Depression is something I've struggled with my whole life, but two years ago, I finally went into treatment for it. Medication has been keeping things mostly under control, but not entirely--I currently see a therapist once a week who has been helping a great deal as well.
When I first tried to get help, I reread a lot of what I'd written over the last several years, and I noticed a clear pattern--tremendous highs and lows, lasting weeks to months, flipping from one to the other almost instantly. At my first appointment with a psychiatrist, I told her I suspected I was bipolar; she dismissed my concern almost immediately. I can't remember exactly why, though I think it was related to my sleep habits. In any case, I trusted that she was more of an expert than I was and tried to push the suspicion out of my mind.
A few weeks ago, while talking about what I'd been doing the last week, I noticed my therapist was quizzing me about textbook bipolar symptoms. To make a long story short, I'm now in the process of changing medications.
Right now I feel like I'm in a full-on manic state. Last week I started the Couch to 5k program. A couple days later, I decided to add a diet to it. Two days after that, I made the diet more extreme--animals are treated terribly in factory farms, so why not just go vegetarian? Now I'm toying with the idea of veganism--I mean, aren't dairy farms just as bad? When I'm in this state, I suffer from project creep in every part of my life.
I thought it would be good to try to write something; now I'm plotting a novel. I wanted to weed the flower beds; now I'm rebuilding them in brick, which I'm reclaiming from the destruction of a fire pit on the other side of the yard. I've been interested in linguistics for years; I saw a post by a linguist on reddit yesterday, and now I feel like moving to Germany to finally get a degree might be fun. I went to the humane society today and I'm considering adopting a super-sweet Corgi/German shepherd mix--I've got so much love to give, and a yard, so why not get a dog?
A hallmark of mental illness is the inability to accept logic; refusing the conclusion despite overwhelming evidence. I recognize that I'm in the middle of textbook manic behavior. I know, somewhere in my head, that I'm trying to take on a lot of stuff at once, and it's probably more than I can handle. But the larger part of my brain is saying it's not all that much. I'm doing well so far, haven't missed a workout yet. Okay, I've blown out my wrist, but that could happen to anyone, right?
Few people seek treatment during a manic phase, because they feel fucking fantastic. You're embarking on a thousand exciting new projects, you're accomplishing things, you feel like there's nothing you can't do. Move to Germany? Heck yeah! Family doesn't want to come along? That's okay! It's only for a couple of years, and the result is worth the sacrifice! Somehow it doesn't even seem possible that being in a strange country and separated from my husband and child might negatively impact my studies. I'll be free of distractions! Class all day, homework all night! It's so hard to explain how I can feel this way; I see exactly why it doesn't make sense, but that doesn't change anything.
No, I'm not moving to Germany (but Austin could work). And it's not even that it would be a terrible idea to adopt a dog. But it might be a little overwhelming, and I don't know what else to cut out.
Here, have a picture of the doggie.