(In this post I am going to use the word mania to mean both mania and hypomania. Because it is easier but also because of what I ramble about in the post linked here.)
(Also if it is baffling to you that mania is ever good read this post about glorious hypomania.)
Letting go of our mania
Another part of being Bipolar.
This doesn’t apply to all of us. Some of us never ever experience a good mania. Therefore, it is a no brainer that mania is not worth it. Bye bye.
There are people whose manias have been so terrible and so destructive that this post will mean nothing to them.
But for others of us. It can be hard to give it up.
Or easy to give up
Hard to get over
Whether we lose it because of committing to meds or because the progression of the disorder has rendered it hideous not glorious.
We still have to face
Saying goodbye to mania
because in Bipolar all of the good is tied to all of the bad
NonBipolars may look on in frustrated confusion. Why on earth would a person actually want something that leads to so much destruction?
It’s called a high
Bipolars aren’t the only people who are willing to endure a down for an up
People who abuse substances do the same
And even your typical partying Joes and Janes happily trade a night of high for a day or more of feeling like shit.
Bipolars aren’t weird in this way
It is a human thing
We get there though
Lots of us get there
Where we decide we want to delete it. At least try.
However it happens
Our mania changes to mostly bad
We have children
We hit bottom and realize we actually don’t have control
We realize we are hurting someone
And it becomes crucial to us that we give up the mania.
I’m going to quote a Taylor Swift song here. Yes, seriously, I am going to quote Taylor Swift on my Bipolar blog.
A line in her song, Clean, goes
“10 months sober and I must admit, just because you’re clean don’t mean you don’t miss it.”……
Why is it hard to get over?
Many of us have had a relationship with it for practically our whole lives.
Many of us didn’t realize it was a problem for most of that time.
Many of us spent forever thinking that the manic or hypomanic us was the REAL us.
We thought that what we now know was mania…….
was our best self
our best time.
The time when we were finally getting our lives together.
The time when we were on a roll finding ourselves and understanding everything
and just finally being….
and perhaps saddest of all
We may have thought that those hypomanic times meant that we had…
Because then upon diagnosis we experience this huge mindfuck…
“WaywaywaywayWAIT! Do you mean what I thought of as my NORMAL…..what I thought was my BEST AND TRUEST SELF was…
Just the byproduct ….
of a fucked up brain?”
We have to wrap our heads around the fact that it is “wrong”.
Then there is the realization that life is not as exciting as we thought it was.
“Okay so that’s not normal, then what is?”
And most of us upon dx literally have no idea what our “normal” feels like.
Whether we forgot or can’t access it in our cycling brain,
And then they give us the meds and it is very likely that the meds make us feel like crap…dull…flattened
And we think
THIS is what I am SUPPOSED to feel like
This shit sucks
And then we say….
STABLE IS BORING!
It is probably crappy meds but we are still faced with this new reality that Mania is off the menu and everything else tastes like cigarette ash.
We gaze around incredulously at our nonbipolar friends. It is like we just realized that normal people don’t know that there is a sky.
We say…”How can you be happy not ever seeing the sky???”
They stare back at us with a vacant grin, “What sky?”
We can’t contain our frustration and disappointment and gesture spastically upwards “THE SKY. This whole big Sky up there!!!!”
They gaze patronizingly back with a look that says ..”oh yeah I remember, you are crazy.”
We all experience this stuff differently…
But I think it may just be possible to take some of what we learned in our manias and allow it to give our lives a little magic.
We have seen and felt and known things the normies never will.
Just because we don’t want to experience anymore Mania does not mean that we have to renounce and scorn it.
We are free to acknowledge its magic and be grateful for the gifts it has given us
That we will never see life in the same way the normies do
Because we got to have it.
When all you have known is cycling then…
Or cycling less
Or feeling bored and dull
Can feel like leaving home
Leaving behind what was familiar
It may have not been healthy, it may have been awful sometimes but it was what we knew.
Like a child being removed from an abusive home situation and put into foster care.
For sure, it is safer. But it is still a huge adjustment. The child doesn’t necessarily feel better at first.
One of the saddest parts of the commitment to give up mania is that in the trying to stay away and be aware of incoming Mania…
We become afraid
Because we don’t know where it will lead….
And that is a pretty sad thing
Mania can be like a drug that we were addicted too
We give it up to save our lives
We learn to see the beauty of stability
We realize it is better this way and we WANT it this way
But you’re not crazy or bad or wrong or ungrateful or self destructive for missing your mania.
It is normal
“Just because you’re clean don’t mean you don’t miss it”
But remember the sky.
I won’t tell anyone