What is rapid cycling?

I realized this morning, after 5 hours of sleep, that I talk about rapid cycling but I never explain what it really is. To truly understand what rapid cycling is means that you have to know someone who has been through it. And well… maybe I’m the only person you know. But if I’m not the only person you know, and maybe you’re cycling yourself right now, then here’s a little “day in the life of my rapid cycling life” type of story for you to relate to.

I’d give you a scientific-o definition-o of rapid cycling, mixed states, and other atypical of bipolar disorders but the DSM-5 can’t handle us, and their definitions s-u-c-k-s.

That being said, I can’t define what rapid cycling is for anyone else either. It presents itself so differently from person to person, which is why there is some debate on the bipolar Reddit group about it. I think that it is to each their own, and your experience is your experience. Don’t let anyone invalidate or infantilize it – there’s enough of that in the mental health world, and world of disabilities and illnesses in general.

So here goes my ba-dunk-a-dunk-dunk cycling story fun that comes on unexpectedly every flipping season change (why do I live in Canada again?!)………..

Once upon a time, there was an ice storm in the middle of April in Toronto, Canada, and it was so awful that our iconic CN tower had ice falling from it, causing damage to a few nearby buildings.

Once upon a time, a girl was “calm” and “happy” through all of these prior, and current, seasonal changes… thinking she could outrun the inevitable – her nemesis – her evil twin – Rapido Psy-kee-koh.

Once upon a time, the weather suddenly became 15 degrees warm a week later, and BAM, depression struck again!

Once upon a time, this girl lost her marbles. And this time, she lost it again.

I’m riding my “high” right now… can you tell? I have no intentions of editing this (minus the typo here and there) because it’s important for you to see what hypomania is like. I’ve slept for 5 hours and nothing can touch me. I’m wide awake. I’m ready to hit my yoga mat, sweat out a little HIIT (high intensity interval training) session ASAP – oh but wait, my husband is sleeping. We live in a studio apartment downtown so out of respect for his sleepy times, I am just on the couch churning out these words at a million micro finger typing kilometers per millisecond

Where am I going with this? Exactly… that’s exactly it. I have no idea. I’m just going. That’s what hypomania is.

I’m hungry – I want to eat everything – but then I remember that it’s not my “feeding time” (I intermittent fast – 16 hours off with an 8 hour eating window for anyone who’s curious). And I also want to workout now. I also want to buy those gold hoop earrings from Nordstrom that are way out of my budget. I also want to… what else? Oh ya – pick up and move across the world to Australia, like right now, not in a year, but like ASAP. In the meantime nothing will get done.

That’s why I write because it’s the one thing I can focus on without having to move, and have all these wishes and wants and beliefs in my head.

I knew this was coming but I thought I was shielded from it all since I started the keto diet (more about this in a later post). It was intended to help my mood, and it did a fine job of it! It has been almost 4 months, I’m deep in ketosis, happy as a bee and as chill as Olaf (and so I thought…), and I’m STILL mother effing cycling. WHAT IS WRONG?! Obviously I had high hopes of eventually weaning off my medications, but at this point, it seems like a very bad idea to change my medications at all… let alone stop them, like ever.

It’s a depressing thought to me – that this is my life – that I cycle every seasonal change for an unknown period of time and there is no cure except to drug me, which of course is not the way to beeeeee. Because it’s archaic.

You see, part of cycling is depression too, because it’s not all sunshine and unicorns and bees having sex in the air.

In previous posts, I’ve explained that you can feel happy, sad, anxious, and whatever else (but mainly those), all in the period of a day or a span of days. Again, that varies from person to person. But it has been happening in the span of days in my once upon a time bullshit story that is called “right now”. Just on Sunday, I was crying uncontrollably on the couch for no rhyme or reason. People came up to me and asked me if I was OK, but I froze and didn’t know how to respond.

How do I explain in the midst of my sobbing that I DON’T KNOW WHY. And hey, it’s 14 degrees outside, the sun is shining, the ice storm/Canadian winter is finally over, and I’m crying because I’m constantly seasonally depressed – like literally, when the seasons change.

Now I’m fine. I’m more than fine. I’m too fine…

So unfortunately, when I say, “I don’t feel good.” it’s not because of a stomach ache or girl-time-period-bitchin cramps… it’s because I can feel my body when it’s about to cycle. Sometimes I can catch it, and other times, I’ll let go of the wobbly safety hinge attached to my wall and let myself fly away because it’s too exhausting to constantly hold myself back

Wait – now that I think about it, maybe it’s not even a seasonal thing. I mean it happens fo sho seasonally… but I do feel like flying off the handles more often than not (it’s official – I’m a flippin genius). I think I’m just better at stopping myself (again, I’m just getting so good at this bipolar crap). I hope that’s a glimpse of hope for anyone who can’t cope right now and feels the urge to swipe swipe swipe their piece of useless plastic debit/credit card (you can do it, you can do it!)

SOO STOP IT. I’m watching you. Don’t run up some debt because you’ll regret it in a few weeks or months when this will eventually slow down.

It eventually slows down, but when we shall never know. Bwahahaha.

Man… seeing my psychiatrist tomorrow could not have come at a better time.

It’s like I’m psychedelic and predicted all of this when I made my follow up appointment. Or this is just kosher and him and I have an understanding that it’s a regular thing for me now. Geez, he’s not going to be pleased about this. In fact, he’s going to be very worried. And now I’m going to be very dissatisfied because he’ll change my medications probably to keep me in check. Fun times shall be over soon. In the meantime, I should work out in beast mode because I caaaan! Ugh, why is my husband asleep? Oh ya… because it’s a witching hour right now.

LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH,
Joanne

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