As close as I can figure, I was up for 20 hours “yesterday.” I went to my counseling appointment, made a list of all the things I need to do to start dealing with the “aftermath,” as I am calling it, of those lost 10 days, went to my parent’s house and pulled up my Double Delight rose, transplanted it into a pot on my porch along with some pink clematis, and generally felt like I was doing pretty good. I also got most of the trash out of the house.
Obviously, I am ramping up for a manic cycle (if not technically in one right now). But I am having a hard time thinking of that as a bad thing. I am actually relieved. I have lots of things to do, and I need some get up and go.
Granted, the get up and go also tends to wander off and get distracted (in the time it’s taken me to write the above two paragraphs I’ve also played a few Facebook games, said good morning to unsurprisingly grumpy trash collectors, retrieved my trash can, hung a hanging basket, chased the kittens around the porch, put more soil on the rose/clematis, and watered some of the garden). And the not being able to focus long enough to really eat is bad for my hypoglycemia but good on the budget.
I understand that predicting cycles can head off calamity; i.e., knowing when I am about to become suicidal is a good thing to head off, but is knowing a manic cycle is imminent a calamity waiting to happen? My answer: Depends.
Granted, during my last two manic cycles I spent a grand total of about $1,500, and though that was not the greatest, I can’t really be too hard on myself. I struggle a great deal when I am down, and the ups are rewarding in their way. Ok, that was classic justification, but what the hell? I had fun and didn’t get evicted after all.
What are the other pitfalls of mania? Unprotected sex is a continuing issue I’ve faced in the past, but given my geographical location (i.e., not a large population of lesbians or bi-sexual men), travel issues (no money for gas + dizzy spells), and the fact that I have worked REALLY hard to have some sense of taste when it comes to who I fuck, I don’t really see that as much of an issue.
I don’t think I ever could endanger the lives of my cats, no matter how bad I get. Bad driving? Sure. Going into the 10-day confusion zone, I hit two cars (no damage), but since the social anxiety is still pretty heavy, I don’t see myself going wild outside.
So I waste a few days playing video games and watching TV. Who cares? So I rearranging the furniture in my apartment and throw away a ton of trash. That’s a good thing, isn’t it? Even if it is some nicer stuff, or I break some shit, still not the end of the world. Or I might finish a short story or actually dive into that novel project I’ve been nursing. I would put that down as a positive, even though the chances of that happening have been practically zero since the Cymbalta (curse you, fibromyalgia!)
My days of delusional thinking about how I was going to change the world are fewer and farther between, and while I still get that sense of my life seeping out of my hands as I do something pointless and shallow, I am trying not to pay too much attention to it.
Looking back, I think I was actually mostly manic all through college. I would have really bad crashes, but with the flexible class schedule and very understanding supervisors at the library, I was able to get through fairly ok. The delusions started even before college, though the collegiate environment is a fertile ground for delusions of grandeur.
I remember feeling so very different as a child. I was the only one in my immediate family born outside of the month of October. Since I was the only child born in a hospital, I would fantasize about being switched at birth. Until I was in my teens! (I still secretly wish I was the confirmed result of an affair).
I remember meeting a distant cousin once when I was 10 or so, and she asked me if I wanted to study medicine (after I’d rattled off some fact I’d recently read). I told her no, but she replied, “Well, I know you are going to do something special. I can sense that about you.”
That off-handed and potentially insincere comment stuck with me, gentle puffing up my ego. By the time I hit college, I was utterly convinced I could not only accomplish but succeed at anything I “put my mind to.”
During my college career and even as recently as when I was working at the theatre, I tackled projects with a fever that intimidated the hell out of many people. I have a lot of cool things under my belt. But my days of working miracles are most certainly past. I don’t know if it is age, the fibro, or the Cymbalta (or their powers combined), but my magic wand is as limp as a, well, you get the idea.
I still have people tell me things that tend to inflate my Jesus complex from time to time, and my college roommate is my personal cheerleader to keep those delusions alive. But something about after college and my time living in New Orléans, and those delusions started to evaporate.
I was fired up again when I first started seriously studying poetry. But this time the fire didn’t last long. I still want to figure out how to not close the door on an MFA forever, but that is not my first concern in dealing with the aftermath.
Assignment number one today is calling the travel insurance and seeing if there is a chance in hell I can get my $900 for the airline ticket back.
Assignment number two is the write all my appointments in my appointment book and see if I’ve double booked myself.
And that is all I am scheduling, because I want to feel good about what I do accomplish.
In the time I spent revising this, I logged into Moodscope to chart my mood. It is interesting to note that on June 4, I tracked myself at 01% and that is when I wrote that I was not sure I’d found bottom. I definitely went down from there into the minus numbers.
97% and the top of the mountain is still straight ahead!