Bring on the mania

Sometimes, especially after a depression or long and dreary winter, I crave mania. I think back to previous manic times, like when I wanted to be a rock star, when I painted sliding glass doors bottom to top in tiny flowers, or when I was truly the life of the party, and I miss it. I miss editing and proofreading a 300-page magazine in two days on my own. I miss wildly creative ideas, increased confidence and in-your-face sexuality. Who wouldn't?

I have even gone so far as to try to induce mania. To be clear, this is hypo-mania, not the full-blown "I-think-I'm-Jesus type". It's a lesser of two evils. It is desirable none the less. Overdoses of coffee, sunlight and staying up all night seemed like good ideas at the time. All they really did was make me jittery, sunburned and tired. I tried stopping my medication (not recommended!). I have scoured the Internet for something, anything, that would get me what I wanted.

My manic episodes are few and far between. I seem to get much more depression than thrills and spills. And they really are thrills and spills.

Once during a manic episode I was driving down Highway 97 (again, not recommended!) and almost turned left into an oncoming Hummer. Luckily the driver swerved and we narrowly missed each other. Another time I stayed up late buying all kinds of ridiculous things on the Internet, like Liberace hand towels. And of course there's the time(s) I ruined my first marriage by not being a very good wife. See, mania may be fun--the euphoric "I can do anything" feelings are great - but the judgment to do what is right and what is safe is just not there. I may have edited and proofread a 300-page magazine in two days on my own, but it was the worst work of my career. And so it goes.

This is not to mention the inevitable crash that comes after the mania. Depression is always lurking, waiting to pounce. As soon as the mania has subsided, pounce it does. The coming down negates any of the excitement of mania because it is SO BAD. It feels like I've never felt any other way and that I'll never get out of it. It shrouds me in darkness and hopelessness. When I am craving mania, maybe even just a little dose to get my house cleaned in short order, I forget about the depression that will follow. But I must remember. It is so terrible I cannot get out of bed, let alone do the things I need to do.

So I ask myself: is it really worth it?

More A Life Bipolar articles

About the Author

Keri-Lynn is a married mother of four children and two "step-men" and has been in the print industry for 20 years. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 11 years ago and has a keen interest in sharing her wellness strategies with others.

Contact Keri-Lynn by email:  [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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