Tag Archives: manic episode

Manic Blues

Did you ever want to punch something because you were so mad?  I’m not even particularly mad at any one thing.  I just have Anger.  Deep, irrational Anger.

Nobody understands mania.  It pisses me off.  My one friend says, “You CAN control it. You just THINK you can’t.”

Really?  I want to punch something.

My other friend (who only prefers to be around when I’m the “fun” me) says, “Can’t you just have a good day?  Why does it have be a “thing”?”

I want to punch something.

My mania isn’t a “fun” thing and no, I’m pretty sure I can’t control it – why would I throw my car keys into a field, strip down naked, and run from the police trying to help me?

I’m fairly certain that IS a THING.

Oy.  I hate bipolar.

 

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Relatively Tolerable

How is life lately?  Relatively tolerable.  That’s where I’m at.

That’s kind of the best I get.  Unless I am full-on manic, in which case:

 

Until it’s not.

 

Crazy Like A Fox

Mania was completely disruptive (in the worst sense of the word) to my life and it took me a good two years to recover.

I never stop feeling embarassed over the actions my body took while being controlled by my manic mind.  And I went deep.  Both times.  I was a raving, mad lunatic.

The way I am now, no one would ever guess that I was hospitalized, that I was ever in that condition, that I didn’t sleep for days, that I ranted and raved and threw things and screamed at others.  That I tried to take off all of my clothes multiple times in public.  That I drove to a strangers house and walked right in the door and started playing with her kids in her living room. Donald Duck

That I have been picked up by the police twice in one night for being “disruptive” in a public place.

That I crawled into bed with another patient at the hospital because I thought they were my mom.  That I danced through the hallways of the psych unit with a towel covering my head and a styrofoam cup in my mouth, quacking and pretending I was a duck.  All. Night. Long.

Here's Johnny

When I run into people on the streets talking to themselves, I see myself in them.  I know they are making sense in their own brain, and that it only appears to be “nonsense” or “crazy” to those around them.  Sometimes when manic I thought that the whole world was crazy, and I was the only sane one.  I felt that deep down, even as I was doing cartwheels in a cemetery and trying to run down the street naked.

The only thing that separates me from the man on the street shouting obscenities is medication.  The fact that my mental illness is treated and his is not.

If you’re recovering from a manic episode and you’re in the throes of depression, just know that you’ll come out of it.  It does get better.  I can’t say the memories of all of it don’t stick with you, but just remind yourself that the time you laid on the floor in a public bathroom and smashed your glasses with your foot repeatedly because you “didn’t want to see anymore,” it wasn’t you.  It was the mania.  And you have to forgive yourself for that.

And, I guess, so do I.

 

Symptomanic

Symptoms:

  • Euphoria  √
  • Inflated self-esteem  √
  • Poor judgment
  • Rapid speech  √
  • Racing thoughts  √
  • Aggressive behavior  √
  • Agitation or irritation  √
  • Increased physical activity
  • Risky behavior
  • Spending sprees or unwise financial choices
  • Increased drive to perform or achieve goals
  • Increased sex drive  √
  • Decreased need for sleep  √
  • Easily distracted  √
  • Careless or dangerous use of drugs or alcohol
  • Frequent absences from work or school
  • Delusions or a break from reality (psychosis)
  • Poor performance at work or school

So here’s the deal…me waking up at 3 am and thinking of all these projects I want to do – it’s not on the Typical Me wavelength.  Me rambling to people and constantly having the need/urge to talk to others (especially strangers on the sidewalk) is my warning sign.  Increased libido:  (sadly) never happens unless I’m headed toward mania.

So all of this is very uncomfortable for me.  I’m seeing my psychiatrist on Monday (thank goodness) and I’m hoping she can help me if I point to all of these instances.  I know me.  I know me more than she.  So if I just tell her, “Look, this is happening.  We need to do something about it” then I’m hoping she will hear me.

Getting only four hours of sleep per night no matter how hard I try to sleep in, it’s not good for a fellah’.

Mania is embarassing, just to let ya’ll know.  You say and do things that you wouldn’t normally do under normal circumstances, and then when you come out of it, you think back to all the things that were said and done and you feel like a jackass.

This whole “I’m-going-to-change-my-lifestyle” thing IS a real part of me.  It IS something I am yearning to do – but I have a sneaking suspicion that my enthusiasm is probably related to what I suspect is me on the verge of mania.  I just hope it’s not a full-blown manic episode, and it can be stopped in time.

And hey, don’t get me wrong.  I love mania just as much as the next guy.  But I also am all too familiar with the consequences, and they ain’t pretty.  So, again, seeing the doctor late in the day on Monday.  I’m going to have to write all this down so that I can explain to her exactly what is happening without getting lost or stuck in the moment and forget everything I was going to say during my short time with her.

This post seems like a good place to start.

P.s. I did not smoke any cigarettes yesterday.  I’m feeling I might throw in the towel today, though.  Deep breaths, deep breaths…

I Put the Cray in the Cray-Yay

As a window into my mind, I’d like to present two versions of myself, one with some fairly random thoughts that just might be on the edge of the  “normal” range of mental stability.  The other, same thoughts, only this one is a version of me on the verge of yet another manic episode.

