My Bipolar Disorder: Inside the Mind of a ‘Rapid Cycler’

mj shooner

Today I dashed through every mood on that annoying poster: “How am I feeling today?” If you are fortunate enough to have avoided that grading mood guide, it features at least 40 different line illustrated faces depicting a range of … Continue reading

Today’s Mood-ometer

It’s Monday, which isn’t typically anyone’s favorite day.  I definitely had a mixed mood day from start to finish. I had a start that began with laughter and lightheartedness around the breakfast table. Sped up on first errand, quick to irritability and impatience. Upon return to home was focused and organized, able to get things in general order, then extremely fatigued–as if I could sleep deeply for hours. Had a commitment to do something this evening that required attention to appearance, so had to grab the available mid-morning salon appointment, despite the mental and physical heaviness.

"Being Bipolar: The Mood Maze"

The low mood and energy hung on through the first hour or so at the salon, then a jump to a talkative, almost bubbly person, upon leaving the salon. I try not to wonder what people at places such as this think about my swings. “She didn’t say a word for the first hour, now she won’t shut up!”  As I pulled away from the salon, I grew irritable and resentful that again my needed rest (or “alone time”) would be cut short it was almost time to pick up the long-term family support person/babysitter who is 43 and has never elected to learn how to drive.

I began to get a restless feeling that urges me to find something external to keep me motivated. Almost some sort of buzz I need to keep me moving. This can be dangerous territory, sometimes leading to unnecessary drama–almost as if there is a motor within that drives me to push the envelope. This rides atop the brink of what I call the “tired, wired” mood. From there, while I thought I was exhausted, I spun faster, becoming short, blunt and spilling out exaggerated, ‘all or nothing’/black and white, self-important, sweeping comments–almost threats. They impulsively blurt out, often without access to any internal filter. Irritated and rushed, ran my son on an errand when I wanted to give thought to the evening and get dressed and in make up (by now the motor was running too fast to rest, even  if I had the time. Again, the pull towards drama had me an I cornered myself into a common rush to get out. Once I was on my way, I evened out, calm and internally  clear. Day is done. Medicine is taken. Hopefully I can learn to journal the swings in less detail. Just wanted to somehow paint a picture for those who have never heard of, or had direct contact with the Bipolar type not specifically in the DSM, but known among specialist psychiatrists as a”rapid cycler.”