Thursday, June 18, 2009

An update

Well, I was working on a cool piece about how bipolars experience emotions different from normal people, but unfortunately I can't seem to pull it together. I don't know if it's because my brain is done with thinking today (it tends to "wear out" early when I'm recovering from a depressive episode) or because I can't think of what to say, but I've put that one back on the shelf and thought I'd just give everyone a general update on how things are going.

I'm sitting in a neighborhood cafe as I write this, having completed another six-hour day at work. So far, that seems to be about all I can work at this time. I'm actually pretty well mentally exhausted after four hours of work, but I'm able to do busy work for the other two to make it a six-hour day. After work, I've taken to writing either music or lyrics (or blogging), depending on what my mood is. I have not done anything remotely creative in years, and I don't think I've actually finished a new song in a decade. Pretty sad for somebody who claims to be a singer/songwriter/musician, no?

But this week, I have completed two songs: one that I've been toiling over for a couple of years and another that just kind of fell together in a day. I've written a number of songs both ways before, and one way is not necessarily better than the other. And the results tend to be fairly mixed, as well. Tonight, my band is going to go through them, and put some arrangements with the words and chords. Again, this will also be the first time we've learned a new original in a decade.

Getting my creativity back has been a godsend. I have struggled for so long to create something new, something original (something GOOD) that it's almost a relief to be able to be able to do it.
However, at the same time, I know I have to be careful, because hightened creativity is also linked with hypomania-- and the last thing I need right now is a manic episode.

However, I don't see that happening this time. For one thing, I don't have any of my usual manic symptoms: alcohol craving, road rage, rapid speech, or racing thoughts. But I know that if I start experiencing ANY of these symptoms, I will call my doctor ASAP.

As is common with people taking lithium, I suffered from hypothyroidism. I've been working with an endocrinologist for the past few months to remedy the situation, and I'm happy to report that my latest TSH check came back normal. Yet more good news.

Right now, I'm going to work on being creative, and getting back my attention span. I feel like I have ADD, as I am still easily distractable and have a hard time concentrating on things for any lenght of time. For example, it's taken me over an hour to compose the few paragraphs in this post. Normally I'd have that done in no time.

Still, I am thankful that this most recent depressive episode was relatively short, and that my recovery is happening much faster than I had anticipated (or even dreamed of, for that matter). Hopefully things will continue in that direction.

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