1) I'm back. You may have noticed I've been suspiciously absent lately. Only a tweet here and there the last week.

I debated about explaining my relative absence, then reminded myself I'd always reveal when anything came up to help smash the stigma.

2) Let me remind you I'm Bipolar type 2. Hypomanic. I'm very well managed on my meds, and having been a Nurse for so many years, I'm a fanatic about taking my meds, I never miss a dose unless it's beyond my control.

3) Many bipolars are noncompliant with meds bc they like the feeling of their mania. They feel energized, in control of the world, able to accomplish anything. People often don't sleep much during a manic phase, feel focused even though they're scattered.

4) During a manic phase a bipolar will exhibit rapid speech and their thoughts will follow the same pattern, rapid and fractured. But thought can also be obsessive.

5) The best description I can give for how I think is that I get stuck, then go a hundred miles an hour with one foot nailed to the floor.

Once a year in the spring I have a manic episode. It doesn't matter that I take my meds faithfully, it happens.

6) I never know when it will happen, I can't feel it beginning bc it's a sudden onset, or I'd increase certain meds.

Point is, it happened. I cycled up. About a week and a half ago. Suddenly, I noticed I couldn't sleep. The first night it was 4 hrs

7) The next day I was able to nap and my thinking was ok so I didn't worry about it. But then the next night I only slept 3 hrs. and didn't get a nap the next day. My thinking was still clear but the 3rd night, no sleep. Then I knew what was going on.

8) By this time I was experiencing some obsessive thinking, better known as spin cycle thinking. I decided to take a Twitter vacation. I was in full blown mania and didn't know what I might say. Didn't need big black SUVs pulling up in the yard!

9) My purpose for this little diary reveal is not to bring attention to myself, but to bring attention to life with bipolar. By and large I do pretty well as long as I take my meds. This once a year episode is uncomfortable, but manageable.

10) Let's KISS it. Keep It Simple Stupid!

Mental illness is like heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. It's a chronic illness for which we take medicine.

11) It's about brain chemistry and rebalancing it. Meds do that. If you stop taking them, the chemistry gets off balance and you get off track again. When you feel normal it's bc the meds are working, DON'T STOP TAKING THEM!

12) In a few days I was fine. I went in to see my doctor, she assessed me and asked me to keep her posted, allowing me to continue to monitor myself through the episode.

I know I'm lucky, not everyone with mental illness are as well managed.

13) I worked with patients who had extreme difficulty with their mental illness. My mother, a bipolar, was one of those who had that difficulty. If you are one of those people I encourage you not to give up. Please DM me. I'm back. I'm always available.


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