But is it harder, I wonder, to recover from trips because I’m bipolar? There’s the physical side where you need to catch up on sleep, re-regulate your pattern to the new time zone, and get back to normal eating habits. That always takes me several days to a week. I’m still not caught up because I overslept Friday and then last night woke up at 3 a.m. unable to get back to sleep until 6.
The mental and emotional sides seem to be harder this time. I feel overwhelmed by unanswered email, unfinished work, and pending social obligations. I find myself just doing the emergency stuff each day and promising to get organized “tomorrow.” There have been a lot of tomorrows already and I don’t seem anywhere near getting my head above water. I’m treading as fast as I can.
The other problem for me, about traveling, is that coming home is somewhat of a letdown. I get my energy up for the trip, planning and getting everything done in order to leave. That frenzy stimulates my hypomania. But coming home exhausted to face piles of catch-up has no such allure.
The only advice I have for myself is, “Give it time.” That means as much time as it takes. I always forget that the first person to be kinder and gentler to is myself.