I'm not depressed anymore.
I was depressed, I wrote a little essay, made a little drawing, created a "Facebook Event" and posted it all on my Facebook page, then received a whole lot of wonderful responses from many people who care about my well being, and then I stopped being depressed.
So, that's good.
In my previous essay, I described my Bipolar brain as a pinball machine. When it's running normally (or, perhaps, "normally"), it's like any average pinball machine that's in good working order. I've got my flippers and the buttons feel comfortable under my fingers. I decide when I'm ready and then I pull back that plunger and launch the silver pinball into my brain game. I watch and I focus and I respond to wherever the ball rolls and bounces. It rolls up and down ramps, bumps the bumpers, spins the spinners, the lights flash and the bells ring but I'm focused and flip the flippers when I need to keep that ball in play. The score keeps getting higher and I go on doing my work and living my life and getting stuff accomplished and I'm having a good time and...
The game gets unplugged.
That's how it feels when I fall into a depression.
But this essay isn't about that. I'm not depressed anymore (for now). This is about my being hypomanic.
The way my pinball brain experiences that state of mind is that all the lights are blinking on and off, all the bells are ringing ceaselessly, all the flippers are flipping on their own, the bumpers are bumping (of their own volition), the spinners are spinning like they're possessed... and then there's the pinball. Well, actually there are a dozen (or more) pinballs jammed in there, rolling and spinning and bouncing all around. It's hard to keep track of them all. Heck, it's not just hard, it's impossible!
What's worse, some of the balls in the machine aren't pinballs at all! They're ping pong balls, gold balls, soccer balls, and maybe a bowling ball or basketball for good measure.
On the outside, it might seem like a lot of fun, but it's a real challenge trying to keep track on everything/anything going on inside that overstuffed pinball brain.
The switch from being "depressed" to being "anti-depressed" happened last Saturday/Sunday. So, over the past week I dealt with no longer feeling “ugh-my-life-is-erg-I-don't-even-know-why-bother-whatever-zzzz” to suddenly feeling “crazy-happy-oh-my-what-about-this?-Oh!-and-then-there's-please-shut-up-brain-etc.” When I talked with my therapist William on Thursday and explained my "pinball brain" metaphor to him, he got it right away.
Then, when I described how quickly the shift from depression switched to hypomania, I described the jarring nature of the experience to be equatable to being in a car that went from going one or two miles an hour in a slow reverse to suddenly being shifted (and accelerated) directly into 3rd gear and speeding along at 45 miles an hour. William (once again) got it.
Thankfully, I have managed to calm myself down over the past few days. I've leveled out the speed of the car, removed some of those excess pinballs in my brain, and have managed to stay (relatively) focused.
But I'm no Pinball Wizard.