In the years I have been diagnosed and treated for bipolar I generally have had my energy be impaired or agitated in a way that required being away from other people. It has been rare that I've had productive manic energy. I've spent a lot of time trying to educate people that I'm not lazy, but that bipolar strongly effects energy levels both up and down.
This last month I have had far too much energy and it has been the kind of energy that needed me to do something productive. I have to date canned 47 pints of green beans, 27 pints of spaghetti sauce, something like 16 quarts of vegetable soup, and 16 pints of applesauce. Right now I have 2 crockpots going with what will hopefully be another 6-8 servings of frozen foods for easy, health meals. Cooking is holding me together, obviously. I need that level of activity: something I can work on but take breaks from, quiet, allowing the TV if I can tolerate it, etc. During the energetic times of the day my hands must stay busy or I start down paths best not explored. Unfortunately my sense of time is messed up from sleeping a lot and so the really manic hours seem longer than the 3 or 4 they really are. The rest of the time I'm either sleeping, trying to sleep, or depressed and lethargic.
I am really struggling with anxiety about being able to do these things. I am not well enough to go back to work. I know that. Even if I were sleeping as well as I'm supposed to, which I'm not (barely slept last night at all), my thinking is still muddy. Even my general fund of knowledge is just not present at the moment and I'm not succeeding with abstract thought. But it feels so weird to have all this energy and be home.
As long as I can't work well I'll stay here. I could not be sure of not harming a patient at this point, accidentally but it would still be possible. (Harm most likely in the form of not providing quality care.) I'm going to have to trust my doctors that I am not well enough. I'm ok to go on a fast vacation in 2 weeks because I can rest as needed and use energy as needed there, but I can't work.
After so many years of work being the priority this philosophy is really hard to follow. I know it makes sense, I just don't feel so sure about choosing me over everything else. Maybe that's because I'm not sure who me is without my work? Regardless, this is weird.