Even when I was a kid I knew that when Jimi Hendrix sang Manic Depression I felt what he felt. Now we call it Bipolar Disorder. My "official" diagnosis is Bipolar Disorder 2 Depressive, I have other diagnosis as well but let's just discuss this today. What this says is that my mood disorder isn't considered overly severe (by medical standards) and I'm normally depressed. Since the onset of my Chronic Migraines and Cluster Headaches I've gone through two manic phases, one being current. I'd say on average I'd have one every few years, after my teen years. That would be me in a drug fueled manic phase when I was about 17 above, it lasted two years and left me with serious consequences as well as a disbelief I lived through it. This was probably my peak.
Why am I talking about this today? I just read a terrible article about 5 truths of mania. Sure, I guess they were true on a very basic level. For example, "I'm going to read all the books"... right, lofty goals but it's so much larger and scarier than that and I'm going to tell the really awful truths about mania because that's what I do, it's my jam. Keep in mind, my bipolar is the "easy" bipolar.
I'll keep my lofty goals in check and stick with 5 things about mania as well.
1. Lofty goals! I'm going to catch up on my reading, catch up with my friends, finally finish Game of Thrones.... and so on, mostly because I'm not sleeping and when I'm not sleeping I feel weird and I just can't slow down, but I'm really tired so I'm drinking a lot of coffee. See where this is going?
2. Perfection! I feel weird so I can't quite understand what I'm reading, or saying to people and does GOT seem stranger than normal. I'll just clean the house! Great idea but there's this one spot on the floor that just stays sticky and I have to mop it over and over. Now I have to start washing my hands every time I touch something because I hate anything that could possibly be sticky. I'd better just leave the house for a while and take a break. It will help me relax.
3. I'll just run to the store. I need to pick up some socks... Excessive Shopping. I have groceries, a summer wardrobe and there was a sale at the jewelry store. Also my hairdresser squeezed me in and I have a whole new look and I have to say I look really good! I just look different. I feel really confident and that's a good thing right? I always feel so bad about myself. I'm probably just feeling better because the new meds are working. I don't need to call the doctor. I feel so good right now, I'm just going to go get a quick drink.
4. Hyper sexuality or Excessive anything that might be bad for you. I'm fine after a few drinks to drive besides there's all these cute men here talking to me. I knew I looked better. I wonder if anyone has anything besides alcohol. This group of people wants to hang out and they seem fun.
5. It all hurts and you can be a depressed manic. I can't get the house clean or do anything else because I can't concentrate. I don't want to be around anyone because I'm acting weird and I know it. I have to stop shopping online. I'm afraid to be alone, I hear things and I can't sleep. I hate everyone and no one is spared my manic anger. I don't know what to do. Just make it all stop. Now call your doctor.
I can barely write about it because I hate being manic so much but I also love it too. I feel like 10 times the person. That's why patients never call the doctor when they are in a manic phase. This is also the time most likely for someone to harm themselves because they have the energy to do it. If you know someone who is depressed and suddenly their mood improves you should pay attention.
Thanks to my time in DBT Therapy I feel like I have skills now to avoid many of these things. There's nothing wrong with making lists of my lofty goals of things to do, or creating a "mania schedule". I have plans for these things in place. Do I win every day? Nope but I try really hard every day and that's all I can do. I don't think the cats can help me much so the hard work is up to me. It's a bit of a crap deal when your brain chemistry imbalance is telling you to do things that make perfect sense but you have remember your brain isn't correct. There isn't anything harder.