This Is How It Feels to Have Bipolar II

Maybe you’re just feeling better,” my psychiatrist said, “because something good has happened in your life.” He was the only psychiatrist who was open on a Saturday and covered by my insurance plan, provided by a job I couldn’t stand.

I pondered this as I stared out the window on a dull, gray February afternoon in Queens. The monotony of my desk job hadn’t changed in the nearly two years I’d been there, except that I was barely making deadlines because I couldn’t focus. My personal life was the same—still solid with my long-term boyfriend, but nothing particularly life-changing going on. I saw my friends regularly, and my family was good. Which is to say: Things were fine, but nothing that great was happening—at least, nothing to elicit days’ worth of feeling euphoric, barely sleeping, being hyper-creative, and starting a million projects I knew in the back of my mind were never going to get done. I would later find out that this was a form of mania. My psychiatrist at the time, however, didn’t believe me when I explained the symptoms.

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