“Why don’t you write a post about it?” my therapist asked on Thursday, after I told her I was on a manic upswing and enjoying it. It always creeps up and taps me on the shoulder several days into it: Hey there. Did you notice you haven’t eaten much this week? You were up so late last night. Wow! You’re getting so much done. What’s up with that?
Something inside me railed against the idea. I could hear this little voice shouting from somewhere in my stomach. No! No I will not write about mania! Because some part of me still thinks it’s wrong to like this.
I used to enjoy my hypomanic highs, flitting around like a pixie and getting everything done, except I know that it’s a really fine line between giddy and scary. It doesn’t take much for me to slip from being productive to being paralyzed by anger, fear, and paranoia. And after all this time, I don’t like to admit that.
But right now…it’s a nice break from feeling depressed, and it’s not totally unexpected since I’m almost completely off of Depakote now. I’m faced with choices: Go back on Depakote or ride it out. Pretend it’s not happening or use it to my advantage. So here’s a post, even though it’s making my skin crawl with discomfort.
I’m manic and I like it.
I feel like a powerhouse this week. I’ve set up the book swap I’ve been dreaming of at the café down the street. I’ve cleaned my house. I’m writing more than I have in years. I finally took the “training wheels” off my big girl camera and shot some photos in full manual mode. I’ve kept my morning quiet/meditation time for four days straight. This energy is the blessing of mania.
My brain woke with my coffee this morning (1/2 caff…too much caffeine is a manic time bomb, a recipe for disaster for me) and started plotting art projects. Wouldn’t it be fascinating to try feet painting instead of finger painting? My goodness! Could I paint a landscape with my toes?! What a brilliant end-of-summer project! And that’s where I cut myself off. My brain turns to visual art when mania becomes too strong to get words out, when my mind is shuffling too quickly between thoughts to put them on paper. As much as I miss all-nighters, sitting on the floor and slapping paint and collage pieces on Moleskine cahiers, this isn’t the way to manage an episode or to keep it from escalating.
So I’m writing this instead and forcing myself to chew down half a granola bar I’m really not interested in eating. Deep breaths, healthy habits.
Riding it out.