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When Hypomania Made Me Believe I Could Actually Fix a Stove

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Hypomania can be a real trickster. Besides increased energy, anger and sexuality, there is a tendency to have delusions and false confidence. Faulty reasoning leads me to assume I have enhanced abilities and overconfidence drives me into precarious situations. I’m not quite Supergirl; I’m more like Supergirl-lite. Flying and defeating Lex Luther’s mom is beyond my powers but trying to fix a potentially harmful appliance by removing it from its power source is not. (Full discloser: I had to ask a loved one about Supergirl’s powers as my pop culture knowledge is extremely limited.)

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Yesterday, I discovered our stovetop burners were in need of repair. Apparently working burners are imperative to cooking, so I took it upon myself to save the day. For those who know me, my inability to cook is as famous as my incompetence at fixing mechanical objects. My brain is just not equipped to handle the intricacies of manipulating mechanical doodads in order to repair gadgets. Tonight, however, I had this genuinely convincing image of myself repairing broken appliances while donning dirty overalls covered in oil. Strangely enough, my usual lackadaisical attitude toward fixing anything broken was overpowered by my absolute need to fix the stove. Unbeknownst to me, I was experiencing a hypomanic episode. Even my hand tremors and racing mind did not raise red flags that perhaps I was unwell. This image of myself as a kick-a** repair woman seemed so real and reasonable. I can’t explain how natural it felt.

So, off to the races I went. Removing the burners from the stove, I hunted for a flashlight that was cleverly hidden in our toolbox. Elbows deep in the stovetop, I immediately diagnosed the issue and identified how to fix the gismos. (Fun fact: in reality, I did not really know what was wrong or how to fix it.) Inspired, I dragged the stove away from the kitchen wall and removed the backplate. What could go wrong, right? Well, when the electrical plugs were revealed, I realized how dangerous this really was. It finally hit me that I was hypomanic. I thought to myself, “what the f*ck am I doing?! I have no idea how to fix a stove!” Thus, ended my career as an appliance repair woman.

What was truly bizarre was my unflinching belief that I was a repair woman. These hypomanic episodes are sneaky because I don’t notice the symptoms that would indicate I am unwell. I feel invincible and this can be dangerous.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Originally published: November 12, 2019
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