Mania and Destruction

I saw my doctor today. While I was there I expressed to him my desire to become manic again. I miss it, even though my last mania was truly horrible, I still miss it. I miss the extreme amounts of energy, the floods of thoughts and ideas, the way everything seems so bright. I miss the confidence and determination to do things. After I told all of this to my doctor he made sure to warn me against trying to become manic, he warned me against stopping my medication. He made sure to remind me that not all manias are good manias and that they often leave a trail of destruction behind them. The last time I was manic was a very good example of that.

The last time I was manic it started innocently enough. It was right after my ECT (at least it fixed up my depression, right?). I started to spend a lot of money, I got a credit increase on mine and my husbands credit cards. Then the anger and irritability started to show itself. I would snap at my husband so often, and over nothing. I was always irritated or angry about something. My poor husband had to bear the brunt of it. Sometimes I wonder why he didn’t leave. I was cruel. Eventually the mania got psychotic and I thought that I was living in some kind of matrix, I had lost touch with reality. That’s when I went to hospital. So there, there’s a very good example of a particularly bad mania for me.

To me a good mania is an upbeat mania. One where I feel euphoric, one where I have super amounts of energy. The type of mania where I want to go out and be social, when where I do well at work, at least until I crash anyway. A mania where I’m productive to a certain length. I wrote a fair amount of my book while I was manic. I always write more when I’m manic because of the floods of thoughts going through my head. But this type of mania still, is not recommended.

I have two to four major manic episodes per year and what do I have to show for it? Mostly debt and destruction. I have thousands of dollars in credit card debt that I left in the US (yes, I’m still paying it even though I left, I’m being responsible). My husband won’t let me get another credit card because he knows I’ll eventually do the same thing here. I also have a laundry list of hobbies that I started and then abruptly stopped. Some of those hobbies included German, French, Sign Language, violin, obsessively knitting, collecting books and stationary, coloring, interest in various religions (I’m actually an atheist). And I didn’t just pick up these hobbies casually, I would become unhealthily obsessed with them. Right until I, out of nowhere, would have enough and move onto the next hobby without looking back. One of my manic episodes also triggered an eating disorder. I became absolutely obsessed with my weight. I weighed myself around a 100 times a day (no, that’s not an exaggeration), I abused diet pills, diuretics, and laxatives, I ran 3-5 miles every night, I tried to purge, I binged and restricted. I’m still in recovery.

As you can see, mania can be pretty destructive. No matter how good it might feel, for me, mania is rarely a good thing. I’m always left with a trail of broken pieces to pick up when I’m done. Whether it was a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ mania. My doctor was absolutely right to warn me off of trying to become manic. It just seems so appealing when you’re down.

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