Battling Mania in Bipolar is like fighting Jackie Chan with a balloon animal, except all of a sudden you’ve been watching how to make balloon animals on YouTube for 9 hours straight and you’re researching the blood pressure of giraffes and did you know the man who invented the Davy lamp also discovered the effects of Nitrous oxide and you give up and decide to eat the balloon animal and Jackie Chan wins anyway.
I’ve tried time and time again to write a post about how Manic or Hypomanic episodes affect me – usually when I’m slipping into a hypomanic state – then around 4,000 words in, I attempt reading it back to myself and ominously realise I flung the post so far off track with some analogy about Ancient Egyptians 3,500 words ago that none of my waffling is useable. Recycle bin.
For me, Hypomania (a lesser form of mania) isn’t too bad; I might start dropping more posts on social media than crumbs from a Cadbury’s Flake or genuinely feel like I’ve just rescued a colony of sea turtles by using my bag for life at Tesco but for the most part, other people probably just see me as this cringe-inducing beachball of inhibition. And, my god, do I know how annoying I can be. Sociable, confident, restless with racing thoughts.
True Mania is an entirely different kettle of fish. (A kettle which you may or may not believe has been poisoned by the government.) Mania is needing 8 police officers and a riot van to take you to hospital and being an obnoxious arsehole to the girl sat behind you in A&E who only asks if you want a packet of crisps. However, you’re absolutely certain there’s nothing wrong with you, haven’t taken your medication in days and it’s all just one big conspiracy orchestrated by social services. Uncontrollable, invincible, deluded.
So when it comes to True Mania, I guess I feel much more comfortable writing in third person because I don’t associate those behaviours with the beliefs of who I am as ‘me‘. I know I’m a good person whose mind just gets a little infected with bad thoughts and accompanying bad actions from time to time – the same way others experience the Flu or a cold. As I work through identifying my personal triggers (not reckoning I’m Bradley Wiggins on the exercise bike or stopping my medication so I can complete a Sudoku quicker for a start) these episodes are becoming less frequent.
It’s embarrassing when the episode has run out of it’s solar power; scrolling through my phone, wondering if that demon from the exorcist was capable of sending those texts or blocking all of those people in one of it’s ‘possessions‘, then realising it’d be easier to resurrect H.G Wells and ask his tips on time travel than it would be to approach anyone for forgiveness.
Of course, having Bipolar means as well as suffering from the madness of mania, I also suffer from recurrent bouts of deep depression. The increase in understanding and awareness of depression has made that aspect of my illness manageable. I can only hope one day, that this ‘crazy’ side is understood too and I guess that’s the entire point of this post and continuing to expose myself to the bones like this.
Thanks for reading xoxoxoxoxo
Have a gander at this link to Mind for more information on Mania.