I remember waking up one day feeling really happy. I had so much energy. Excited for my day to start I got up and immediately started cleaning everything. Music was playing in the background as I got so involved in my cleaning that I broke out a toothbrush and started cleaning the itty bitty nooks and crannies. My husband came into the room. Seeing me knee deep in cleaning with my curly hair frizzing out he immediately got my attention. “Are you manic?”, he asked. I felt like he sucker punched me in the gut. He was right. I was manic. I was frustrated to be called out. I just wanted to enjoy the feeling of elation.
To live in that place of high energy, quick thinking, and endless ideas. Once my husband pointed out that I was indeed manic I decided to use those tactics I learned in therapy. I put my phone away to keep me from buying things, posting to social media, or calling people. I focused on cleaning for the rest of the day. That episode only lasted the day but what a day it was. The hard part about mania is that it is intoxicating. It’s addicting. I enjoyed manic episodes to a point. The feeling of invincibility, genius, passion, and excitement.
What’s the harm in mania after all? Well, I made so many terrible decisions while manic. I spent money like it was an infinite source. Speeding was something I enjoyed and because I felt invincible I “just knew” I could get away with it. I would drink, a lot. I was the life of the party! I never considered the consequences of my actions. Instead I just did what felt good at the time. When the episode passed I would recollect with deep regret and sadness what I did while manic. Sometimes, I wouldn’t remember all the things I had done until people would tell me about them. I was ashamed of myself. That is the hard part of mania. A lot of people like it. Why would you seek treatment for something that can make you feel so good? Because, with the good comes the bad. The results of those actions. The depressive episodes. People telling you about things you have done. The shame. There is hope though. Seeking help, finding the right providers, and getting that medication cocktail just right. What works varies from person to person, truly.
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