Mania And The Downside


Ideas.  I have lots of ideas.   And, of course, I’d probably be better served by going to bed and getting some sleep so I can work my job tonight, than staying up bouncing between a half-dozen half-finished blogs, a half-dozen partly read books (at least two of which I doubt I’ll bother finishing, because frankly, they’re just not very good or engaging), news programs I’m too distracted to watch, research I’m too tired and hyper to concentrate on, and all the other things that are keeping me awake at the moment.

My best friend is the son of a psychiatrist.  He told me many years ago, when I was a teenager, that I was manic depressive.   It’s the closest I’ve come to a diagnosis of having bipolar disorder.  I tend to avoid the people who could actually diagnose me with that and I’d have to listen to them.

When I was married, my now-ex-wife referred to my “Superman days.”   Many days I would go along, not getting a hell of a lot done besides working and sleeping and eating, and then I’d have a day, usually once or twice per month, when I got all the things done that needed doing besides eating and sleeping and working.  Mow the yard, paint the house, install new faucets, whatever.

I never went out and spent a lot of money I couldn’t afford on a lot of things I didn’t need, just to be buying things to fill some hole inside me I couldn’t explain.  I never went out and tried to have sex with a half-dozen ladies all on the same weekend (like the aforementioned friend of mine did one weekend on a visit home from college).  I never binge drank, or binge ate, or binged on drugs.  I never did a lot of the things that most people look at as examples of manic behavior.   My mania was (is?) always characterized by having a lot of ideas about things to write about that come so fast and that are all so good that I can’t seem to get them all written down before I forget something.

The downside of the mania is, of course, depression.  When it comes time to do the research, it’s overwhelming.  I can’t find the answers to my questions.  The slogging work of actually pounding keys is too much effort just now, because I’m tired, I’m in pain, my hands hurt from neuropathy, my back hurts, and I just don’t have the energy any longer.  Putting pencil to paper for a drawing, I can’t make it “look” right.  Cutting wood for a project and figuring out the design won’t work.  Everything grinds to a halt.  No ephemeral pleasure seems to be worth daunting effort and the chance it will be unsatisfying anyway.

After the party, there’s always clean up to do.  Pick up the cups and bottles, fill the trash bags and the dishwasher.  Arrange to the clean the carpets you just cleaned before the party so they’d look good for guests who trashed your floors with dropped ashes and spilled drinks.

But… It was a hell of a party!


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