Steady River


If the usual sub mania is the rush of white water rapids, then the last couple of weeks have been a steady river.

From manic periods, I usually come down into a level plateau and then eventually am down, mildly depressed, can’t work. But this time has been so different from any experience that I recall.


So far, there is always a big disclaimer on what I remember of previous manic/depressive experiences, since I’ve only started to view my experiences through the lens of cyclothymia for the last 18 months. Before that time, at best, I would think of long periods of “crazy productivity” and times of being “somewhat down or depressed.” So any recall of up/down and the changes is limited since I wasn’t actively remembering experience in the those terms.[1]


This time, I haven’t quite plateau as normal – more like descended from the summit of my hypo-mania into one of the basecamp: the flat ground is still thousands of feet lower.

Which feels nice, if I take the feeling at face value. I’m productive, without having overly-rushed brain[2] and without having it impact my life in a negative way.

But as I expressed elsewhere, any change is scary. Will it get worse? Will my symptoms become unmanageable? Some percentage of cyclothymia goes on to become bipolar. That is a scary thought.



[1] That being said, once I starting thinking of myself as cyclothymic I had the common experience of re-casting previous memories in this list and seeing how well it explains a lot of my experiences. Whether it is remembering periods of being super-productive and having rushed-speech (now I know that’s a hypo-manic period). Or periods where I would just go-go and do so much only to crash for multiple naps a day in between the insane activity. In particular, these are activities that I now know “drain” me quite a bit so I see why I would just go at 1,000 miles-an-hour at these activities only to then find the nearest couch or bed and sleep for an hour or two before going right back at it: a bit like race cars and pit-stops: either full speed or stopped and refueling: no middle ground.

[2] I’m pretty sure that my natural state is “slightly rushed thoughts” – that has always felt normal for me.

Photo Credit: Andrew E. Larsen

Steady River

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