I am something like 30 months stable. This has never happened since my mental illness first started to manifest in earnest in adolescence. My usual pattern of severe episodes is usually 18 months apart on the outside, either something life-wrecking, life-endangering, or needing hospitalizations.
I joked last night with a friend that maybe my brain has taken a break from trying to kill me because my immune system is doing such a good job at it (I am currently battling interstitial lung disease likely due to an autoimmune disorder). But I am grateful for the stability. Can you imagine me being in an episode and not being able to breathe right?
For a long time, I have felt like I was sitting under the Sword of Damocles just waiting for the next episode to happen, and when it became overdue, the anxiety increased. But I no longer feel that way. I think for the first time in 32 years my illness is well managed and I am not at risk.
But it is times like this that I need to be careful not to fall into Bipolar Pitfall #1 which is “Oh I am doing so well, I guess I don’t need my meds.”
One of the symptoms of an imminent episode, however, has begun to manifest, I am crying easily. Crying at media I am watching or reading. I just cried reading Quora answers. Usually, this meant that my emotional control was slipping a bit. But I have to wonder if I am not just now more emotionally open and aware and that my propensity to cry is more being in touch with deep emotional awareness rather than some lapse of emotional regulation.
For the most part, I am hopeful. But I can’t be complacent in the management of my illness especially since I am doing so well.