More pandemic, more hypomania

Content Note: bipolar disorder, trauma

I woke up this morning around 9 AM with a start, as if I had been ripped from another time and place. I felt the blood coursing through my veins. It was almost thumping. My chest hurt, a fusion of despair and desperation to get going on some unspecified goal.

Another day of hypomania. I drag myself out of bed, take my meds, check on the critters, get dressed. The things you do.

I make coffee. I remind myself I am supposed to eat so I grab a donut. It counts. I’m simply supposed to eat 3x each day and to pursue protein.

The thumping is now literally in my head as the allergy headache sets in. I hope water, coffee, and aleve will help. I have to be very careful about taking decongestants because they trigger and feed hypomania.

The day is sort of a blur. We get an update on the foster kittens from their adoptive home. My op/ed is publisher by the Pittsburgh City Paper, my debut with their publication. Face masks are delivered. A friend shows up with ten dozen cookies to donate. Laura is working. Resident cats are perplexed about the disappearance of their kittens.

I struggle to focus. I take one task at a time.

We have a new system with the three remaining foster cats to bond. That occupies time and consumes energy. But it is deceptively simple. I fret, I overthink, I extrapolate.

We feed feral cats. Laura accidentally trips car alarm, sending me headfirst into even more anxious feelings. The rain comes pouring down. I return to the car drenched.

We head to grocery store. Curbside person at Giant Eagle tells me they are out of ground coffee. I weep. Turns out she meant my preferred brand. I agree to take anything. I feel like something isn’t right about the order but chalk it up to my being crazy and her being exhausted.

We stop for pizza on the way home. It’s a local pizza joint with clear signage about occupancy rates in the lobby, tape on the floor and a supply of freshly disinfected pens. We eat pizza and unload groceries.

In this day’s curbside order, I ordered 4 bunches of green onions, 5 boxes of cupcakes, 2 bags of pretzels with three already in the cupboard, two large clumps of potatoes, 3 containers of oatmilk (2 in fridge), and a grand total of 6 bottles of gingerale. I also ordered 2 lbs of salmon and 3 giant jars of pasta sauce.

I didn’t do this deliberately. Part of it is the fact that Giant Eagle is using two different websites and moving the items from cart to cart.

But I didn’t check carefully. That is the problem. That’s how the symptoms derail you. So now I have to have my grocery shopping monitored for my own good. And I will resent that when depression sets in.

COVID19 is stealing pieces of my life. I’m so grateful I can understand this, but I resent the fuck out of it.

I’ve been shopping online for over two years. Mistakes have happened, but nothing like this. I can pinpoint what is Giant Easgle curbside fault and what is mine, but I’d feel like a heel making a fuss.

I’m devastated this is happening. It’s not fair. But it is real. I’ve lost so much to coronavirus. I’ve given the best parts of myself. I shouldn’t have to lose my mind, too.

We watch a two-hour PBS special. My chest stops aching. I take my meds early to ease my way into sleep.

At bedtime, the room is humid. I wear light pajamas and hope for the best. On my list of perpetual failures, I add a bunch of things.

I’m miserable, but better than the morning. I know my trauma dreams await. I really want to pick up my phone and distract myself. I just don’t.

I wake up a few hours later choking and coughing. I’m cold so I reach for pajama pants in the dark and come up with leggings. I’m so tired but don’t want to go back to sleep.

I want to get better soon, to find a switch to flip. I want to go back to face-to-face therapy so I can continue my trauma processing work, treatment that’s not optimal via telehealth. I know processing those demons will help stabilize my mood in the future. Let’s get on with it.

But that’s the future. Right now, I am hypomanic and need to pour my energy into managing these symptoms.

I am suffering very deeply and struggling to stay focused.

I’ll try to manage my allergies and sleep and protein intake and grocery shopping and cat fostering.


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