There's a "16 Random Facts About Me" thing floating around on facebook these days and I feel inspired in my fretful sleepless on a school night state to make my own version, which I shall call:
16 Random Things About My Madness
1. Medication-induced acne on previously unblemished skin will eventually go away if you use heavy-duty Clearisil face scrub long enough; in my case, three months.
2. Baking is very relaxing provided you remember to set the timer.
3. Any spending urge caused by the hypomania (or proper mania, if you have it) can easily be satisfied by the constant need to buy larger clothes as the medication continues to help pile on the pounds.
4. You don't have to do anything but smile prettily at looks of confusion when you tell someone you have a chronic illness and they try to puzzle out how that can be true when you look so young and physically healthy.
5. The standard of care with Nurse Practioners is highly variable.
6. Sometimes klonopin is the best choice.
7. I like having a psychiatrist who is younger than I am (only by a year but I find it tremendously amusing for some inscrutable reason.)
8. Most books on coping with bipolar disorder are enormously depressing.
9. There can be a fantastic rush when going out at four in the morning for a cigarette while very hungry and looking up at the stars.
10. Pretending that you are someone else who had a mental illness can take the strain off and provide mild entertainment on depressive days: sometimes I like to sit in my armchair and pretend I'm Virginia Woolf; sometimes I like to lie in bed and pretend to be Anais Nin; sometimes I walk to the next neighborhood over and pretend I'm Zelda Fitzgerald. That's actually a bit strange, isn't it?
11. Ancient Greek and hypomania are a great match for each other.
12. Chasing pills with mint tea soothes the nausea.
13. If you are depressed long enough, at some point you will realize that you have memorized all the lines of at least three of your favorite movies.
14. Much to my annoyance, my father turns out to have been correct in his assertion that if I would just keep the house tidier I'd feel better.
15. It is worth calling as many people as you can when you have happy news.
16. It is easy to cause a landslide in the minds of state-mental health services personnel when making your next appointment if you take out your day planner and have your own pen. They will look at you in awe, as though you are a creature from another planet.
So that's my 16. What are yours?