for some the rapid cycling that can happen, are experiences unto themselves.
I want to learn more, and I want to share with others. I hope my fellow elevators will join me here.
BTW, it's a ground floor day in my head today! Yay!