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The Truth About Being 'Productive' During Hypomania


It’s noon, and I’ve almost smoked an entire pack of cigarettes. It’s noon, and I’ve drank a whole pot of coffee. It’s noon, and I have the energy to dance the day away. It’s noon, and I’m already crying.

I woke up today at 5 a.m. to take my boyfriend to work. I didn’t sleep a bit last night. I remember looking at the clock at 10:20 p.m., 11:40 p.m., 12:30 a.m., 3:30 a.m. and so on. I didn’t sleep a wink. Yet, here I am wide awake, unable to take a nap.

This is my first time experiencing hypomania while knowing what it is. I’m not just “normal” or “not depressed” now. No, I’m aware of a state of being that is not from me, but from my mental illness. It’s in control. It has me in tears.

I made a mental list of everything I should accomplish today. Instead, I painted a tree branch I found pink and haven’t done anything since. I’ll admit it. I’m feeling sorry for myself. I look at my day planner, lying on the ground covered in ash from my cigarettes. I want to cry.

The worst part about hypomania is wanting to be productive, having all sorts of grand ideas and then not being able to act on them at all. I can’t do a damn thing. I’m stuck.

I can’t get myself to start cleaning. I can barely get myself to write. This is hell. This is torture. This is making me wish I was depressed again so that way I’d at least feel my laziness were justified.

I can’t process enough information to even write a grocery list. My head hurts because it’s going so quickly. The noises outside have me wanting to curl up into a ball and panic. I don’t know where to go from here.

I was excited for hypomania. I was happy I wouldn’t be depressed, and I could get things done. Yet, as time goes on, I find myself irritated, sad and disappointed. The only time I feel “normal” is when I’m with my boyfriend. I’m distracted, engaged in doing things or able to finally calm down enough to take a nap.

I don’t want to be only functional when I’m with someone else. I don’t want to have to rely on someone else to get through my day. Yet, what if it’s getting to that point? What if I’m getting to a point where I can’t leave my apartment without someone?

I want a job again. I want to feel proud of myself, but I can’t trust myself. I don’t know from one day to the next whether or not I’ll be able to function properly. This is killing me. I want to hide away from the world.

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