Almost over night, I went from being a fuzzy ball of anxiousness to pinging with mania.
How could I tell?
The rush of ideas flooding my brain might have been the first clue.
The buzzing in my head was another.
But the speed of my speech, the tingling in my skin, the inability to sit still, stop working, and turn off really gave it away.
“I’m manic right now.”
John Brownstone nodded in understanding. He could see it.
Two days later, my therapist raised his eyebrows, nodded, and asked, “How is it?”
“Great! Like a drug! I wish I was like this all the time!” After the weird, noxiousness of doubting my every thought, motive, feeling, and statement, the complete confidence in myself is invigorating.
I can do All The Things. Well, I think I can – and I want to.
But I don’t. Because while it’s nice to recognize what’s going on, it means I also have a responsibility to take care of myself, too.
All I can do is ride it out, but I don’t have to lose myself in it, either.
So while my fingers are (literally) itching to write notes, type words, or click through resource upon resource to research my next plan of action, I sit still when I’m supposed to.
When my brain wants to keep creating new ideas at the end of a long day, I go to bed. (I pout on the way, though.)
What I love about my mania (the upside of my bipolar self) is that this is what feels normal to me. When I tell John Brownstone I want to feel like “myself” again, this is what I mean. If that’s any indication of things, I’ve probably had some degree of bipolar disorder my entire adult life and even part of my adolescence.
But it’s not all good and wonderful.
The tingling in my skin and pinging in my brain means I’m constantly restless. I move too fast. I’m rushed and impatient.
My body shakes, especially my hands, sometimes – and it’s very strange and a little disorienting.
The constant thoughts and ideas permeate my day but especially at night. If left to my own devices, I’d work until I collapse but that’s not an option. So while my body is ready to sleep my brain can’t shut down. I take notes on my phone to empty my head but all that does is make room for more ideas to flow in. I’ve written entire book chapters in my mind while trying, desperately, to go to sleep.
Mania may feel good but it doesn’t always make me a good submissive, either. Oh, I move faster, see more details, anticipate more, and when I’m focused on our D/s, I’m the best damn submissive ever. But when I get hyper-focused on a new idea, start working on a plan, or trying to do All The Things, I don’t want to be bothered. No, not even by the requests of my Dominant.
Right now, as I type this out, everything is moving in fast-forward. My typing is faster. I’m eating lunch (if cheese and crackers counts) faster – even my chewing is speedy. My eyes zip from spot to spot, unable to stay on any one thing. I multi-task like a motherfucker. Mania makes me feel rushed, rushed, rushed – at least part of the time.
But it’s still my drug, even though I see the pitfalls and problems. And it’s such a nice change of pace from the overwhelming anxiety that even the speed of my thoughts (and emotions) is welcoming.
Truly, though, I really hope I’m minimizing the mania (and the impending depressive drop) by seeing it, recognizing it, and acknowledging it. I don’t yet know if it’s possible to have the benefits of a manic episode (goals, ideas, plans, dreams, confidence – so much confidence) without the bad. But having the right language to use to think about it and talk about it is a good first step. At least that’s what I tell myself.
For now, I’ll ride the high, survive the lows, and hope I remember that the fuzzy anxious middle isn’t permanent.