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The Downside Of Up

I leaned my head on the cold window and stared outside.July 028 I was entranced by the way we seemingly pushed  rapidly against the way the world was spinning. Garbage that lined the curbs, the trees, the bushes, the parked cars, and early risers walking on the sidewalks all blurred into one conglomerated mess that made my stomach turn.  It was only 8:30 am and I wanted the day to be over with already. I looked at Shawn who was rhythmically tapping his hands on the steering wheel to the song on the radio.

“I feel like you normal folk. Achingly tired and boring,” I said.

“What? What does that even mean?” Shawn asked.

“The circus left town and took my happy purple puppy balloon with it.” Shawn looked quizzically at me. “The hypomania has fizzled out.”

“Well, that’s a good thing right?”


Hypomania is an unmistakeable feeling. It’s your insides being spun like a busy wind chime caught by the very first gorgeous spring breeze. It entices you to start removing layers of drab, heavily weighted winter wear. You expose your skin to the sun, that had been missing for months, and you feel it caress you with its peaceful warmth. The world, that was once excruciatingly noisy and too painfully bright, had forced you to hide yourself in shadows and close your eyes. Now, when you open them, the world is full of vivid colours and crisp lines. Your mind is as clear as the blue sky above.

A happy; your effortless laughter that was buried for far too long, surfaces and you want to share it with anyone who wants it.


Your heart erupts in an excitement that intensely energizes your soul and makes you feel incredibly alive. Brilliant thoughts emerge from the crevices of your mind that you never knew you had and it allows creativity to flourish. You want to do everything that you didn’t have the drive to do nor the desire to do.  Because of this, it’s imperative that you do them; all at once.
hypomania creativity

Your mind, body, and spirit work harmoniously together giving you the highest highs that you will ever experience. That world whispers to me, “Come and play,” and every single time I do.

When you’re given this present, you embrace it, because you don’t know when the wretched side of your mind will grab your hand and pull you back into a world that is bereft of anything worth waking for.hypomania quote

With hypomania, I am reborn and rather than robotically trudging through my days, I move with purpose. Why would I deny myself that?

It’s an addiction.

“Just one more time. It won’t be as bad as the last,” I think to myself.

I will admit that I initially allow it to run its course. I do not medicate it (as in adding an extra dash of anti-psychotic medication), I do not force myself to sleep as much as I should, I heed the warnings of my overworked body and refuse to stay still.

The downside of up is the crash. It’s like driving a car with your foot pressed on the gas and then hitting a patch of black ice. The car takes command of the steering wheel and no matter how much you try to struggle against it, the car keeps spinning and spinning until it slams against a brick wall.

The crash causes confusion as to what just happened and it pisses you off beyond belief. You can feel every single muscle in your body as you get out of the car; almost feeling painfully heavy in your skin. As you look behind you, you can see the damage that the hypomania had done…all of which YOU ARE responsible for.hypomania crash

You want to cry and shout and thrash and hide and sleep and pray that you’ll be able to pull your shit together before your soul settles in a depressive episode.


“I suppose,” I said in response to Shawn’s question and pressed my head back up against the cold window.



Have you ever experienced a hypomanic episode before?

What are some of the things you have done while hypomanic?

Did you crash afterwards?


  1. I’m just reaching out virtually and giving you a big ass giant hug. xo

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Alison, Did you let me rub your pregnant belly? Did that get creepy? Yes it did. xoox

  2. oh mania.
    One of the things I miss.
    I don’t miss the downfall, or the depression that comes after but I miss the creativity, the brightness, the fun.
    I don’t miss the poor decision making.
    It’s bittersweet.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Leighann, OooOOOoo the decision making…yup…had my fair share of WTF was I thinking? Like purchasing a million scrapbooking things.

