Mania and Me

Warning: This is not a feel-good post, nor is it a poor me post. This is a real, unedited, unfiltered informational post about mania and my manic experience in general. The important thing to remember is I know the way back with my eyes closed and I am not currently a danger to myself or others.

The first thing that signals the possibility of an emerging manic state is irritation for me. To be clear, humans irritate me about 98% of the time on a good day, so this is another level of irritation. Something that I would typically be able to react to for a moment, then let go becomes something that literally consumes my every thought, emotion and action. I can hold a grudge like a lover leaving for a long voyage, desperately and tightly, every muscle in my body in a death grip. Like a locked jaw on a mad dog, I cannot let go. My logical, Spock-like mind has been hijacked, gagged and bound and locked in a deep hole in a dark place no one can find. I am once again feeling as though the conductor’s chair is unmanned and the train is still running full speed ahead to an abruptly ending track and off the cliff we go…weeeeee! (but that’s much later)

The next thing that happens is a rage that, alongside the fixation, works me into a state where my heart is pounding, my pulse is racing and my thoughts are a cyclone of incomplete thoughts, repeating themes and an overall sense of chaos and loss of control.

Enter the third stage – control. What can I possibly control in this shit storm called my life? One thing and one thing only; what I eat, or don’t eat. I developed this skill growing up and some of you know the backstory, but it is not really important in this particular situation. I will literally starve myself because the powerful illusion of control that it provides is like heroin to a junkie or good sex to a sex addict; a nice tall glass of Scotch for the alcoholic or a crazy good sale with someone paying for it for the shopping addict or all of the above for me. Fill in the blank, you know what I mean.

The next and last step is to shelter and seek help. Whether that means leaving work, placing a call to my psychiatrist, a friend or all of the above. I know where this road goes, I know how the early stages feel like a blessing with more energy, thoughts and ideas flowing like rivers after the thaw, white waters raging powerfully. At some point, I’m not riding the waters, I’m under them. That’s typically when things have gone a bit too far. I like to believe that I am a strong person, but I am no fool. Mania is not a fuzzy, cute kitten that purrs and cuddles; it is an attacking lion, blood thirsty and lethal. Left alone and untreated, it is death; death of sanity, death of reason, of sound mind and spirit.

So, I’m off to call the good doctor, yet again. If I were to say that I am tired of this fight, it would be yet another statement of the obvious. There is no alternative that is a good alternative; wishful thinking and willpower will get me only one thing and that’s dead and/or delusional. Neither one looks good on me, so fight on I will.

Thanks for being there, for accepting me, the good, the bad and the “Oh My God Did She Just Do/Say That?”

Thank you for extending a hand, lending a shoulder and for drawing me out when I wanted to fade to black. I consider myself one of the fortunate ones, like someone who is struck by lightning, not once or twice, but many times and still lives to tell the tale. That’s my silver lining, making lemonade from lemons. It’s never all good or all bad, only more lessons to learn from, more opportunities to adapt, overcome and excel.

For educational information, resources  and/or to get involved, please click on the link below to go to the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) website.

https://www.nami.org/About-NAMI

 

Shameless Plug for The Book

Many of you have read about my Little Brother and of those many, some have actually had the pleasure of knowing him. He is absolutely hands-down the most crazy (in the non-judgmental, strictly used as an adjective, sense of the word) creative people I know. Since he was a little guy, his mind has always fascinated me with how fluid and complete his created characters and worlds were. He used to have these drawings that were truly blueprints for these worlds; every detail thought of, created and made real with pen and paper (yeah, WAY back in the day, just after stone tablets and chisels) I loved the way it was seemingly effortless, more as if he were recalling a memory instead of creating fiction.

Happily for all of us, he has just completed the First Revision on his book, which is currently available on Amazon. The title is “System Seven” by Michael J. Parks. If I had to classify its genre, I would say sci-fi, but there are many elements of other genres also. It’s a lot like my brother – intelligent with a great sense of humor and bursting with energy.

I’ve got it loaded on my magic tablet device, ready to disappear into its world as I make my way to Edinburgh in December. I believe it’ll be as if I take two trips – one to Edinburgh and the other to the future and to a world I couldn’t have dreamed up if I tried and a peek inside the mind of a creative genius, who happens to be my brother.

Reading and escaping are synonymous in my vocabulary. Before I discovered drugs and alcohol, it was my salvation and a balm to the wounded parts of my soul. I could be anyone, anywhere! I could stand beside queens as they are crowned; be the fly on the wall, seeing everything, hearing thoughts of men, honest and ugly or lying and sweet. I could travel to anywhere, visit any time from prehistoric to futuristic. Reading is the ultimate magic carpet ride, at least for me. When all else fails or the day is just too much, a trip to the library and finding The Book That Calls To Me and taking it home and reading it will set things right.

I hope you take the time to check out my brother’s book or any book the next time you have some free time or just want to escape.
It’s good stuff.

http://www.amazon.com/System-Seven-Michael-Parks-ebook/dp/B00P0IPRD2/ref=dp_kinw_strp_1