Last Friday night, I forgot to take my meds. When I discovered this on Saturday afternoon, I didn’t feel unusual so I left the meds in their compartment to be taken in a week. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday passed without incident; so I forgot what had happened. Tuesday, however, brought light-headedness and euphoria that peaked in the evening. I battered it down with my usual night meds and eleven hours of sleep. I still felt a little high on Wednesday which made me worry that I was ramping up into something more serious. Thursday found me a little below level-headed but no longer hypomanic. Then Friday arrived. I woke to a crashing depression and general fatigue, sluggishness, and stupidity.
The temptation not to leave the house was strong, but I defied it and went for a long walk in Whiting Ranch. Golden Stars had made their first appearance and Blue Dicks their last along the trails. A single Splendid Mariposa Lily signaled that there were more things to come. I had my instant camera with me and set myself to the task of taking five good photos with the last of the film: I succeeded at four. The exertion slowed the whirling of my head, but didn’t stop it entirely. I pumped the blood through my veins by walking fast up the hills and finished my circuit in two hours; leaving me enough time to work on the computer a bit and enjoy a large snack to curb my massive appetite.
Do I insert here a warning to take your meds? Do you need one? Because I had skipped one dose, the foundation that I relied on for existing cracked and slumped. The funk that I find myself in will linger for a few days more. I’ve made plans to exercise and take pictures as I usually do on the weekends. The fissures should heal, my cocktail should plane off the undulations, and my equanimity return. This is a course that I have often run: I know what happened and what works to improve things. There’s no hammer that fixes it all. Only time and attention to my routine repairs my brain.
UPDATE (4/6/2015): As I counted my meds yesterday I discovered that I had missed two doses of my carbamazepine; so my blood levels of the drug were even more out of kilter than I had realized. The episodes appear to have passed. I felt tired today so I took a nap. Other than that, my mood was stable and in the middle of what I call the Green Zone — normal range on my mood chart.