December of 2016 if I'm not mistaken. That was the climb into my most recent full-blown off-my-rocker-for-real manic episode. I ended up in the hospital early January 2017. Tick. Tick. Tick before that it was summer of 2013 or so. Tick. Tick. Tick. Before that 2008. All the while existing in two worlds. No one had a clue what my mind was doing on a daily basis. Tick. Tick. Tick. Before 2008 I didn't have this diagnosis. Life forever changed the moment I was sitting in group therapy in the ICU in Alvarado Parkway Institute and the Cognitive Therapist said, 

"You seem to be doing a lot better. How are you feeling about your new diagnosis?"

I said, "What diagnosis?"

A combination of being heavily sedated, and not being out of the woods of psychosis clogged my memory. A lot was happening at this point and I think I blacked some parts out.

"You have Bipolar 1."

Tick. Tick. Boom.

"Why didn't you tell me before this?"

"I've told you several times now."

I very slowly crawled out of the pit of ashes. I lost my job. I felt I had lost my dignity. I lost the old life I had. The life where I didn't have the ticking of the clock droning in the very back of my thoughts.

When is the next one going to happen?

 In general, I'm a pretty positive person. I have a lot of hope. It's one of my best qualities. The span between manic episodes is about 4.5 years. It's been under 2 years ago that I had my last episode so statistically I have more ticks. The more ticks that go by though, the louder my question begs to know. 

When is the next one going to happen?

This isn't unique to me and my circumstance. It's life. It ticks by one second at a time. I can either allow it to make me feel nervous that hard times are coming. It's almost inevitable I end up back in the hospital. I can worry that the gray hairs on my head are only going to conquer and migrate as time moves me along like a broom to a field mouse. Or I can turn those nerves into excitement and put any aspiration into action. 

I want to make the choice to scurry up the ladder of my dreams. I know some rungs will be missing and I'll lose my footing but overall, I'm a pretty good climber.