My mania has changed. It no longer includes the shaking, heart pounding, muscle tightening, difficulty breathing, and no sleeping that used to accompany it. Sometimes I get a small taste of those symptoms again, but not to the point of them interfering with my life anymore. Thank goodness! My mania stopped affecting me like that as soon as I switched to Latuda, and it hasn't come back like that again since. It really is the biggest blessing, and I hope to never forget how blessed I am to have that awful time behind me.
Now my mania is actually quite enjoyable! I feel like I am on top of the world and nothing can get in my way of doing everything I wanted to do during the depression phase and couldn't. I have much more motivation than I did during depression, and I am much more productive with my time. I feel like I can finally get out of bed with a purpose and not fight myself with every little thing I have to do. I don't get overwhelmed very easily, and my "Ta Da List" reflects that. I feel like I can finally be a good wife, good mom, good friend, and good person overall, because service, reading scriptures, and doing special things for my family suddenly don't feel impossible.
But the biggest feeling I get is that I have finally conquered the beast that depression/bipolar is, like I somehow figured out how to not let it affect me anymore, and I am finally strong enough to fight it off forever and get back to living my life the way I used to and want to. I really think that, using my newly found strength and ability, the depression will never be able to affect me again, because I will know how to overcome it when it creeps up on me, and I'm strong enough to do so. I feel like I'm free and like I can finally move on past this mental illness that surely wasn't as bad as I thought it was. In fact, I often think that it wasn't even real at all, and I just imagined it as some strange reason for trying to create a blog that touches and inspires people. Sometimes my thoughts go so far as to think that I should confess to people that it wasn't real and apologize for ever writing about a mental illness that I never really had. Yes, the mania does some funny things to my thinking, but it feels good for the most part, and it all seems to make sense at the time.
You can only imagine the disappointment that comes each time, when I switch into depression again, and realize that I didn't figure out anything at all, but I was actually in mania. It's quite devastating to tell you the truth. It humbles me once again from thinking that I am strong enough and invincible enough to defeat something so difficult on my own, and I am reminded how real and difficult mental illness is. When I switch to depression, I can recognize how my thoughts during mania were not realistic, and I feel a small sense of relief that I didn't "make it all up" after all.
This last week was definitely a mania week. I felt great, and I found myself having many thoughts that I finally overcame the monster of bipolar. I'm still in mania actually, but I'm trying to learn how to recognize these thoughts and label them as mania before I switch to depression, so maybe the switch won't be so drastic and distressing. I guess we'll see...