I’ve been thinking about the different elements that make up my mania and despite writing 3 books on the subject, I still have more to say.
My mania has many elements;
• Fixating and obsessing – I become totally obsessed with one thing and must complete the task or finish the story. Just before being hospitalised for the second time I was on a holiday in the Central Coast with my then boyfriend. He was fed up with my nonsense and had left me to wonder the streets. Alone. My tongue ring had come undone and I was desperate to get it back where it belonged. It was 6am, so I sat outside a piercing and tattoo parlour until it opened at 9am. The first guy to arrive was only a tattoo artist and said I could wait out back with him until the piercer/owner arrived in an hour. When the owner arrived, he was furious that I was out the back hanging around and he kicked me out of the shop. I begged and pleaded to stay just long enough for him to fix my tongue ring but he said I needed an appointment and had to go. I tried to make an appointment but he wouldn’t let me. I sat out the front for another few hours and asked some tweens to help me, I asked them to get me an appointment in exchange for $20 each. Of course, they took the money and ran. After lunch time the owner took pity and put my tongue ring back in my mouth and sent me on my way. Job done. Onto next crazy.
Looking back there were so many alternatives. Leave tongue ring out, go to another tattoo/piercing place, etc, but no, I was determined and obsessed with finishing what I had started.
• Shopping – So much money gone during manic phases. JB Hi-Fi knows my coffee order (well cyber address), I have spent hundreds of dollars on DVSs during my mania. Oh, and Ebay. So many shmonses (shit you don’t need). Thousands of dollars of rubbish.
• Prepping for the worst – At the beginning of my manic episodes I would always make my way to a chemist and buy bandages, walking sticks, ointments and anything I felt I needed to survive. Maybe because I always hurt myself on manic adventures. Maybe my subconscious preparing for what lies ahead. I am grateful now though, I have an endless supply of medical dressings and such so I can play nurse when I or the parentals get hurt.
• Feeling superior – not in the way that I feel like I’m better than everyone else, just that I feel I can cure the world. That I am a prophet here to save everyone. That I can do things to change everything. That I alone can help everyone else with any problem.
• No need for sleep – who needs sleep when you are manic? No time for that shit. Too many things to do, too many adventures to have, too many stories to tell, too many chapters to write, too much fun to be had. Sleep is not necessary. Total waste of time.
• Creativity peaks – the colours swirl and are so bright. I know every colour and every shade. I dream in colour and could paint my dreams. Vivid, amazing and colourful my paintings were. I could write chapters and chapters, and a kids book and a fairy-tale and a fantasy novelette for dad and letters to my future pen pals across the world. I would have ideas for movies and write scripts in one sitting. I would cook new dishes every meal. I would re-watch my favourite movies over and over again and pick up every detail in the background and the colours of people’s clothes and hair and eyes.
• Sex is fun – BiPolarians and scorpions alike are meant to be over sexed beings. I am not. But when I’m manic it can seem like I might be. But I am not. The best thing I never did was unprotected sex. Can you imagine me with 10 kids and possibly AIDS?
• I am free – no-one can stop me or tell me what to do. There are no laws or rules or “normal”. There is just me and the world is open and ready for the wild me to spread my wings and fly. There is no future, there was no past, there is just now, right now!
• Time means nothing – because I don’t sleep. I have no idea what time it is, so sending a text at 4am to a friend is totally okay. Because what is time really?
• Money is irrelevant – like with the shopping, money doesn’t occur to me. I book a holiday on a whim, shop til I drop (which I never do). I spend all the money in my account or give it away. The best thing I never did was get a credit card. I would be in so much debt.
• No fear of death – I felt so alive, more than I ever have, when I was manic. The reason is I had no fear of death. Fear stops us from doing things that could be amazing but are too scary. Travel overseas alone, check. Skydiving, check. Dive into a dark creepy river at pitch black midnight, check. Climb a tall building in your PJ’s just to see the view, check. Hook up with random men that could be serial killers, check. Walked from the City to Bondi alone wearing a ‘come hither’ skirt, check. Climb into our bathroom window, check. Swim at Redleaf at 2am, check. Steal a car, no sorry I may have been crazy, but I was never stupid, no matter what my brain says, I’m not stupid.
• Keep up – I talk so fast and jump from topic to topic. I don’t take a breath between topics and won’t let anyone interrupt and then can’t understand why people can’t keep up.