I’ve known for years that I’m a little bit crazy. Bipolar II is not one of those illnesses that you can hide from. By now I’m quite familiar with the paralyzing depression, the life-sucking apathy, and the crushing fatigue– all parts of the depressive side of my illness. The part I’ve never fully come to grips with is the panic I now feel whenever I’m feeling happy and light and free. Is the feeling of freedom a prelude to mania? Is the happiness real, or chemically-induced as I finally crack under the stress?
It’s hard to say, especially now. Right now I’m in the height of my PMDD symptoms, so I’m hyper-emotional about absolutely everything. What I can say for sure, is that I was a happy child. I used to be a happy, energetic person, and I trusted that. Now I feel as though monitoring my own care means second-guessing every emotion to watch for warning signs. It’s exhausting. I miss smiling without wondering why, feeling energized without having to tally up my sleep total for the past week… I miss being me.