Bloodwork and Bliss

Today i am even more aware that i’m in a manic state. Blogging about it yesterday helped make it that much more real for me. You know, like it’s supposed to do.

I’m mildly annoyed and easily infuriated from the moment i open my eyes in the morning until i close them at night. And they don’t remain closed, because i can’t sleep for more than an hour at a time. Even better (/s), those few precious hours are filled with emotionally draining dreams, like getting lost, losing the people i was with, my pets getting hurt or killed, and –my favourite– uncomfortable associations with estranged family members. UGH. While i’m very much at peace with my decision to pull away from all living family (on my side), save my kids and 1 cousin, i’m not immune to missing them. I am merely inured to reestablishing contact.

Yesterday when i was thinking and writing about my current mental/emotional state, i wondered if i fully qualified as manic, because i didn’t feel euphoric. Today, i realise i sure as heck do. It’s fleeting, but it’s occurring over and over. I was texting with some of my favourite people today, and while it was a brief interchange, i was blissed out the entire time. I had to get some blood work done today, and i was experiencing a wave of intense anxiety. I reached out to them, and as soon as someone replied, i wasn’t just not anxious any longer, i was wildly happy. I felt loved and accepted and suddenly the world was a beautiful place. I wanted to go buy doughnuts and coffee and give them out to everyone at the lab – and people on the street.

Thanks to the awareness i have now that i’m probably manic, i was able to see those thoughts and feelings as a red flag. I was able to step out of the way of the tidal wave coming at me. I said to myself, Whoa, H, this ain’t Woodstock. This is a pandemic. It grounded me very quickly. The awareness and confirmation it brought with it gave me extra power and control, as well. I also know there’s an insidious danger to the power i feel and the control i currently have. Mania makes it all like dancing on the head of a pin. It could easily morph into feeling 10ft tall and bulletproof – and that’s an unhealthy place for me. There is a constant danger that i’ll spin out of control.

At this moment i’m not freaked out about it. I am who i am and this is what it is and i’ll do what i must to get through it as well as i can.
Will try to post again tomorrow.

Y’all hang in there, y’hear?

Love and Peace,

IMAGE: Sharon McCutcheon

Just Don’t Shoot the Albatross

A mania is fast approaching, and i hope i’m able to weather the storm. My thoughts come so quickly, tripping over each other and tumbling around in my brain, crying out to be acknowledged. They’re hungry and insistent, much like the baby birds in all the nests i see around our place out here. I’m trying to describe what it’s like to you, and i have so many things to say to you about it, but i’m having great difficulty nailing down something solid. It’s like reaching into a bowl full of earthworms and trying to pull out the longest one – they all look the same in the bowl. And i can’t discard any of the others should i pick the wrong one; they must all go back in the bowl (“Back in bowl?” I just flashed to Steve Martin in All of Me. Heh.)

So i’m frustrated and tired. I’ve been trying to grab something tangible and get some traction, but it’s been a real struggle. I finally seemed to have some good word flow yesterday, and was a good 800 words or so into it, when my entire page just blinked out of existence. While i’ve now learned a hard lesson about writing my blog using anything but the format provided by my host, it caused an interruption in brain service. Like my engine suddenly flooded and now it won’t start. I tried to get ‘er going for a while, but it was only making it worse, so i took the rest of the day off and now here i am. I think i’m gonna have to do it like Karate Kid’s mom and push it for a bit until i can pop the clutch.

It’s not just the racing thoughts either. They’re becoming grandiose. Yay. By that i mean much of what i’m thinking strikes me as so deep. Like deep, deep. I’m such an intellectual, you just don’t even know. It’s like being on cocaine. Those first few toots where all your burdens fall away and you see everything with such clarity(!) Not those last few where paranoia has set in and you’re pretty sure you’re gonna die of a heart attack, but you just keep doing more…

And it’s not just the laser-sharp picture i have of my situation and what it’s like and how i’m doing in my life that’s so intense. It’s the fucking poetry. It’s the flowery, glowy, sparkly, fragrant, pink fucking gel filter that’s over all of it. It’s like babies giggling and angels singing. It’s a lush green meadow full of puppies. Goddamn puppies. I feel like i’m full of art, and every thought is so perfect. It’s heady stuff. It threatens to sweep me away -and i want it to do so- but i can’t allow it to happen. I’ve sailed that ocean many times before, but no matter how well i navigate the currents, there’s an albatross around my neck, and no lighthouse on the horizon.

And my desert island looks a lot like a hospital room.

Even describing that made all my neurons fire at once (hashtagnotrealscience). Fortunately, my kid came out to talk to me and it worked as a damper on me feeling how amazing i am. When i don’t use the brakes, these thoughts and feelings gain momentum quickly, and it doesn’t take long before risky behaviours don’t seem dangerous at all – they just look like fun. When i’m depressed, fear is part of what keeps me immobilised. When i’m manic, fear barely registers, and on the rare occasion it does, it impedes exactly nothing.

I removed some things from my life a couple of years ago, and they’re staying out for the foreseeable future. I don’t have access to money and i don’t drive. My husband has all the cards and cheques and bank accounts. My name is on the accounts, but to access the funds i need ID, which is in my husband’s possession when i’m manic. If i need money for something and he’s not around, he gives me cash. It’s always a small amount, so even if i used it for something other than what was intended, i (probably) couldn’t get into too much trouble. And the driving… Well, the world is a better, safer place without me driving in it, because my judgment is for shit. Not only is my mind too full and busy for the attention and concentration required to drive, but i think i’m 10’ tall and bulletproof, which is a terrible state to mix with drugs and alcohol. I’ve been on some epic benders when i’m riding a mania, and if i took an innocent life, i’d be finished, and i’d stigmatise my loved ones for the rest of their lives. So no driving. I was never particularly good at it anyway.

I guess i’ve prepared as well as i can. Maybe the storm will just pass me by.

I’m hoping for the best, and the really cool thing is, i’m not braced for impact.

Enjoy Your Weekend,

IMAGE: Fer Nando