Friday, July 23, 2004

The Upswing

I have to confess that my favorite part of being bipolar is the upswing. After being depressed for months, I've finally started to see the roses instead of the thorns. My depression isn't gone yet, but I can feel it lifting.

Being bipolar is like living in a thunderstorm. The onset of depression is like watching a thunderstorm roll in over the horizon. It starts with clouds, and builds with an increasing intensity until the sun is completely obscured behind a thick layer of darkness. Then the rain starts and the storm increases in violence and magnitude.

After the worst of it, the rain stops but the sky is still dark and the aura of the thunderstorm hangs in the air like thick humidity. That's where I am right now. The impact of the rain is still palpable; the trees are still shedding fat droplets and there is no guarantee that the storm is over.

I think it is though. The upswing is divine. The clouds start clearing and the sunshine illuminates everything creating this beauty that is almost inexpressible. The droplets of rain sparkle like thousands of diamonds in the most mundane places, making everything seem more beautiful. Your thoughts are drawn to the miracle of creation and your faith is restored in the most reassuring and comforting way.

My faith always reasserts itself on the upswing. Next, I start becoming productive again. Obligations that I've neglected in my depression are taken care of. I become almost normal. I shower daily, I exercise, I eat my vegetables. I clean, pay my bills, train the dog, and write my thesis.

It's as if all of the mental energy I've been storing in the storm is unleashed. I remember hearing a story from a horseback rider about how horses need to be put out to pasture after a rain because they need to run around and burn off some of the energy they've saved from being cooped up for so long. I feel like that. I've in the blocks and I have an energy running through me that needs to be let out.

I'm entering what medical dorks would call hypomania. Hypomania is the best. It's like always being inspired. I feel creative and sexy and powerful. I'm like a work of art, with gentle curves that radiate a sensuality and allure that men should find irresistable. If my fiance wasn't around, I would be a sculptor of one night stands and hot but fleeting sex.

The tragedy of the upswing is the knowledge that what goes up must come down. This inspiration is temporary. The storm will return and at first, it will be unbearable because I've known such profound beauty.

But for now, I'm going to appreciate my state of mind. I'm going to create, to write, to dream, to make love, to reestablish friendships, to cuddle, to flirt, to accomplish. I'm going to dream impossible dreams while I still can. I'm going to experience this joy to its fullest extent before it flutters away like the last autumn leaf to fall.