  3. Kim Kim

    I’m so sorry that you have to deal with the crashing!!! I hope that today is a fun day – not a crash kind of day.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Kim, I had ice cream yesterday so I think I’m good until I get my next fix…which I hope is today 🙂

  4. Janet Janet

    I can’t imagine how hard it must be to go from the creative/mania/enjoyment of life phase back to the deep depressive phase – over and over – I’m so sorry you have to endure this –


    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Janet, I guess I should have clarified a wee bit. It is not always extreme like that. My moods follow a pattern. My doctor mentioned that it follows a circadian rhythm (?) with the seasons. Makes complete sense since most people fall into depression in the fall/winter months. Mine tends to start around August though but I think that is part of the PTSD.
      I do have good days and really good ones too. And just plain old normal ones. Sometimes I have to remind myself of that since the negative ones always seem to trump the good. And when I do have good days, I find that I am very fearful of what is to come next. If that makes sense…


  5. Only the regular kind of down, and never really that kind of up. That sounds super-sucky 🙁 I hope you get your sparkle back soon.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Considerer, Well the up is wonderful until it isn’t 🙂 It always comes with a price. I think the downs are far more sucky than the ups though. Regular downs are just as bad xoxo

  6. I haven’t ever experience hypomania in this sense but have definitely had my share of crashing. I can’t imagine living with it the highs and lows continuously. I’m so sorry that you have to.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Sandy Ramsey, Oh it is not always constantly. Lord…no. It seems like my moods follow a pattern. It’s strange. I get high around February and the fall I slam dunk. But in between it is not extreme like that.

  7. Oh my god. So unfair.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Sara, I know. It is. Like getting a present and having to give it back. But there are good days in between…I do look for the high ones though 🙂

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Old School/New School Mom, Thank you 🙂 I want people to understand what we go through. I think it helps break down the stigma.

  8. Wow. This very intense! You express it eloquently. I haven’t experienced that. I have bursts of energy and can function on less sleep for a brief period. i do have ‘crash’ days though. Hope you get some rest!

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Lisa thomson, The crash days are the pits. You feel like you’ve been run over by a stampede clowns riding on elephants. Why clowns? Because it is creepy. hee hee.

  9. I can’t begin to imagine what life must be like for you, it must be like one hell of an emotional roller coaster.

    Life can have it’s fair share of ups and downs without suffering from hypomania. I have good and bad days as probably most people do, but from reading your post I very much doubt that my bad day would seem that bad to you!

    Thank you for sharing this post with us.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Debbie, I think that a bad day is a bad day no matter what. We all experience them in different ways 🙂 It isn’t always an extreme up or down, thank God. I do have “normal” good days and bad ones too. But there is always good. Life with bipolar disorder had been very challenging but there is still beauty in my life. I cling to that with everything 🙂

  10. That’s heavy, my friend. I’m sorry that you have to deal with the immeasurable highs and crashing lows on a constant basis. But sending so much love your way always. XOXO

  11. Although I don’t experience it myself, I live with someone who does. I get caught up in his moods, to a point. It’s crazy. When he’s up I’m up, when he’s down I’m down, only to lesser extremes….

  12. Wow, sweets. You describe it brilliantly. My step-sister has recently been diagnosed as bi-polar and her ups are so UP and she’s so BUSY and productive. But then, she has to pay by lying in bed for weeks afterwards. I hope you both can find a balance. Drugs, or whatever, although I don’t blame you for embracing the fun and energy and here-ness by not medicating at first. That crash though – brutal.
    Huge hugs to you. xo

  13. Dear Kim, those quotes you pulled out are fantastic. So true. So absolutely correct. I want off this train.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Charity, I know that you do…me too…just remember…there is always pancakes 🙂

  14. I am not bipolar, but I can relate to this. It seems familiar to me, though it’s nothing like that. I’m so glad that there is articulate YOU to explain what this feels like!

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Lady Jennie, I think some aspects are familiar to some people which I find interesting (sucky but interesting)…like we all (well the ones that do suffer from depression or anxiety) get super happy when the fog lifts. xoxo

  15. Yeah I have had the hypomania before. Actually I believe I just went through one and crashed and I’m still reeling from the aftermath.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      @Amanda Jillian, Oh no. I hope that you’re ok now. That downward spiral is god awful. xoxo

  16. Rob brent Rob brent

    Seeiously im loving it and havrnt crashed.
    Just need to use the condition to your advantage.
    Just think b4 you act. If you can think so clearly then use that power to stop yourself overspending. Make sure you get sleep and eat well and roll with the nice vibes.

    • Kimberly Kimberly

      I do love it in the beginning. In the beginning I think I can manage it but it always always always spirals out of control. I think I just get addicted to having this explosion of ideas and energy and feeling so fantastic that I forget that I should slow it down. I’ve heard that people can maintain it. I don’t have that. If you can, all the power to you. I haven’t been lucky.

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