I've been up the past few days. "Up", however, involves not just my cartoonish motivation to accomplish things being up, but also my anxiety being up. My blood pressure being up. My heartburn being up.
It seems that when a lot of people say "bipolar" they're using it in a shitty, sarcastic way to mean someone who is in a really good mood one day and a really bad or mopey one the next. Not only is it shitty to use mental illness as a punchline, it also reinforces falsehoods about the condition. Everyone knows what "depression" means. They may not fully comprehend the weight of it, but most people at least have an inkling of "depression" means. But a lot of times it seems "manic" is seen as being a polar opposite (what with the somewhat misleading name "bi-polar" and all). It's seen as overwhelming joy that just washes over the bipolar patient, turning them into some kind of unpredictable Jekyll and Hyde beast who is the friendliest, happiest, warmest person one day and a horrible monster the next. Let me make one thing clear: "Manic" does not mean "happy".
When I'm manic, I'm horribly restless, which really jacks up my GAD. If I don't harness that energy and do something productive with it, I crash into a horrible depression again, because I just become clumsy, reckless, and aimless. But if I acknowledge that I'm manic and that it is not in my control, I can usually focus at least a majority of that energy into something productive. For the past week I've been feeling very manic. I've also been really fucking sick (congestion to the point I felt claustrophobic, sore ears, sore throat, lethargy, dizzy spells). However, I worked a 38-hour work week (despite barely even remembering much of Monday and Tuesday), bought groceries, and as recently as yesterday, did a decent deep-clean of the house. I'm physically exhausted to a point that, non-manic, would make me horribly miserable. But if I didn't focus that energy, despite feeling so physically spent that I could drop, I would be so depressed right now that I wouldn't be able to get out of bed. Instead, I'm keeping the steam going as long as possible. I'm working 40 hours this week (8 down today! Woo!), and I plan on doing some intense grocery shopping, reading, studying, and video gaming.
Will I get depressed again? Yes. Do I know when? No. It could be in five minutes. It would be in two weeks. But acknowledging where I'm at and that I cannot control that it happens, only how I handle it, helps me cope with it.