It’s 6:30 a.m., and I’m flat-out exhausted. I’ve been up since 4 this morning—solely two-and-one-half hours, however lengthy sufficient for me to have worn out each my thoughts and my physique. It’s as if I’ve received a mighty wind at my again, pushing me to maintain appearing, maintain doing, maintain shifting until I drop.
I don’t need to admit it to anybody, least of all myself, however I do know this sense all too properly to disclaim what’s happening: I’m manic. I wasn’t yesterday, or the week earlier than that, however something can occur if you’re bipolar. Particularly if you’re a fast cycler, like I’m, and might change from temper to temper within the flicker of a hummingbird’s wings. Final evening I used to be somewhat melancholy and down within the dumps, however this morning I’m hovering 10 ft above Everest. Not completely satisfied, precisely, extra like giddy—possessed by an vitality so consuming it’s all I can do to maintain from exploding. The scanty 5 ft, 4 inches I rule on this planet is barely sufficient to include the superior energy of my persona.
As I repair breakfast, I bop alongside from tune to tune, from Springsteen’s “Born to Run” to Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” to Bobby Darin’s “Mack the Knife.” I can’t decide on a singer and even an period, and the contagious, upbeat rhythms solely irritate my mania. Now it’s not simply my mind however my physique that’s contaminated, my ft tapping, my hips gyrating, my arms swinging wildly over my head. I’m a horrible dancer at one of the best of instances, and even worse after I’m completely uninhibited. However I can’t assist it. I’m hostage to the beat.
What’s bizarre is that I can’t cease consuming. Usually after I’m manic I’ve no real interest in meals in any way. I’ve no time for its preparation or consumption—there are way more necessary, earth-shaking actions to have interaction in. However this morning, I’m pursued by a relentless starvation, an omnivorous must chew, chew, chew. I’m barely tasting what I eat. My jaw hurts. Intellectually, I do know that this nervous consuming is a displacement exercise, like leg-jiggling or twitching—a re-wiring of the nervousness that looms simply this aspect of the ecstasy. However that doesn’t cease me from shoveling yet one more chocolate truffle, and one other, and one other, into my mouth.
Lastly, I drive myself to go away the kitchen and go into the bed room to observe TV. However the information is on and it rapidly turns into too disturbing—to not point out the truth that I maintain speaking again to it, compulsively echoing what the commercials are pushing or the information anchors are asserting. I do know the medical title of this phenomenon, and it worries me. It’s referred to as “echolalia”—the uncontrollable and instant repetition of phrases spoken by one other particular person—and it’s an plain symptom of mania.
There’s little doubt about it now: I’ve left serenity too far behind to disregard my change of temper any longer. Which suggests it’s time to achieve out to my assist community and attempt to sluggish this locomotive down earlier than I do any actual hurt; earlier than mainlining truffles turns into one thing way more harmful, with longer-lasting penalties than simply gaining a pound or two. Like what? Like maxing out all my bank cards or calling up married ex-boyfriends for a snuggle. I’ve finished far worse within the throes of mania, and I refuse to let it lead me down the trail to self-ruination once more.
So though it’s harmful to make contact with my iPad—Amazon.com, anybody?—I sit down and compose messages to my assist workforce to allow them to know I’m combating the identical outdated battle once more. I’M WIRED, I write in daring and all caps, understanding however not caring that it’s impolite to shout over the web, particularly very first thing within the morning. No person needs to listen to a rant earlier than they’ve their first cup of espresso. However when you begin texting if you’re manic, the necessity to talk is so pressing it’s irresistible, and you already know you’re in for a spree of messaging.
Thankfully, certainly one of my associates is an early riser and he calls me again instantly. “What’s happening?” he says, and I inform him, to the extent I can put one phrase after one other slowly sufficient to be intelligible. He will get the gist, and we undergo the drill:
“Are you getting sufficient sleep?” he asks.
“No, the rattling neighbor’s canine began barking at 4:00 a.m.”
“Are you consuming?”
“Greater than you’ll be able to presumably think about. Subsequent.”
“Have you ever taken your meds?”
“In fact, you already know I at all times—” after which I remembered that whereas I’d counted out all my meds that morning, I hadn’t truly taken them. I’d determined I’d simply postpone them for a bit, whereas I ate breakfast and received dressed. The reality is, in its early phases all that superb vitality was intoxicating, and I didn’t need to come down; which I knew I ultimately would as soon as I took my medicine. For that second—and that second solely, as a result of medicine non-compliance is a pet peeve of mine—I understood why folks go off their meds. Mine was a tiny slip, maybe, however sufficient to trigger me concern. From tiny slips come towering falls.
I took my medicine and certain sufficient, inside a few hours I used to be myself once more. Not bopping to Bruce, not singing on the high of my lungs, not wherever close to Everest. I used to be relieved, and simply the slightest bit unhappy. Manic me is actually a tremendous drive—however for good and for evil, and there’s the rub.