I am going to go out on a ledge and proclaim that it is a universal goal to be happy. Or that more often than naught, people would prefer to be happy over being sad, angry, disappointed, and many other negatively charged emotions. I know that I prefer to be happy versus being sad. I aspire to have contentment in my life and a general positive well being.
However, for me, when I am happy, I pull out my microscope and I dissect my happiness piece by piece. Why am I happy? Is it a normal level of happiness, or is it an unusually high and elevated mood? Did I take my medication each day without missing a dose? How is this happiness different from mania happiness? Is there a difference? Holy crap, am I manic? Am I exhibiting other symptoms of mania? Where’s that mania check list? I need to see how many signs I am currently exhibiting!
All these thoughts zoom through my head. Sadly, I can’t be happy that I am happy. Oh no, we need to think that it is the start to a manic episode and we need to batten down the hatches. Let’s make sure that I have Klonopin in my cabinet incase I skyrocket and need to come down. Set a non-negotiable time to go to bed and wake up to ensure I am getting eight hours of sleep. Pondering if I should take a sleeping pill to ensure that I am getting enough sleep. Everyone knows that a decrease in sleep can push a person into mania. Let me analyze the amount of caffeine I am ingesting, is it within reason? Should I cut back? Have I taken on too much due to this place of heightened positivity that has soaked into my bones? Was it the busy month of December, and subsequent holidays that pushed me out of the “safe zone”?
It is incredibly frustrating to worry over being happy. To wonder why I am happy. To be afraid of what it could lead to. To be in a place where when you start to experience feelings and emotions and that scares you. Have I been in a place of numbness and too perfect stability that this minor change is going to rock my socks? Have I forgotten that it is “normal” to have good days and bad days? To have some days when you are in a good mood, happy and excitable and then it is as equally acceptable to have a day or two when you are more down, solace and perhaps negative?
I have found that since I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 nearly two years ago, I constantly dissect my mood. I can’t accept any mood outside of one that is bland… like my world is supposed to always be beige. If I am not surrounded by beige, I jump to the conclusion that my medication must have stopped working and instability is on the horizon. I miss the days when I just went with the flow of things, when I was not so incredibly driven by fear and anxiety. When a good day was just a good day, and that a dreadful day would end the moment I fell asleep.
Is this how it will always be? Will I get past this way of thinking? Will the day come when I can have a string of good days and not wonder if below the surface something evil is in the making? Is this just the way that it will be for all my days to come? Is this the way others with Bipolar feel? Is this “normal”?
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