Saturday, March 3, 2012

Mania, My own anti-drug

Today, I had someone point out to me that I seem to have a lot of time on my hands. They were wondering just how I manage that. If there was an easier way to put this I would. I have very little time on my hands actually because I have figured, quite purposely, how to fill it all up. I am way behind on so many things that I’ve intended to do, that it would be embarrassing to try to explain the whys and wherefore’s of it.
I am a real manic. I was diagnosed a couple years ago and, depending on who’s looking, have tried various treatments. Of course, I’ve tried many medications. The trouble with medications is that the very same things in my head that drive me to the brink of insanity, are the same things that make me well; LeRoi So medications have not been a favorite way to treat the problem as far as I’m concerned.
Therapy is a useful tool that I personally believe would help anybody, in one way or another. Shit, an opportunity to vent and whine and snivel and bitch to a professional listener that is sworn, by law, to keep to himself. Come on, that’s a gem of a plan, isn’t it? Trouble there is that if an individual has been in therapy for most of their life, either by force or by choice, or both, the effectiveness it will have on full blown mania is limited. I guess it’s an opportunity for a medical professional to see, first hand, the manic in action. Otherwise I don’t see the benefit.
Throw in the little fact that sometimes (this will shock you) I think I know it all and it is a difficult situation, not just for me, but anyone having to deal with me in any way. I actually think, because of the nature of the mania itself, that it is less difficult for me than those around me.
Hell when I’m on, I’m fantastic, I’m unstoppable, I can see the future, read minds, see through walls, and I love it. Those closest to me are exhausted, spent, and at a loss as to what to do about it.
Fortunately, over the last couple of years, I and some experts have come up with a set of rules with which I can live life pretty normally. If I remember to remember. I can minimize the damage, so to speak.
I will try to put into words, so as to be understood, exactly what this plan of action is.
1.The first part of mania is an uncommon amount of energy. The motor doesn’t slow down for sometimes weeks at a time. That is not to say that I stay awake or continue running long after the race. That’s part of it but it can be more subtle than that. I mean that there is nothing that can hinder my outlandish plans, my super-abilities. I wake up feeling like I need to win a war, not fight a war, win it. I believe that I’m all but invincible. That is what it feels like anyway. I can work harder, run farther, swim faster than anyone has ever done.
The problem with that folks is I can’t. There are no wars waiting for me to win. No worlds to conquer, no oceans for me to swim. So then, I’m left with all this energy, all this adrenaline, and nothing reasonable to do with it. See the possibilities? A guy could get himself in a mess of trouble with that.
2. So my plan of action is, in fact, a plan of action. I stay busy, I plan to be busy. I have to schedule all my time up as far as possible in the future so as not be left with a lot of time on my hands. I have to work, I have to write.
I have to help anybody I know who is moving, to move. I have to exercise, I have to stay active with something all the time. I am not willing to commit to a lifetime of taking medications that make me less than I can be. I’d rather be nuts.
Therefore, I have learned to fill that time up with activities, of damn near any kind. In a perfect world, those activities will be of a sort that interest me, that keep me happy and interested. But we do not live in a perfect world, sometimes I still struggle.
I believe I am getting better and will continue to do so. My life stays full, even when it seems I’m screwing’ off, there is a part of screwing off that is essential to my stability.
The most important thing I’ve learned to do, to expend this energy is just what I’m doing now. Writing, knowing full well that someone is gonna read it. It’s huge, it’s a lifeline for me. Sound a bit dramatic? Maybe I’m putting’ too much on it? No way, it has become the most important, nonessential part of my life. I’m writing here for an audience. I’m editing for the umpteenth time a novel.
I have become less manic, because of the writing, mostly. I am not cured and I am not suggesting anyone else refuse medication. That would be arrogant even for me. However, combine this with a daily dose of physical exertion of some kind, and I am usually tired at the end of a day. I still don’t sleep all night hardly ever but then again, I’ve been known to sleep a couple days away. That is the nature of it. The difference is, I used to wake up at three to pace and smoke, and talk to myself. Now, I just do this mostly. I write whatever comes to mind, I read those blogs of others with whom I’ve become acquainted, I comment on those, I flirt, and I laugh, and I surf a little on the cyber waters, and I am a fuller, easier going, human being.


This is exactly what I try very hard to do, each of these tips. It is not easy and requires practice. This is just one of the things that...