Which are great questions. I am not usually aware for a while. It is usually when I glance at a clock and realize that it is 2:15 AM and that somewhere hours ago I became obsessed with making bean bags for my niece. (That's tonight). At the same time my mind is trained to kind of follow what I am doing and evaluate "is this reasonable"? That usually gets it well into the episode the first time it happens and then when I'm aware I am manic and need to be cautious I catch things a little faster. Sometimes it takes something like realizing I'm starving or haven't peed in 6 hours or that it is suddenly dark out to make me pay attention.
I am careful to track what I'm doing to the best of my ability. This is because I get to doing so many things that eventually I'm going to lose something or have another problem. So when I know that I'm running around manically I try to think about where I am and what I am doing a little. This time I cheated and made some notes so I could write that although mostly I did it from memory and I think I forgot at least one weird activity.
It's not an effective way to get things done. I mean, I was so distracted it took hours to make my bed. And there's no telling what I will discover I moved around in a few days. It also is not good for you. Dr. Mind sent me home today with orders to go home and go to bed. I did and napped for an hour eventually. Not enough to break the mania but enough to feel somewhat better. The only reason I think he did that was that I was initially saying "manic" and looking fine. After he heard me talk for a while he could hear it, but because my headache was so bad last night and I had several muscle relaxers I looked a lot calmer than I was.
Mania for me does not feel good. Very, very rarely it does and then I want to keep it, but usually I have what is called dysphoric mania, where it makes me hyper and tired and grumpy. That is probably because I usually rapidly transition to a mixed (mania and depression together) pretty quickly and mixed is just bad. Mixed I can't use words to describe. Mental health professionals considered mixed episodes to be one of the hardest things people go through.
The other thing that I have to watch is we all have lists of things we need to do, sort, etc. If I start tasks that I don't HAVE to do and become obsessed with them (ie cleaning out my entertainment center drawers) and insisting I must find this brown velvet bag that could be anywhere in the house, and I feel compelled to do this without stopping then that's a good sign of mania. When I'm allowed sharp things I have a tendency to take on home projects that I will put off for months before mania makes me trying them. Often they aren't wise choices, which is why I would be hard put to even try such a thing just now.
And the truth is that I get so many things partially started I usually make a worse mess. I have VCR tapes stacked on my living room floor now because they need to go to goodwill but should go with the rest of the tapes which are in the basement.
And now I am going to start trying to relax and sleep. I have another headache, probably from being overly tired and I'm hoping if I read for a while it will just disappear as I fall asleep. We'll see; I've not been getting sleepy anywhere near 2:30 AM in a while.
This mania, by the way, is always a bit easier for me to follow because it was predictable. I'm dreading the next step with Dr. Mind. I identified the need and know it's important, but it will not be fun. Mania delays things, so hopefully Monday I'll settle down a bit. I also am feeling a lot of stress as I'm having ongoing pelvic pain, some of which is new, and am finding myself absolutely dreading the next blood bath. I want to find out if I can get the surgery sooner because waiting doesn't help nor does going through these periods, but I have timing issues because of vacation in November and I agreed to 6 cycles. But that doesn't mean it can't be sooner. I think. I'm just not sure where to go with this.
Now that I'm sewing again some I also have to watch carefully for excesses there.
I love bipolar.
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