After a summer of decently good mental health and a bit of a manic time last week (I even started a business!), the low is quickly approaching. I shared with my staff at work yesterday that it is here. I guess I am not sure if it is actually here or still approaching. After such a high (and little sleep last week), it is hard to tell what is normal or a low.
Maybe it is just the balancing time?
This comes at a very inconvenient time. School starts on Monday. The family heads to Iowa for Labor Day Family Camp at which the pastor huz and I speak. I just found out that I will most likely be flying to Oklahoma for work the week after Labor Day. The kids start school on the Wednesday after Labor Day. It’s just not a good time for a low to come.
Is there ever a good time?
Manic times – mine are nothing in comparison to those of others – rarely come at bad times. From my perspective, there is not a bad time to gain a bit more energy, to need a bit less sleep, or to see the world through the lenses of one who thinks anything is possible. In fact, looking back on my life, I see these times as bursts of great creativity and great productivity. They tend to be times when I sign up for graduate school or – like the most recent one – start a business. I like these times.
But I do not like it when it swings back this way.
It always does, though. One of the reasons why I appreciate having the bipolar diagnosis is that it explains the swings. It is true that most of us experience the swings in our moods, emotions, and energy. It is true that most of us go through times of highs and lows. The difference that I have discovered is that most people’s swings are a bit more tempered and balanced. Mine can sometimes get in the way because they are not.
I used to hate the lows.
A few years ago, this low coming my way would have been very upsetting. Instead – although the timing is not great – I am going to embrace it. I will go to bed a bit earlier. I will sleep a bit later in the morning. I will put off until tomorrow what can wait. I will be willing to let the business venture stand still a bit if needed before the full advertising swing gets put into play. I will put fewer expectations on myself. And I will likely not say “yes” to anything new this week or next…or the next.
And I will pray.
Knowing that God is near me, beside me, and around me helps at these times. Family and friends are a comfort, but it is not really comfort that I need. For me, lows do not mean that I feel bad. I do not tend to start with a depressed mood. Instead I just run out of steam. Eventually that can lead to a low mood because it can be really hard to feel like I have no energy, but it does not start out like a sadness. If it lingers too long, and sometimes it does, then I can be sad simply from being annoyed that balance has not come back fast enough.
The worst part about being in a low is that I do not know how to end this post…so – the end.
ps: This explains a lot about college and the issue that I had when writing papers for classes when I was in a low. Ah-ha moment.