I hate Hollywood movies and Opera Winfery worthy books about Mental Health because they don’t explain what mental health really is. My dear friend once said, “The media portrays it as creative, sexy and interesting (a little bit quirky) I think I’m proof that the reality of it is a terrifying nightmare. The really shitty part of this whole thing is. I know I’ll have to go through it all over again at some unknown point in the future.” It’s very true.
Mania isn’t some bubbily teenage cheerleader who is in her element in the mall, clothes shopping for some dance she’s been invited to with the hottest guy in school. Mania is me, sitting in bed being excited to clean out underneath my bed; daydreaming about making a little hidey hole like they do in every movie. I’d put every five dollar bill I’d ever receive in there and end up a millionaire. Mania is me sitting here envisioning becoming an overnight internet celebrity in the mental health world because of what I write here. Mania is literally shaking because so many thoughts and ideas are coming into my head that I can’t type right. For others, Mania is a state of mind that tells them that they are a universal being, brought here to connect the universe.
Then, comes the crashing. The horrific downfall from that pedestal into the depths of hell. The point where you don’t even think you’re worth it to kill yourself; that you deserve to suffer in silence because you are the most undeserving piece of shit in existence. Then the knowledge that it’s not over. In a year, month, week, even day, you could begin your ascent all over again. Just to fall. Just to crash in burn.
Two years ago, there was an equal chance at four am you could find me organizing the cupboards and baking cookies that you could find me in the bathroom, crying so hard there were snot bubbles coming out of my nose. Medication helps, somewhat, but in the inbetweens of mania and depression, you’re just…sedated. Not normal. Just…compliantly drugged.
It’s not a quick fix. It’s finding the right medication to help with symptoms, but also doing the work to get yourself from the point of four am cookie baking to four am day dreaming about cleaning underneath the bed. It never will be good. It will only just be better. And that knowledge, is terrifying.
But when you’re manic? You’re never going to come down. You’ll be sky high forever. And, it’s an intoxicating feeling, to where you don’t want to take medication that will sedate you. You want to feel good, forever. Mania says it’s going to be forever. Depression says you’ve always been depressed.
It’s a constant, daily struggle to monitor your moods, actions, behaviors….and for me, normalcy is what I need right now. I need to carry about my day as if my head isn’t in the clouds, and I’m just going to do what I do every day: kids, World of Warcaft, clean the house…the only difference is I will be in a good mood. Hopefully….
When you’re manic, there’s also a little bit of reckless behavior that comes along with it. You can easily speed when driving, some people are more prone to break the law like shoplift, some people have sex with strangers, some people carelessly spend their money.
I just need to keep an eye on myself so that this doesn’t become 2017’s first catastrophe.