When I Wrote What I Felt While I Was Hypomanic
I’m very hypomanic right now, so I thought I’d write down how it feels for people who have never experienced it before.
It feels weird to me. I have a ton of anxiety over absolutely nothing at all. I just went out to lunch with my wife and ordered a small salad and couldn’t even finish it because my appetite was immediately turned off. I had to literally force myself to chew and swallow the food, and finally, I just gave up and stopped eating.
This always happens when I’m hypomanic. I have such bad anxiety that food doesn’t even taste good. In fact, a lot of times when I’m hypomanic, food smells terrible and makes my stomach turn. This is what happens when I have regular anxiety without hypomania, too.
I feel very shaky. My arms feel super shaky, and my hands feel like I shouldn’t be holding anything because I’ll drop it. My hands are also very fidgety. I can’t keep them still, and so typing this on my phone is actually giving my hands something to do. But if I weren’t typing this, I would be wringing my hands, playing with them or playing with the bracelet on my right wrist. (My bracelet says, “My story isn’t over yet,” and I wear it as part of Project Semicolon.)
I’m also constantly fidgeting with my face. Not playing with it, but just making faces I guess you could say. Moving my eyebrows, forehead, mouth, nose. I literally just can’t help it, and I don’t like that I do it.
My mind is racing with thoughts, but it can’t stop on one thought, so I really don’t even know what I’m thinking. I couldn’t even focus on what my wife was saying at lunch, and I was constantly looking around. I would look above her head or at the TV that was on in the restaurant. There was a lot of stimuli, and my head was spinning. I was desperately trying to listen to my wife, but I couldn’t really remember what she was saying.
I get easily upset when I’m hypomanic, too. My wife usually just doesn’t say anything and gives me space because anything could set me off and start an argument with her. Usually, I start out talking really fast and can’t stop to focus on any one thought, so it’s hard to keep up with me a lot of times.
That’s how my wife knows that I’m hypomanic. I’ll say I’m hypomanic, and she’ll say, “I know,” “I thought so” or “Yeah, you’re acting like you are.” She usually knows from my behavior that I am even before I tell her.
Luckily, I’m only hypomanic once in a while. It’s not a pleasant feeling at all. I don’t like the anxiety — the racing thoughts and the not being able to focus — and I don’t think it makes me more creative in the least. I just try to lay low, watch TV, play on my phone and just wait for it to pass.
It only happens at night or in the evening for the most part, so I can just lie down and try to sleep. Obviously, I never can sleep, but I’ll lie in bed with my eyes open for three hours or so and try to calm down. And then my brain becomes so tired of the racing thoughts that I’ll fall asleep after a few hours.
I try not to be around people if I can help it. I know what I’m acting like and that I can’t pay attention, so I just try to not talk and stay by myself. It’s better that way — for everyone involved.
Being hypomanic is no fun for me. But in the morning, I’ll wake up feeling OK — albeit quite tired — but OK.
So, that’s what being actively hypomanic is like for me. I’m hypomanic right now, and so I decided to write about it while it was happening. I hope it helps people to understand I’m not trying to be like this. In fact, I’m trying to not to be like this. I hope this helps you understand a little more about it and how it really feels.
Follow this journey on Megan’s Hope.
The Mighty is asking the following: What’s one thing people might not know about your experience with disability, disease or mental illness, and what would you say to teach them? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.
Lead photo source: Thinkstock Images