Part I: Mania

Living with my mental illness isn’t always a trudging drudgery punctuated by moments of bombastic frenzy, not nearly. At least, not now. Sometimes in the thick of it all, it’s been a near-constant emotional upheaval with the only respite being occasionally gripped by a crushing despondency. So there’s been some breaks in the monotony. Heh.

Pretty flowery speech, huh? Yeah well, still with the mania here. It’s not an issue so far, but my brain is full of the beauty of words and pictures and sounds, tralala lala.

One of my favourite and most powerful coping skills is humour. I laugh a lot, and i’ve always laughed a lot. It may be part of the reason i flew under most people’s radar when it came to signs of abuse. It’s certainly a key reason why i survived it. I can laugh at just about anything. Anywhere, anytime, and nearly any circumstance. Yes, some of it is of the panicked or disconnected variety, but i’m not referring to that kind here. And it’s not a killer clown response either. I’m no Pennywise. I’m just able to find the funny in nearly any situation.

It’s occasionally cost me in relationships, i suppose. I’ve offended some, shocked others, and some are just put off, but when it comes to my sense of humour it doesn’t vex me. As one who’s been overly concerned with acceptance and approval, that’s kinda weird.

As i’ve mentioned, i’m currently dealing with mania. I’m not worried about it, because for one thing, there’s no point, and for another, the price is too high for so little benefit. I look at it like it’s a person. She’s fun to hang out with for a bit, but we’re not having a sleepover. She always sticks me with the cheque, and i don’t have much disposable income, okay?
I can see how finding things funny has saved me on any number of occasions.

I’m focused on cleaning my house. My brain, my body, my life. The main living areas are relatively decent, but they’re cluttered and disorganised, and my version of spring cleaning has been haphazard, at best. Now though, my improving health, coupled with an approaching mania is bringing out my inner Maria Kondo. My approach to decluttering goes some thing like this:

– remove everything from cupboard/area;
– scrub everything within an inch of its life, whilst making that ridiculous concentrate-y face (i hope i never see what i look like);
– take a few of the items and place them in a small container, repeat;
– take a few of the small containers and place them in a larger container, repeat;
– put them back in the cupboard.

As i do this i think of George Carlin and his bit about “stuff.” I giggle because it’s applicable and George was a funny man. My boxes have boxes, and my boxes’ boxes have boxes, which are all kept in other, bigger boxes. And all my boxes, and all my boxes’ boxes, and all my boxes’ boxes’ boxes are contained in another big box that i like to call my Little Crooked House.

The dissociative part of me is watching all my efforts and laughing her ass off. I look pretty funny i’m sure, scurrying around from cupboard to drawer to table, tripping around the temporary chaos, sweating and talking to myself, making funny faces, blaring music while i sing and dance.

As i’m sorting through all the items, another thing about mania becomes clear. I’m constantly losing shit because my brain’s going so fast i can’t remember where anything is, and i can’t concentrate long enough to figure it out. Wanna know how i know?

I now have 8 tweezers, that’s how i know.
I also have 5 nail clippers and 4 toenail clippers.
Oh, and more than one copy of any number of books, CDs, and movies that i particularly like. About a week ago i found a third copy of Prince and the Revolution’s Purple Rain. I just grinned as i wrote that and i’m currently telling myself it looks kinda like the one he has on his face when Apollonia is trying to wiggle back into her leather pants after skinny dipping in not-Lake Minnetonka.
I have enough Chapstick to make a candle.
And we won’t even go into how i get paranoid about starving and so i’m finding stashes of dry and canned goods.
How do you not find that worthy of at least a giggle? Or a lopsided grin with an accompanying snort?

Picture me sitting on the rug like i was on Friday, going through another mystery box from my bedroom closet, singing along to Stacey Q (80s one-hit wonder),

“Two of hearts, two hearts that beat as one
Two of hearts, I need you, I need you
Two of hearts, two hearts that beat as one
Two of hearts, come on, come on”

I’m wiggling my ass from cheek to cheek and tossing my ponytail from side to side, then suddenly cackling like Grizelda on the Hilarious House of Frightenstein because i’ve just found my eleventyfirst tube of lip balm.

Well, it worked for me. Heh.

IMAGE: Brandable Box

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