Random thoughts of Relatively Stable Me:

– Isn’t it amazing how the entire solar system is designed?
– Did I take the garbage out this week?
– I can’t believe Mary Sue’s getting a divorce.  How sad.
– What’s that noise?
– I used to know what atoms and particles and electrons and photons do.
– Why does my kid have so much useless homework day after day after day?
– Did I get my tax return money back yet?
– Isn’t it ridiculous how some people spend so much money on material things?

Version Number Two:  The Sh*t’s-About-To-Go-Down Me  (i.e. me during a manic episode):

‘Isn’t it amazing how the entire solar system is designed?  Isn’t it beautiful that Earth is the only planet we’ve discovered with such a perfect, temperate, liveable climate for life?  Did I take the garbage out this week?  I can’t believe she’s getting a divorce.  How sad.

What’s that noise?

I used to know what atoms and particles and electrons and photons do and it is so  important I need to research it right now where are my books from college oh here it is this is fascinating I need to write a paper on this and get it published everyoneneedstoknowthisandrealizehowpertinentitistotheirlives  Ohmygosh why does my kid have so much useless homework day after day after day when he should be studying atoms in order to gain an understanding of the Greater Good God PeaceFreedomExistentialism I need to call his teacher and ask her opinion on the common core maybeIshouldhomeschool,  isn’t it amazing how the entire solar system is designed?  Isn’t it beautiful that Earth is the only planet we’ve discovered with such a perfect, temperate, liveable climate for life and here I am throwing all this garbage into it – did I take the garbage out this week – if I didn’t I am going to reduce my carbon footprintbygoingthroughthisweeksgarbageandwritingdowneverythingIthrewaway
andanalyzing theeffectIpersonallyhaveontheenvironment wow, man, I need to write a paper on this too like RIGHT NOW I bet that’s the connection of why she’s getting a divorce if only she knew about the photons thing and how light bends around a moving object YES that is IT if only

theywouldunderstanditwouldn’thavetobethiswayanymore – SHIT whatisthatnoise?

I think I can hear my heart beating.

Okay, so both of these versions of me ARE indeed ME and I do have weird random thoughts that probably aren’t along the same spectrum of “normal” as I stated above, but the difference is that when I’m manic, none of the thoughts seem random; in fact, just the opposite:  they are all spectacularly interconnected.

giphy

I’m expecting this will give you a better understanding of the cray in the cray-cray.

Or maybe I just need to lay off the Vsauce.  Peace.

Confession

I thought I could get through this with just prayer, but it doesn’t seem that way.  I’m on medication and it seems to be helping.  I know I go through bouts of hard times and everything, but I’m much better than where I was when I lost everything a year ago.

There.  It’s out there.  To explain, I have bipolar disorder.  It’s not something that is easy to live with, for me or for anyone around me.  I have periods of stability, for which I am very grateful for, but other times, I am higher than a kite.  Superhuman abilities, that’s what I think of myself.

Let me be more specific.  When I was 19, I had an episode.  I’m inclined to label it a “nervous breakdown” because identifying with my mental illness is hard.  (Look – I’ve been blogging for 5 years now and never even admitted to it once.)  Either way, I lost it.  Leading up to the breakdown I was under a severe amount of stress in college.  It all came to a head when I came down with a terrible cold and wasn’t sleeping.  Eventually, my mania rose and rose until I was flying high.  Everything seemed possible.  Everything was better than fantastic, it was outrageously fantastic.  You couldn’t shut me up.  I just kept talking and talking and talking and writing and writing and writing.  The world seemed glorious at that point.

Then it started to get scary.  I was panicking.  I couldn’t drive, I got out of the car and ran to a stranger’s house and begged her to let me in.  Said I didn’t know where I was or how to get home.  The cops came and picked me up.  Later on, my parents drove me to the hospital.  They were scared to have me committed, so they kept me at home.

The second episode I had was fairly recent.  I just had a newborn baby and was not taking the right medications since I was breastfeeding.  I wasn’t being monitored on these meds as I stopped seeing my therapist, and this was the perfect combo for me to run face-first into another episode.  This time I was ranting and raving like a lunatic.  I crushed my own glasses, trashed my car, threw my keys in the river and went racing down the road, running from my paranoid thoughts.

Eventually my husband found me in the middle of the road and picked me up to take me home.  The cops came and I said nothing.  Later on, I thought I was possessed and started having a full-on exorcism on myself.  The paramedics came at that point, and I was able to get the help I needed by going to the hospital and then later to a psychiatric ward for a two-week stint.

So where do I go from here?  I know I have this illness and it really affects the family.  Right now I’m recovering from a depressive episode that has lasted for a little under a year.  I’m on 150 mg of Zoloft, 100 mg of Lamectal and a Klonopin now and then.

There.  I said it.  The dreaded word:  Medication.  As if I am a zoned-out zombie shoveling purple-colored pills down my throat.  No, it’s not like that.  They help me stay stable so I don’t go berserk and go running down the street like a maniac.
It’s just hard to confess all of this.  That’s why I am looking for your support.  If there are other blogs about living with mental illness, please direct me to them.  I need to know I’m not the only one with this up and down roller coaster of a life.