I don’t know what I am, sometimes. I don’t feel hypomanic anymore. I’m not depressed. But I’m not “normal” either. Nor would I call this state “stable.” Perhaps “unstable” is as precise as words come. “Volatile,” maybe? Who knows.
Bipolar moods are best judged in retrospect. “Ah, I was clearly depressed.” Or, “oh yeah, hypomanic as hell.” Or, “hmm, pretty stable for that stretch.” In the midst of the moods I just do things: buy a $2,000 computer; sleep 12 hours, get up for two hours, drink some coffee, then nap for three hours; splurge $50 on books that just “look good”; question with vehemence the necessity of meds; start walking five miles a day as if it were requisite; struggle to recognize and control compulsive behaviors; go mute; hide . . . the moods are forms of madness.
But none of this musing has answered my original query: what am I? Black with white stripes or white with black stripes? Or monochromatic? Oh wait, don’t tell me: bipolar.