Last night was rough. Truth told (which is what I do in all aspects of life except for sharing the true quality of my bowel movements and this is entirely relatable to all I’m sure), the staring contest with a bottle of seroquel almost ended with me blinking around 2AM. Make of that metaphor what you will. Instead, I fell asleep next to my uke, my notepad, my Bible, and the shirt Bex wore to the Reel Big Fish gig last February.
As exposition for those who may have skipped a few Thoughtcrimes episodes let me share I’m actively struggling in the aftermath of a two month escalating manic episode. In retrospect it’s simple to recognize the pattern of behavior. I have trouble sleeping. I become very egocentric – I talk endlessly about myself and sometimes won’t listen to others through affected neglegence. I have billions of superb ideas without many ideas coming to fruition. I am beyond impulsive in making chpices. I forget what loving consideration means. I become easily iritated and cynical. I hear simple requests for caring yet dismiss the words blankly.
And towards the end of the cycle, I have a feeling of grandiosity coupled with artificial emotions of neglect and persecution. Literally, a malfunctioning brain is generating false emotions and inconsequential demands. It’s a lie my brain is creating completely independent of asking for my permission first.
It’s not a stretch in the least to ask, “If you know your pattern of behavior with mania, couldn’t you have done something to stop it before it happens?” A fair question with a fair answer:
Really. My everyday habits, rituals, tasks, eating, sleeping, breathing, thinking, praying . . . EVERYTHING I do at all seconds of the day is with my mental wellness in mind and at heart. EVERYTHING is accumulated wisdom, empiricism, and trial & error borne of past depressive, manic, and psychotic episodes. My peer advocacy is centered on sharing my life experiences of what works, what doesn’t work, what did I notice, what do I do now, and what don’t I do now, to help others understand better and to remind myself that diligent effort is crucial . . . and there will always be a new crisis to learn from.
Do you believe telling my mother in a heated argument (I was the only one arguing) that she sucked as a parent and I’m messed up because of her is a choice I was fond of making? My mom dedicated her entire being to my sister and me, in most part because she is the kindest, most caring, and most genuine person ever to grace our universe, and in large part because she lost both of her parents before she was even one year old. Family was everything to her. And in a manic rage I told her she failed. Nice, yes? So, does it make sense I would allow this to happen if I could have stopped it?
Does it make sense that I would allow myself to neglect Bex and make completely ludicrous demands of her whilst berating her for being neglectful and uncaring? Totally bogus. Particularly if I could have stopped it two months ago before bruising – if not breaking – the most wonderful romantic endeavor I’ve experienced since Natalie decades ago in high school? If I could have cut this off two months ago before firing off a trillion hurtful, irrational, and untrue texts . . . would I have not done so? Or, is the best solution to allow the symptoms to escalate to where now I’ve crashed after cracking and I’ve descended into severe clinical depression? Who would choose to avoid clinical depression? That’s just plain crazy talk spoken in a weird moonman language by weird moonmen unaware of psychtropic medications that would reduce their weirdness quota.
Look, I’ve ridden this pony for 30 years now, 12 of these years undiagnosed and untreated. I’ve gathered sequoia-thickets reams of documentaion for my WRAP. I’ve worked with the same med manager and same counselor for seven years. I take my medications properly and responsibly, I eat right, sleep right, exercise to an unwiedly degree, work, advocate for peers (which is my work), given scores of public mental health presentations (which is also my work), I’ve mended countless important relationships and destroyed even more. Through all this, wisdom and experience is at the fore specifically to avoid mental health crisis.
So when asking me if I know my pattern of behavior shouldn’t I have stopped this from happening, let me ask you, if you have this extent of effective reality coupled with an acumen for divine soothsaying and you had the preemptive solution to stave off destructive manic episodes for one and all, wouldn’t you have published a book entitled:
I know not of the existence of this book so either you do not know a mythical solution to help dudes like me who live daily with the hope of never again falling into manic crisis, or you simply don’t like bags of money.
All said, in terms of manic episode awareness, my WRAP and other tools broke through my fallacy-riddled and mania-infiltrated mind and this awareness allowed me to create the perfect fool-proof solution to stop me from sending even more horrible, painful texts to Bex. Texts I can never take back and hurt I can never undo. The solution?
And, if done properly, you can get the phone to skip like a small, flat river rock. My Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime skipped five times. Beat that, Pepe.
Last night was rough. I’ll tell you, blogging here at Thoughtcrimes has gotten me through many touch-and-go moments. Blogging is in my WRAP.
And I’ll also tell you, I’m incredibly proud of myself for recognizing the severe manic symptoms through the thick fumes of false emotions and polluted rationality produced by said symptoms. This is a first and it’s testament to the incredibly exhausting work I tackle every second to stave off a manic crisis. Next time – and there will be a next time whether I want it or not – I’ll have this wisdom in the WRAP tool chest to draw upon.
Two fun observations to close out on.
1.) The manic symptoms and behaviors I experience are very similar to the personality disorders narcisstic and borderline. If there is a fortunate consideration to be had, I’m so thankful bipolar disorder is receptive to psych meds.
2.) A lass at SUTS peer support group Tuesday night offered, “Couldn’t you just give your phone to a friend and gotten it back when you were feeling better? What you did makes no sense.”