When Bipolar Disorder Means Waking Up as Tigger or Eeyore
I often wonder how long my moods will last. I spend a lot of time thinking about how I will deal with any changes and always have a heightened awareness of my current mood. As you can imagine, this is draining. I never know who I’m waking up to, which is frustrating at best.
I would give almost anything to be “normal.” I do have extended periods where I am stable, but most of the time I swing between symptoms, something hard for both myself and those around me. In fact, I often have more than one symptom at a time. I can most frequently be found between hypomanic (which, for me, exhibits itself as general happiness combined with agitation and irritation, along with desires to start unrealistic projects) and depression (which shows as a desire to do less than nothing and crawl back into bed). But how long does each mood last? It really does just depend on the day.
I read somewhere when you have bipolar you never know if you’re waking up as Tigger or Eeyore. This is certainly true for me. I can go to bed bouncy and happy, full of ideas on how to make the world a better place and plans for everything I’m going to do the next day. Then, I still wake up feeling like the world around me is gray and sad, internalizing that feeling and holding it far too close for comfort. I can then swing into happiness and productivity, while at the same time feeling overwhelmed and doubting my abilities to keep details straight. Fortunately, even in the midst of all of that I manage well, as it’s something I’ve gotten used to over time.
There are also times too though, where I am in the same general mood for days on end and am able to deal with the much smaller waves of mood changes. But they are just that, waves. Some days they come crashing down around me, while others I can sail atop them. It just depends on how capable I am of using my skills. When I’m depressed, they often aren’t available to me. So I tend to isolate to keep others from having to deal with me during those times (not unlike people with regular depression I suppose).
My bipolar disorder seems to have worsened as the years have passed though. I am increasingly aware of how little time there can be between my moods. It can be hard to navigate the waters. Even with therapy, medication and my care circle, sometimes there just isn’t enough support or sufficient skills to stay on top of it to see the waves coming. I’m caught off guard. Other times, which happens much more frequently as I gain new insights, I am able to catch my mood shift before it happens, prepare myself with behavioral changes and give those around me a heads up.
I try to improve my ability in this area every day. It’s an important one. Why? Because my family and I deserve to have more Tigger than Eeyore. This is why I work so hard to manage my bipolar disorder. I hope, as time goes on, I will learn to be more bouncy and happy than sad and withdrawn. I suppose it just comes down to how well I learn to sail on the sea of symptoms, yes?
I hope you have lots of happy Tigger energy in your day today.
This post originally appeared on This Bipolar Life.
Lead photo source: Tigger