a day in the life: mind over mania

“You know how most illnesses have symptoms you can recognize? Well, with manic depression, it’s sexual promiscuity, excessive spending, and substance abuse—and that just sounds like a fantastic weekend in Vegas to me!”

– Carrie Fisher

It seems the older I get the less I enjoy the mania. At one point in my life, though, I would have clung to it up until it completely fizzled out, but not anymore. The mania…well, whatever being or entity is in control of things can just keep it.

“Mind over mania.” It’s almost an oxymoron of a mantra as there is no such thing. At least not for me. When in the full throes of a severe manic episode I have control over none of my mental or cognitive faculties. When manic, I exist only on an island of delusions.

It is nice to be able to look back and reflect on a period of mania and have a true perspective on things. That’s not always the case, and the lines between awareness and disregard can become pretty blurred at times.

When I usually try and look back on how a manic phase has affected me and/or those around me, I always end back up to the “bullet points”. I love the “bullet points” just about as much as I love the lists of “coping skills”. I know. I sound pretty cynical and bitter, but I’m not meaning to. The clarity genuinely makes some past chaos all the more meaningful.

Looking back on a period of mania without the type of clarity I’m trying to describe is like trying to look through a dirty window into another: you can get the gist of what’s going on, but as a whole it’s never really quite clear.

So, today I hope to remain productively reflective for as long as I possibly can. If “first thought” really is “best thought” then I’m going to go ahead and stop now.

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