What You Did – A Hypomanic Reaction Explained
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*In a hypomanic episode you can become really irritable to those around you. Sometimes you don’t know why you feel so snappy, other times it’s for reasons those around you will never truly understand. This was one of those times.*
I was having a great time, for the first in weeks I actually had fun. The shadow had backed off for a short caption of time and I felt free. So free, I felt like myself again, that person I thought I’d totally lost. I felt on top of the world. The anxious voice had faded into a feint whisper, the stress and worry of the future dissolved, the fear I live with every single day, at that moment, had gone. It’s the fear that breaks me, living constantly on edge, paranoia, like every second I have to be ready for death or trauma. It consumes me and exhausts me: There is no break from it. Or so I thought until right then. At that moment, it was different. For that moment in time I felt human again, connected to my body, tethered to the earth, a violin in the orchestra of noise all around me, a cacophany that would usually send me over the edge into further darkness and pain.
I had somehow forgotten to feel bad for a that instant, I had forgotten to feel the usual pain coursing through my veins like red hot lava, slowly burning my body away while I have no way to stop it. For that moment, I felt the cold of the weather on my skin, but not the usual deadened cold that paralyses me and eats away at me, freezing my core. I felt the cool air on my face, a breath of life, I felt excited but not the normal excitement that feels like my body is vibrating but not part of me: where my limbs feel like they are attached to strings and someone else is the puppet master. I felt happy, something which I’d forgotten existed, not like the usual mixture of overwhelming anxiety and fear because my mind is out of control right now, where I feel like I’m in a huge canon pointed at the moon listening to a count down wondering if this will be death or the stars.
For a moment there, I forgot about the bipolar, about the hypomania. I was just another human, experiencing fun. Then you came over told me you wanted to leave.
The instant the words came out of your mouth the whole world slowed down around me. My heart began pounding harder, quicker, harder. My vision became a tunnel and everything around me darkened except your face. You looked unhappy. I fought back the tears as I felt the joy slipping away from me, draining my body and slowly being replaced by that blue anxious energy again, is that it now? How many months before I get a moment like that again? I know you didn’t take it from me on purpose but it’s too late now, everything is fading away. I suddenly become acutely aware of the stabbing pain in my heart, the lump in my throat, the noise of everything around me made me panic.
You didn’t know this would happen, I can’t resent you for it. You didn’t know that simple words would plunge my world back into the darkness, the hopelessness creeping back in with the fear. For a second I am frozen, I don’t know what to do, the world has changed around me and it’s dangerous now. I’m afraid. I walk forward in a daze, trying not to move too much, hoping it will go away again but it doesn’t.
I can’t take it anymore, we have to leave, now. I can’t stand here, I can’t be here, it hurts too much. You are annoyed because I lose my temper: the alternative is to cry but everything is frozen inside me now, my tears have become icicles that feel like they are stabbing me from the inside out. Although I know for you it was just a simple need, you wanted to eat, you stole my moment of peace. The only one I’d had in months. You brought the darkness back, the fear how will you ever understand what you took from me. How your simple words ripped me out of that sweet reality like a car crash, dumping my helpless soul back in my own cold, callous head. It’s hard not to resent you but I realise that you have no idea what is going on. To you, I just got annoyed because I didn’t want to leave. To you it was irrational. You just wanted to eat. For me, I was forced back in prison for another few months.