A friend gave me one of the best descriptions of mania and depression. Whether or not a person has had any experience with bi-polar disorder, they will be able to understand what it feels like. I was so impressed, that I asked if I could blog it. They gave me their permission to publish this description. Of course, any personal information has been removed or changed.
I was riding the manic tsunami for months and finally washed up in February. If mania is a tidal wave, “normal” is a pool, and depression is going down the drain.
Well, the pool is pretty boring after the adrenaline rush of the tsunami and I was grieving a little for my mania. Although mania is hard to handle, you have no choice but to go with it. Normal requires a lot of effort, concentration, discipline, organization – these things are as difficult to find after a mania as personal belongings in storm debris.
So, I’ve been “managing” for a little while, sometimes struggling. Normal feels like being stuck moving in slow motion, wading in deep water. It, too, is tiring.
“Mixed” is very precarious and where I am now. It took a great deal of effort to finally get out of bed. I’ve been, sort of, mentally paralyzed today. Once I did get up, I got stuck in the newspaper. I finally showered – it was noon. The only thing I accomplished today was laundry and filling up bird feeders. It was all robotic – no joy or awe in it, just going through the motions. I tried playing with my animals, but none of us could focus. Some wouldn’t have anything to do with me. I wonder if they can smell unstable?
I saw a news story about a flight attendant who had a breakdown on a plane. The passengers all recorded it and the screams echoed in my soul. The attendant was experiencing a manic episode and did not take her lithium that day. Sanity is so precarious – balancing on the tip of a needle. Skip your meds one day and you lose it. It would be easier to be sick in body – no one questions it.
I am awake but not alert. I don’t feel sharp. I feel tired but cannot rest, hungry but indecisive about eating, contemplative and frustrated. It is a beautiful day, but I feel stuck in the house. There is no reason to be stuck inside except for my own immobility. The cool breeze overwhelms me, and thinking about it makes me tired.
I want to go to bed, cover my head and wait for this feeling to go away.