|Post Holiday Moods & Partying
December 31, 2000
The time following the holidays is tough on everyone, bipolar or not. Many people have written to me saying that even though they are doing well on their medication combination,they still experience dips and highs. This is perfectly normal. Our meds are to "control" the monster, not to completely eradicate it. Hopefully your dips and highs aren't as severe as they would be if you were not on your meds.
For some reason, the New Years Eve holiday has always made me manic. I look so forward to ending the current year and always have high expectations for the upcoming year. I begin really focusing on my hobbies such as container flower gardening. I'll pour over gardening magazines, making all sorts of notes that when the time comes to actually start planting, I wont be able to find any of the notes.
But the key thing here is to keep your mind active with positive, happy thoughts. When you feel yourself starting to slide downward, do something that you yourself enjoy. I don't care if it's dancing nude in your living room to your favorite song. Just force your mind to reject the depression and seek out something fun to focus on.
Not to be giving a lecture, but remember, ESPECIALLY during the holiday, alcohol and our medications do not, I repeat, do NOT mix well. For those of you on a lot of "downer" type meds, the alcohol will intensify it and you may OD on alcohol. We have to be forceful in making ourselves NOT touch alcohol or recreational drugs. The effect of either can result in serious harm to yourself. Being in the emergency room on New Year's day is certainly no fun and most definitely no way to spend New Year's day.
You can still enjoy the holiday, just be respectful to your body and don't poison it. Biochemistry is a complex area and it is different for everyone. So when your best bud tells you to go ahead and go for it, be strong and stand tall and calmly and tactfully tell him or her,"no thanks".
I knew a guy who was on a Bipolar med combo and went to a celebration and indulged in a heck of a lot of booze and the next morning, we learn that he had driven off a cliff and had suffered severe brain damage. To this day, he's still alive and kicking, but part of what made him "him" is lost forever to the alcoholic-cliff dive. Don't let this happen to you. Our judgment is usually slightly skewed on our prescribed meds, so just imagine how irrational we could become if intoxicated or under the influence of outside drugs. Trust me people, one night of partying just isn't worth risking brain damage.
Research has proved that bipolar people are extremely intelligent and highly creative. Some of our most well known and acclaimed artists of all genres, were bipolar. So use that intelligence and creativity to find a way to enjoy and celebrate the holidays without ending up in the hospital or something much worse.