Another Manic Moment

I came across another old diary entry from 2009. I keep talking about how I’m not manic, I’m hypomanic. Going back and reading it, I was manic as hell.

Everyone, I give you the manic me:

A week ago my friend did his music video night. The plan beforehand was to go on a bunch of art galleries with a good friend.

I knew I was going to drink but I’d planned to not have too much. I can’t resist red wine (especially free) at art galleries. People just get looser with their money when buzzed, so it sells art. I know my wallet falls open wider with a couple drinks, but I don’t have the money to buy artwork.

My fiancé signed us up to participate in the yard sale they were having in our neighborhood in which all participants had to arrive no later than 7 AM Saturday morning to reserve a space. He told me I could sleep in, but I didn’t want him to be stuck there by himself all day if he had to get water or pee. Plus I wanted to spend time with him and be a part of it.

I knew I’d be out late on Friday but I didn’t want to miss the club night. It’s torture for me to miss social events. Being an extreme extrovert. I almost knocked my stunned psychologist out of her chair when I tipped the scale on that part of Myers-Briggs. ENFJ with the E in bold. Is being a manic extrovert doubly bad? Are manic people just extroverts anyway? So, I thought, if I got 2 hours of sleep, fuck it.

I ended up getting an hour and a half.

Before even getting curling my lashes Friday night I had to weigh my options in my head for my mood stabilizer: do I take the pills before I go out, knowing I may get drunker having just taken them, and my hangover, should I have one, could be amplified the next morning? Or should I wait until I get home, no matter what time it was, and pop the 3 pills at whatever time in the middle of the night? UGH. This happens every time I go out. If I’m at an art gallery, I want those plastic cups filled with cheap Cabernet because it’s there and it’s free. I’m not supposed to because I’m on these mood stabilizers. But I want that wine so I have it anyway.

I’ve skipped a day before and it wasn’t a huge deal. The next dose got me right back on track.

So I put on my 3 inch Dr. Scholl’s heels that say “They Feel Crazy Good” on the bottom, which is an evil lie, and bounded out the front door with no mood stabilizers in my system.

Friday night was a hyper-charged blur. This was me, yelling loudly at a quiet art gallery: “Oh my holy shit! That’s the most amazing piece of artwork I’ve ever seen! I’m just dying over the plexiglass and blood shaped like a flower!” And “This is the coolest art show I’ve ever been to! I have to bring everyone I know to this gallery!” I yelled that about at least 4 galleries. I’m sure I was the loudest person in the room and people were certainly looking at me. Maybe they were staring. It was hard to tell because I couldn’t keep my eyes focused on the same thing or person for too long.

The club was a mass of friends, and non-stop flirting, screaming at the top of my lungs, both to have conversations over the deafening music and to scream “wooh!” while

A: Slapping my friends’ asses
B: Dancing
C: Slapping my friends’ asses while dancing
D: Pretending to be a goofy jackass and doing the chicken dance and waving at strangers

Saturday morning felt like I hadn’t slept at all, but I hopped out of bed and grabbed the book I’m reading right now: Manic: A Memoir (yeah I know, perfect isn’t it?) This book fucking rocks by the way, even if you can’t relate to being manic.

All day at the yard sale I could barely sit still. I ran home to get my new DSLR camera to take pictures of everything and everyone, because it all looked so vivid and beautiful and I just had to have high-quality photos of everything. One woman asked me suspiciously why I was taking photos of her stuff and I got ready to fight, but forced myself to back away. I went on and on to my fiancé for over an hour about “What the hell does she THINK I’m doing? Is she the only person who crochets ugly pink tissue box covers, and she’s afraid I’m taking pictures so I can recreate hers and sell them on eBay?!”

