I have been in a period of extended mania that has recently tipped over from acute to chronic. It has been a dreadful experience. I’ve had too much energy, not enough decent food (some weeks I seem to have lived on chocolate and crisps) and lots of half done things in lots of very dusty places. I have, and I really never thought I’d say this, longed to be depressed.
I have had around 8 months of relentless optimism and a smile fixed permanently on my face. I have been able to only see the good and positive around me and it has been bloody awful. It has removed what little sense of empathy I have and, far from making me more outgoing and sociable, it has increased my desire to be more of a hermit. I have to be a hermit because you lot are so far beneath me I can’t possibly mix with people who are so obviously fools – grandiosity rules unfortunately.
The closest thing I’ve had to a mood swing for months has been a dip in energy and a temporary one at that. There has been no insomnia because I’ve been too tired to stay awake and the mania has been useful energy. I haven’t been off the scale (well not often) just boringly energised in mind and body. I’ve been irritable of course and argumentative because that’s what I do when I’m manic (all those fools I don’t suffer gladly) and I’ve enjoyed ripping into people – that lack of empathy is a problem.
This morning I woke up with a distinct feeling of being down in mood as opposed to a loss of energy. For the first time in a few years I have felt the need to self harm and that need isn’t passing as the day goes on. I’ve been crying those tears that aren’t sobbing, aren’t healing, aren’t helpful – they simply roll down your face unbidden. Today I’m not feeling an awful lot of anything and there’s some suicidal ideation. The depression that I have longed to feel for so many months may be back and I want it gone now.
I have no doubt I will be given advice by people who don’t know me, have no idea of what mania is or what depression is and have no idea how much energy it takes to be polite when responding to them. If I want advice then I ask the people closest to me (one of whom is a well qualified doctor), if I want support then I talk, once again, to those closest to me and gratefully accept the level of support that they can give me. If they’re in a position where support isn’t something they can give me then that’s more than ok. If I feel that I’m going to seriously harm myself then I invoke Lasting Power of Attorney and let the two attorneys take over my life for a while. I will look after my animals (yes I am capable of doing that, no I don’t want to foster them out until I am miraculously cured), I will walk and I will, where possible, eat decent food.
I will probably survive this. The disturbing thing for me is that my energy levels and my mood are coinciding at the point where suicidal thoughts can become actual desires but I will make that clear to the people that count and can help. I am more likely to survive it than not, though my inability to concentrate may mean that I walk into a bus and then, hey ho, no Sid.
Mood changes, mood swings, instability, insecurity – all part of my life and I cannot remember a time when it was any different. My normal is abnormal and I hate it but I have no idea how I would cope if it was all waved away with a magic wand.