With bipolar, the bad days are really bad. Irritable at everything and everyone, hopeless, isolate myself because I can become explosive, can’t concentrate, no focus, on and on.
The good even tone days are really good. The opposite of the bad days of course. I move at a normal pace and everything is fine.
When I get start to feel hyper, I know I am heading for a manic episode. My episodes are high and sometimes get explosive. I do project after project. Talk fast because of racing thoughts. Friends can’t take the subject jumping conversation. Restless, hard to stay in one place. Always have to be on the go. Sometimes I feel rage and have to figure out how to get rid of it. My mind doesn’t think logically in depression or mania.
To manage these episodes a little better I made a tool kit for my bipolar episodes. It is a small photo album I carry with me. It has color index cards for what to do when I am manic (like do not drive and do not go shopping. I shop impulsively and spend money I can’t afford to spend.) and when I am depressed (like who to call for support or watch a good comedy, I even wrote down the name of my favorite movie to watch. On the first page, I have all my emergency crisis phone numbers, like the therapist, the psychiatrist, 24 hr. crisis hotline number. This way I have these numbers at my fingertips if I really need to go beyond activities.
You can put anything in your toolbox. Visit http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=wellness_personal_wellness_tools before you need to, in order to get ideas for wellness living with bipolar. It is a great sight to visit when you are not experiencing an episode so you can get ideas on how to manage one. We know that we cannot escape depression or mania with bipolar, but we can learn to keep them from escalating to extreme proportions.
Remember, every episode can be considered a storm that we must make it through and that we have come through other storms. Stay encouraged and remember you are not alone.