The Rush and the Letdown

Lynne Taetzsch Health Guide
  • In my last blog I was complaining about having too many things to keep track of and too busy a schedule, which culminated in a reception for my solo show at a local art gallery last night. Well, I got through it all without dropping the ball or going manic, and I can finally relax.

    Yet instead of peace and satisfaction, I feel let down and vaguely discontent. It’s that same old song playing in my brain: “Is that all there is?” Why do I always need to look forward to the next thing, either with dread or excitement? Why can’t I be happy in the moment?

    Is this a lament of the bipolar condition, or is it just me? I think there are a lot of us working in creative or high-stimulation fields because we crave the rush. We want to perform and to out-perform. We’ll tackle the impossible if it will stimulate our hypomania. And when we’re successful, we love the high.
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    But most of us cannot run in high gear forever, and when the letdown comes, we crash. I’ve had my share of those, ending in deep depressions that I had to crawl out of just to get back to even. It’s only in the depressions that I really see myself as having a problem, though I know that what goes up must come down.

    I have learned over the years to pace myself better, and to shoot for more realistic goals. I know what I need to do in order to stay stable, though I don’t always do it. This past week I was too “busy” to go for my regular walks in the woods, and I know that cost me some stability. I finally went out this afternoon with Adrian and our new dog, Nia. There were a few inches of snow on the ground, magically transforming the bleakness of winter into a visual playground. That’s a good kind of stimulation for me.

    Share your tips on coping with the ups and downs of bipolar disorder in the message boards, or leave a comment below.
Published On: February 02, 2007