When you start to leave the darkness it’s a slow process to get back to the surface to see the light again. It takes time and the impatience is a difficult passenger on that trip. You can see the lights glimmering above you and the rays shine through the water as you fight for your breath again.

Depending on what type of depression you are coming from influences the way you emerge from it. Part of a “normal” cycle of ups and downs that we all understand as mood swings feels like a train journey going through tunnels into the dark and quickly back out into the sunshine again. That steady change between high and low is unmappable for me as I tend to have more short sharp spells of each – sometimes both on the same day.

Just now it feels like I can see the surface and I’m due to break through but I’m still weighed down by a couple of problems that I need to sort out. The main one is being back in the job market again after being fairly settled – everyone seems to be worried about their long term job prospects just now and now I’m one of many in the hunt for new positions coming up. That will always bring you back down because the self-doubt that nags you in the low state feels magnified.

Of course there is the danger that this is not the return to a “normal state” but instead the start of a hyper phase. Hyper is more difficult to put your finger on and recognise until much later. It’s part anxiety, part wired, part overconfident, part carefree – not a great combination of states to find yourself in. There’s also a huge speed change – I can feel it as I type this; I’ve struggled for the last few weeks with my brain doing as it is supposed to, taking its time to do simple things and me being forgetful which really infuriates me. Now the issue is hat I can’t type as quickly as my mind is throwing out the words and ideas. That is as equally frustrating.

Now hopefully I will find the strength and energy to be more positive and use the extra energy in a positive way and try to sort out a new job and do more jobs I’ve been putting off. Jill says that she always knows when I’m leaving the low points as I tidy my office – it’s a representation of me: low = messy, disorganised and hazardous; high = clean, clear but still dangerous.

It’s like living in a mental bucking bronco – some days you hold on for dear life, others you are so dizzy you don’t know where you are. Ah the joys of being Bi-polar!


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