We tell ourselves stories and we never know how true they are. Is the fact I’m feeling great at the moment a pathological symptom, or a sign of recovery? Although I know that the question “Is this the real me?” is meaningless (what does it mean by ‘real’ anyway), that doesn’t stop me wondering. I’m confident, sociable and filled with energy. I don’t need much sleep and don’t get hungry. I am the very picture of a happy hypomaniac.
So if I tell myself I’m hypomanic at the moment, I confirm that these feelings are part of the disease. This is not the real me. According to my therapist, I switch between depressed and hypomanic states when either becomes unsustainable, when the coping strategies that either represent fail. She asked me where I want to be emotionally. I think somewhere around here would be good, but without the unreasonableness and selfishness that hypomania seems to evolve into. This is the real me, but only a part of me. I am not my coping strategies.
I take the medication and it seems to make me feel better. But I started feeling this way a few days before the first tablet. If I tell myself the medication is responsible, does that make it work? Is the lamotrigine responsible for this present hypomania, or am I waiting for it to kick in and bring my moods under control? I’m a group of one, a single data point. The irony of medications is you can only ever tell what they doon average.
It’s been maybe a month and I don’t recognise the depressed guy from before. The things that were impossible to him seem easy. I was in a big shopping mall on a Saturday afternoon and wasn’t at all fazed by the crowds. I went to a rock club for an hour or so and had awesome fun while completely sober. How can anyone find it difficult to be around people? I know, but I can’t remember how it felt.
Are there people who feel like this all the time? Is this the way I’d be in the absence of depression? I’m having intense and disturbing dreams. I just took my first 100mg tablet of lamotrigine.