I felt like I was flying my own Concorde jet, breaking the sound barrier and surrounded by adoring fans who all worshipped me and hung on my every word. I struck up conversations with everyone who came to our table, making almost everyone smile and laugh, intriguing them with my witty observations on life in general, why they should pay $100 for my barely-used Mac keyboard, and how amazing it was that we weren’t drowning under a thunderstorm.I started fantasizing (and telling everyone about it who would listen) about what new computer peripherals I’d buy now that I sold my old ones. Only 3 people gave me that “you’re talking too much, too fast and too loud” look and walked away. But in a yard sale situation, it’s OK to be chatty and overly friendly, it makes people feel comfortable and linger at your table. And buy things. I even pulled some Spanish I thought I’d forgotten out of the dusty foreign language vault in my brain and made a sale to a man and his eight year-old kid who spoke no English at all.

The yard sale day was one of those rare days where I experienced all the joys of hypomania, and none of the bad side effects. I wasn’t irritable even though I had a big gulp Coke instead of my usual Café Bustello. I felt amazing. I honestly don’t remember the last time I’ve felt that good. It’s getting tempting to do that again.

I had an epiphany today: since the post office is cutting back on everything and just took away our outgoing blue mailbox, and we have to drive 2 fucking miles to drop off our Netflix movies, and there’s a Blockbuster right next to the post office, Netflix should set up their own pick-up service and adjust their business model before they go out of business. They already pay for postage, and gas is cheap again. It probably wouldn’t cost them more to just drive to us and pick everything up in a designated bin. In these tough times, you have to adjust your business models with the shit that’s going on around you if you want to stay in business. First Blockbuster was the only video store (after buying up all the little mom & pop shops). Then once people realized the Internet isn’t going to swallow your children like a Minotaur, Netflix started taking Blockbuster’s business. But it’s swinging back in the direction of favoring Blockbuster again if Netflix doesn’t get on this and fast. I was only 75% joking when I mentioned to the fiancé that Netflix should hire me as a consultant to adjust their business model to stay in business. They should. I could help them.

Today I also outlined more details for another new business I’m starting, which is a continuation of the last epiphany I had when hypomanic, to start a new business. I have a lot of ideas when I’m hypomanic. I’ve come up with dozens of new business ideas. My mind is super sharp and amped up, filled with all my barely controllable energy. I laid down with the fiancé when he took his 4-hour nap, and was only able to make it 8 minutes before I jumped on my computer and started working on all kinds of new ideas.

I made some friends who were at the yard sale crack up with four new jokes, and I couldn’t stop making jokes about everything and everyone around us, also making myself laugh hysterically (although this is also a result of no sleep too). They were some of the best jokes I’ve come up with in a while. The funniest joke in my opinion was that since everyone in our ‘hood has grills behind their buildings and a lot get stolen, how funny would it be if we rolled every single grill to the yard sale and had a “grill special” and sold them all, while their owners walked up and were like “um, wait a minute…”

I wasn’t hungry all day, and had strawberries for dinner at 11:30 PM. Healthy and a good way to lose a couple of pounds. (I lose weight when I’m manic). So hypomania day was a really rare, wonderful day. However, I didn’t buy anything and I didn’t seem to annoy anyone really. I wasn’t manic. It was the kind of day where I have truly great ideas and observations that other people agree are insightful, implementable and honestly wonderful. I was over-the-top productive and pleasant to be around, and happy. Just so happy.

Nevertheless, I know that’s just one click up as that dangerous roller coaster climbs the hill before speeding down a 90-foot drop.

They say mothers have kids again anyway, because they forget the pain of childbirth. I never forget the pain of true, agonizing depression.

So that night, I took my Trileptal and didn’t drink a drop of alcohol. I took a long hot bath and did yoga to relax my body and mind. I got 8 hours of sleep.

How sad it is that when I’m at my most creative, my most pleasant, my most productive, my most innovative, my most happy, that I have to rejoin everyone else in the realm of “normal.”

But, as painfully disappointing as it is, I have to do it.

As long as I don’t feel too good, I’ll be okay.

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3 years ago

You have Bipolar 2 right? If you have Bipolar 2 you have hypomania. If you’d had a manic episode, you’d be diagnosed as Bipolar 1. It simply isn’t possible to have ‘mania’ with Bipolar 2, only hypomania. I want to get into your writing, but this is misinformation. Most people with mania (Bipolar 1) experience psychosis too, be glad you only have hypomania. Be accurate and truthful with your writing if you want your book to be most successful. All the best.