Tag Archives: Manic

Why Are Manic Episodes So Chaotic?

(CC BY-SA 3.0) Phunk Studio

(CC BY-SA 3.0) Phunk Studio

If you’ve lived anywhere other than under a rock, you’ve likely heard horror stories of folks with Bipolar Disorder. Thankfully, they aren’t all true for everyone, and many are exaggerated. Each person with Bipolar Disorder has their own subset of symptoms and can’t be compared with each other. The most inconvenient manic trait I deal with is starting projects that I don’t complete. My to-do list ends up being extraordinarily long, as I begin project after project. But why? It’s simple enough. I feel compelled to become happy.

It always starts with the need to do something enjoyable. Crafts, video games, puzzles, and music are the high points. Crafts is the hardest, though. I will start a new project, perhaps a bracelet, blanket, or even a pillow. My manic mind is full of great ideas. They really are great, too. It’s not a matter of delusions. Rather, it’s a matter of enthusiastic optimism.

The problem comes in the finishing of the project. See, the manic mind feels compelled to seek further happiness. I could be listening to music, making a beautiful piece of art, totally happy. But it’s not enough. The longer the project takes me, the more likely that I’ll have another great idea, and start another project.

And that’s where the chaos comes from. My manic mind makes excuses for minor messes, even as they pile on. I have no qualms shelving a project, because I know I will come back to it. At least, that’s what my brain says. My desk becomes covered in projects I’m working on, and my pile of unfinished crafts grows.

Are there ways to make things less chaotic? Absolutely. The hardest, but most effective method is to limit myself to one project at a time. I make smaller things, so I can move on when it’s time. I also hold myself to a standard of minimum clutter. If things get too messy, I’m not allowed to start the next project until I’ve tidied and cleaned.

I also talk to Jenny about what I’m doing, and my plans for my project(s). Even taking five minutes to explain can save a lot of trouble. Jenny’s really good at poking holes in a plan, which means I’m much more prepared for trouble if/when it comes. Planning the project thoroughly means that I run into fewer complications that might make the project less fun. Also, it helps me realize when my plan is a little unrealistic.

Each person has to figure out what works for them, of course. Lists, companions, conversation, self-discipline, even meditation: These things all make my life less chaotic. Think about what helps you, and feel free to comment. Maybe you’ve got a nugget or two for me, too?

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The Manic Voice

Image in the public domain.

Image in the public domain.

Jenny gets me. Like, totally. Jenny totally gets me. God, that sounds dumb the more I say it, but I don’t know how else to get the point across: Jenny understands the freaking weirdo who types these words better than anyone should know anyone, regardless of relationship. Case in point? Apparently, she can hear my “Manic Voice”. That’s a big deal, people.

The Manic Voice is the part of my head that fills in the gaps. Let’s say I know ABCEFG about a subject. My brain is really good at adding the “D” in there.  There are a lot of little factors that go into the “D” factor. Here’s list:

  • My knowledge of the general subject.
  • My perceived knowledge of the general subject.
  • My knowledge of similar topics.
  • The number of times I’ve discussed this topic before.
  • The number of people I’ve discussed this, and similar topics, with.
  • The level of my mania.
  • The level of my anxiety.
  • My self-esteem that in that moment.

Jenny, the miracle of a person she is, has learned to hear something in my voice that indicates that the Manic Voice has joined the conversation. Sometimes, I’m right, sometimes, I’m wrong. Always, Jenny is willing to chime in.

I discussed this with my new case worker today, and she told me to tell Jenny that she is a miracle. I have to agree. Jenny is my reality check, and that makes my life just about perfect. Except, you know, when it’s not. Whatever.

Now, I bring all this up, because I have learned to retro-actively apply a filter to some conversations and situations in which my Manic Voice was doing the talking. It’s been eye opening, and is kind of fun, dissecting my life in a whole new way. I might learn some new stuff about myself. I might even remember to tell you about it.

How novel.

What a Day!

Photo: Rory

Photo: Rory

Yesterday was our 1 year anniversary, so Jenny and I went to Flagstaff, AZ, to have brunch at Little America Hotel. We then enjoyed a scenic drive home, and enjoyed the little fall foliage Arizona has to offer. I had a blast.

I was also manic as hell. I missed my meds on Saturday night, so I was off all day. We enjoyed ourselves a lot, but we also got some business done. Jenny and I resolved to do NaNoWriMo this year. This came from a conversation started while walking around a campground. I told Jenny the plots to all three of my planned fiction books, and she asked why I hadn’t ever written it down. It struck me, I don’t ever remember this series, unless I’m manic!

So as soon as we got home, I typed. I wrote out the plots to all my books. Then I wrote out summaries for the first book’s chapters. Jenny and I have resolved to give ourselves a more structured work day, in the effort to “win” NaNoWriMo this year.

This morning marks my first early wake up. I hope I can keep the steam up, while I’m not manic! Have a good week, all.

I’m Hyper and Manic. FUN!

So, I’m a bit off. I’m dealing with an odd combination of emotions, including feeling hyper, excited, happy, worried, frustrated, and oddly relaxed. It’s hard to focus on things like being socially appropriate, and wording things well for the kids. It’s also hard to make decisions, because I don’t know if I really want to do the things I think I want to do.

To complicate things, I’m feeling very poor, and also slightly unable to participate in things. I often have to tell myself “no” when there is a high chance that I will do something hurtful or unfair to others. This means I sometimes feel left out of things, just because I couldn’t participate. It’s nobody’s fault, but it still sucks.

Sorry if I’m rambling. I’ll call it a night, but please don’t worry about me. I can’t always write masterpieces. Just because this post sucks (I know it does), doesn’t mean that anything is seriously wrong. It just means I am not in the right mode at this point in time.