Inside a Manic Episode

I am manic. Right now. Here’s how it feels to be fully aware that you are not in your right mind while you have all the energy, all the let’s go let’s go, do it all now, the bigger the better.

The self-awareness turns the onslaught of thoughts into a buzzing, a loud cicada-type buzzing, of insecurity. Any decision I make will be wrong. Any action I take will lead to my ruin.

Yes, I did take my medication. Thanks for insinuating that I’m an idiot as well as a totally chaotic waste of resources. Well, I took everything that doesn’t knock me out and make me a fucking mindless drooling waste of resources.

Physically my heart is tight. I’d take my blood pressure but I don’t have the patience.  It’s fast, ok. Really fucking fast. I can feel the tension in individual muscles in my back.

So I look up “dealing with mania.” I look up “coping with manic episode.”

Talk to your caregivers, your psychiatrist or therapist: It’s Saturday. The office is closed. I’m not going to mess with the answering service trying to get ahold of them if it isn’t a total emergency. I’m home. I’m safe. If someone would disconnect the frickin internet, I’d be peachy.

Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and other nonprescription drugs: Fine.

Follow a schedule: As if.

Sleep through the night: I would love to.

Don’t make any big decisions: Dear God, I am trying. I am trying not to do anything permanent, while all I want to do is be online; post on social media; bring my latest work, ready or not, into the world. Not true, that’s not all I want to do. I also want to punch something.

On top of this, or behind it, or wherever the fuck it is, is the fact that I know there’s something really wrong. My medication obviously isn’t working. I am not “fixed.” I am not a responsible member of society and therefore (I jump to the conclusion that) I should withdraw from all of my obligations until I get my shit sorted.

The will power not to act on these impulses—(1) to do everything now and (2) to abandon everything—is limited. I fight and fight. I distract myself with Netflix and baking and walking and stupid games on my phone. And then, before I even know what I’m doing, I’ve done it. Whatever it is. Because the impulses never go away. They just sit there gnawing at me with their giant Rats of NIMH teeth.

Inevitably the action is followed by the regret and the crying, not so much because of what I’ve done but because I feel out of control. Because I can’t trust myself.

So, to prevent escalation, I’m going to go take the heavy duty zombie shit. The internet says if I do this, I can expect the episode to subside within 72 hours.  Until then,

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