Apparently writing was more therapeutic than I realized. I wasn’t noticing that the times between blogs were getting further and further apart. I didn’t notice that I wasn’t writing in the journal of my brother’s memories anymore. I didn’t notice that I hadn’t even worked on a chapter in my book in well over a month. And while we are talking about things I didn’t notice…. The cat wasn’t getting fed, the kids lunch money had run out, showering had become a biweekly thing (please don’t judge). Did you know there is such a thing as Hypomania?
Well, now I do! I had always heard the saying “too much of a good thing is still bad” but assumed it was a biblical thing having to do with gluttony. I was so happy to finally be sleeping! My weight had finally stabilized! I wasn’t crying all the time! I wasn’t freaking out on my kids over little things! My house projects were getting finished! I was finally feeling normal. I was wrapping up the last few things having to do with my brother’s house and attorney. I began directing my energy to my crazy ideas instead. Somewhere in there I developed a lack of inhibition……again.
Years ago when my daughter was very sick I was prescribed antidepressants because I wasn’t sleeping. The nightmares of her dying had gotten so bad that I would have full panic attacks any time I came near my bed. Nightmare on Elm Street was nothing compared to what would happen in my dreams to my poor baby. I was more than willing to take anything to make it stop. We gradually increased the dose until we found one that made the dreams stop. I was insanely grateful! But I was also insanely chill. My whole world had turned into a giant “Meh” I had no sense of consequence. I didn’t care if I went to work. I didn’t care if I made the house payment. I didn’t care if I paid any bill at all. I wasn’t having thoughts of self-harm so I never thought to say anything to my doctor. She would ask how I was sleeping and that was a very positive answer but had started to become difficult again. That’s normal, let’s just increase your dose a little more since you are probably developing a tolerance. What I was really developing was Hypomania. (I didn’t know this was a real thing at that time) That little dose increase pushed me to the next step. I started cheating on my husband. I had already drained the saving account and maxed out every credit card, I needed something else to make me feel a little bit. I remembered that right after he proposed he had an internet fling with a past girlfriend so it was just fine in my mind. I wasn’t doing it for revenge. I had no hurtful thoughts towards him. At the time my lack of feeling made it seem like it was just okay, no big deal. When he confronted me about the house payment not going through (I used to be the extremely responsible one when it came to money) we thought it was a bad reaction to the meds themselves. I quit them cold turkey that day! (I DO NOT recommend ANYONE EVER do this!!!!!!) Since then I have sworn to never take THAT antidepressant again.
I made it many years without taking anything again. 2017 kicked my ass. If it wasn’t for that amazing wedding to a wonderful man, I would scrap the whole year. I actually begged in tears while at work one day to get prescribed something to make the emotional pain better. I couldn’t take anymore. Even my counselor thought it was time. I went with what worked well on a family member. It worked great for me as well! I got past the initial headaches and dry mouth and after a few months and was able to stop taking other medications for occasional anxiety. My ADHD meds were working even better than before. We had finally found something that works. Until I found out my niece (my brother’s youngest daughter) and her mom were moving back east to be with her family. Totally understandable but I was very emotional again. I decided I needed an increase on my antidepressant to get through this.
Since then I have discovered that sometimes you need to have an appropriate grief response. Even if you grew up not crying, it is okay to cry when experiencing loss. It is okay to hurt. If you hurt that means you loved. The people that love you will forgive you for making mistakes. Only psychopaths and over-medicated people don’t feel anything. A magic pill isn’t going to fix it, you have to heal. Lastly, ANY antidepressant can cause Hypomania if it is too strong of a dose. (Okay, this isn’t really everything I have learned, but I’m terrible about run on sentences and paragraphs)
So, please bear with me right now as I’m adjusting back to normal brain functions. No, I didn’t cheat on my husband. No, I didn’t blow the house payment. Luckily, I had a family member notice a change in my behavior and calmly talk to me. This was the best thing that could’ve happened. We have a plan in place and got control of this before things could get out of hand. I have discovered this is a common sign of over medication, not a sign that I fail as a human.