Ok, before I catch hell over it, I’ll say that I would never use the word crazy to describe another person, but it is an accurate description of me between 3:30 and 6 pm most days. I become crazed…agitated, motor-mouthed, intense, and overwhelming to be around. Nothing all that serious, but still. It started happening in February of this year. After years of mostly level moods (I’m Bipolar I), I began to experience hypomanic and mixed states. I started taking Seroquel XR and it helped, but with one glitch, it wears off after 22 hours or so. Not 24, but 22. You see problem here?
Because it is 22, I have a 2 hour gap of being under-medicated. So, Daniel, why not take it 2 hours early each day? Well, Jill or Josephine or whomever you are, 2 out of 10 times it makes me feel like a just drank a double bourbon. This cannot happen at work. And so I suffer through. I try to shut my mouth at work around 3. I drive home, often talking non-stop to myself. I enter the house. I go straight to the medicine without stopping to chat and take my pill. Then I go to my piano and either play or sing until it’s time to cook dinner, which I do by myself. By the time I serve dinner, I’m good. I’m chill.
Here’s the history of coming home from work. “It’s Miller Time” eventually became “It’s get shit-faced drunk time” which became “drunk and crazy time” which became “drunk but medicated time” which became “sober but not sure what to do during Miller time anymore” which became “It’s Seroquel and Shut Up and Sing Time!”
We do the best we can. We create plans and strategies. We isolate ourselves when we need to. My motto is “When in doubt, don’t go out!” I’d rather be alone for an evening than hurt my friends and family or create a scene or embarrass myself and others.
As I’m writing this, it’s 3:07. It’s already starting to happen. Even my typing is more furious and intense. I’m sharing an office. My goal will be to say as little as possible between now and 4:15 when I get off. I got drawn into an impromptu meeting once around this time. I flipped out over a misunderstanding because I don’t listen when I get this way and confused the hell out of everyone. No one understood why I was behaving that way. I stammered something about medicine and moods but I didn’t really communicate anything intelligible. And there have been little hints dropped that members of my team don’t want to hear anything about my “personal” problems so I don’t feel comfortable disclosing and educating.
So yeah, it’s crazy time. It’s the new normal for me. I’m doing the best I can with it.