I don’t want this blog to be too much about my personal life. But much of my personal life is poorly portrayed in the media. So, if you must write about what I go through, I’ll give you some notes along the way.
If you don’t know, I have a severe case of bipolar disorder. I can give notes on everything from psychotic depressions to alcohol driven manic sex-athons and then mixed states. I’ll try to describe a mixed state some day, but they’re the ones that make me think of myself as crazy.
Last night I snapped into a manic state. It remains to be seen just how large of one. Here’s a crash course in mania.
Coming into a mania, in my world, is like being born. My moods will slowly move, and then in a matter of hours snap in one direction or another. Usually snap upward. I was weird, unstable, rather emotional, and completely unable to make a decision earlier that night. It was that I couldn’t. It’s like all those hesitations turn into gasps for air so I smoked and drank more. There was one moment where I nearly burst out crying and then recovered about a handful of minutes later. And then around midnight, it felt like my chest was going to explode. It’s a thing I get, from what I understand, other people get it too. It’s like there’s a buildup of pressure in the chest, but it’s from the inside pushing out. Being born is a good metaphor, because then the blood boils and all that confusion and inactivity and paralysis gives way to a mindset that knows nothing of it. And some times it has been accompanied by a deep roaring sensation akin to a jet screaming in my ears and pound my chest.
Manias are not like anything on earth.
It’s a pretty nice mania that I gave birth to. I’m still pretty disoriented from my inner ear infection so it’s not taking hold in the same way that it normally does, but I did stay up until 4am and have 5 hours of sleep. It also felt insanely good. Then one of my drugs gets me pretty high when I’m manic. Such a good night. Although, it naturally feels otherworldly and I’m often delirious after the initial onset. I’ve always described it as fentanyl and a line or two of cocaine combined. An easier version is two pots of coffee and 5-10 mg of ativan. Or, a non-drug related way. Ever had that immediate feeling after taking a test, one that is brutally hard, and then nailing it, or giving a presentation and crushing it, that feeling of invincibility, that is to mania what coffee is to cocaine, it’s like a purified rarefied version mainlined.
So I smoked a cigarette and didn’t feel cold outside while my hands shook violently from the mania. Tremors, I’ve had them so bad it’s hard to function and impossible to write.
I was pretty on top of things, but one of the things I like when manic is some order of cleanliness. My room’s been sliding into a hell where my clothes form a semi-clean carpeting to tip-toe around. So I always clean. But if you write about this, you have to realize there’s a difference between clean and manic-clean. One is clean, the other is sort of reorganized and has some gaping holes that are missed, but in my mind I did a great job. Yeah, sober light of day later, (looks around bedroom), I’ll trust my roommate on it being dirty.
And then the feeling of power hit.
Sorry for dragging you through the tedium, but those are all things that help me pick out what is realistic.
It’s one thing that I would say defines my manias, maybe not others. The feeling of power. Not the feeling that I can overcome or persevere, but knowledge and delusion that I can dominate anything. It is an intoxicating rush. In a matter of an hour I can go from inability to choose and make a decision to one that pronounces judgment without a second thought. And it does it without thought. Without that self doubt, there isn’t much holding me back from just doing things. It’s why a lot of manic people end up doing a lot of stupid things.
a) we have a god complex
b) god complex means we feel invincible
c) the bigger the risk, the more it pushes that feeling of power when we escape unharmed
This is also how people die in manic states. We don’t know when to stop. It could be stupid, speeding or drinking and driving, or it could be bizarre – going sky diving and pushing the limits of when to pull the rip cord.
And that’s why I brought up the feeling after dominating a test or a presentation or interview. Nothing seems untouchable or safe from what you can do. But this is not to be confused with control. There is power to control and manipulate, and there is power to withstand and resist.
Being manic often has a mixture of both of these, but it’s not a fast rule that they will remain the same throughout the mania. Mania is a constantly shifting mood that has its own ebb and flow.
The power to control is the adventurous kind that usually leads to creativity and new activities. It’s how I learned to do a lot of things, including writing. There’s a need to focus in and learn how to manipulate things to your advantage or just raw pleasure. Tasks seem even more interesting. I really can’t count the number of things that I’ve started (and then not finished) in this state because I became interested in something new.
And then there’s resistance. This is the one where you skateboard down a hill for four blocks at midnight, drunk, and going head first into a three way intersection. Nothing will ever harm you in this state.
It looks like I’m getting the power/control mixture. So I’ll probably write and be a dick. The invincibility one is the fun one. The one that will go out and have a blast because there’s no end to the night or doing something else.