I was diagnosed with chronic hypo mania, Bipolar II, when I was in my late twenties. When I think back to those years, I only recently started to miss the high of mania. I was highly functional, I was able to multitask at an accelerated rate, I experienced bouts of euphoria, and wonder what mania would be like now, in my forties, without medication. Would I experience a new kind of mania?
Since I turned forty, I’ve experienced a lot of changes with my physical health. It’s harder to lose weight, it’s harder to maintain a steady blood pressure, it’s harder to see things in front of me, it’s harder to keep my hair red when the roots are turning gray, it’s harder to get out of bed after a harsh workout from the day before, it’s harder to taste food with the same satisfaction, it’s harder to get over the common cold, it’s harder to go to the doctor for your annual checkup, it’s harder to get excited about sex, it’s harder to sleep through the night, it’s harder to maintain muscle and decrease joint pain, it’s harder to hide tired eyes, or an aging face. Life is just slowed down and harder. Is it possible mania wouldn’t be as intense as before?
Ok the list of psychical changes is depressing but, what if mania in your forties is less severe? The physical ramifications of being in your forties are real, and front and center, so, what would be the mental ramifications of being in your forties sans medication? How would I experience mania different than two decades ago?
I’ve never been one to tamper with my medication, or skip it intentionally but, one can only wonder if maybe I cut back on my dosage I could get a glimpse of what life would be like with some mania. If I pull back on milligrams, just a tad, it may be enough to scare me straight back to my regular prescription. Or, maybe not. Maybe mania in your forties is a whole other ball game that would counterbalance all the physical nightmares that the forties can bring you. It’s tempting to find out.
Don’t worry. I won’t do anything drastic just yet but, I can’t help but wonder what I could learn about myself mentally without a mood stabilizer. I wonder what experiencing mania and life lessons would be like in my forties, like all that I’ve learned and experienced about my physical health in my forties. I’m sure it would be different, and find myself curious as to how?