My tides were fluctuating, too - back and forth, back and forth - sometimes so fast they seemed to be spinning. They call this 'rapid cycling.' It's a marvel that a person can appear to be standing still when the mood tides are sloshing back and forth, sometimes sweeping in both directions at once. They call that a 'mixed state.'
I envy people with dreams and passions, but I don't think that way. I still don't have a 'bliss' to follow. For people like me - I suspect that's most people - holding out for a 'dream' or a 'passion' is paralyzing. I just like having work I enjoy that feels meaningful. That's hard enough... but it's enough.
When I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder the year I turned 50, it was certainly a shock. But as a journalist, knowing a little bit about a lot of things, I didn't suffer the misconception that depression was all in my head or a mark of poor character. I knew it was a disease, and, like all diseases, was treatable.
I'm excited about going back to 'Today,' but, at odd moments, I'll grit my teeth in anxiety. I feel like a student before the start of school. I've got my new shoes and my book bag, but I'm not sure I'll remember how to do trigonometry. During my maternity leave, I haven't used many words of more than one syllable.
I've come to recognize what I call my 'inside interests.' Telling stories. And helping people tell their stories is a sort of interpersonal gardening. My work at NBC News was to report the news, but in hindsight, I often tried to look for some insight to share that might spark a moment of recognition in a viewer.