This year I said I would get back to journaling, art journaling like I used to when I was 19…20…21…22…before I became a terrified single mom whose only existence revolved around one word: SURVIVE. So….I signed up for Chookooloonks “create.2013” e-course and have been doing the prompts delivered to my inbox every morning, in addition to writing two pages of whatever’s sitting around in my brain. This is what I wrote last night after word vomiting my mania on Twitter.
Moving…everything is hurried, frenzied, congested like commuters getting off the subway train in a rush to make it to some meeting at some corporate job they hate feeling so restricted in. By everything I mean my thoughts, my words, emotions in conflict with each other; they slam into one another pressing themselves against the walls of my mind and against my tongue. The pressure that comes with attempting restraint always proves to be a force I can’t reckon with, and they come spilling out, tumbling over each other and onto the people I interact with daily:
My Twitter feed
I would say the “friends” on Facebook too, but I officially broke it off with my dealer Zuckerberg a few weeks ago in attempt to kick my 4 1/2 year habit; a habit that went from being a job requirement to becoming my sounding board and my lifeline. It became the what I barely had in my “real” life-support, understanding, acceptance, help, community. But after 4 years and it’s no longer a lifeline and I need to extricate myself from it. Social media addiction is a real disease…or at least that’s what WebMd told me. It also told me this zit on my face is really a rare disease not even that House guy on TV has heard of and I’m going to die within a week. Thank God it’s not a real doctor…
The only people who aren’t affected are my kids. Sometimes they see Mommie less patient with a sharper tongue and a low tolerance, but what parent doesn’t have these moments, right? When it comes to restraining the symptoms of my illness I do my best to stuff them WAY. DOWN. into the deeper parts of me and quickly sit on top of them as you would a trunk or luggage case overpacked and bulging against its zippers. I try to take the less destructive parts of it and use them to my-our-advantage. I allow it to explode just enough so it amplifies the best parts of me that enable me to love and nurture my boys to my fullest capacity, doing things that my very BOY boys like to do:
Run around the house giggling and laughing until I’m begging air to please come back into my lungs…
Jump on the couch…
Eat peanut butter and jelly and PopTarts and have breakfast for dinner…
Lego Star Wars and Kung Fu Panda on Xbox….
Shooting my imaginary hot pink laser gun at the red berries on the trees we pass by every day on our walk back from school…
Singing and dancing on the sidewalk caring less about the cars driving past us and more about taking the time to create a memory I hope they hold on to when life doesn’t treat them so nice and they need to be reminded that they are loved beyond measure and matter to someone….to ME.
Was that a run on sentence? Not sure because grammar rules go out the window when your thoughts spill out of you faster than you can type, leaving you with no choice but to chase after them….panting….yelling “WAIT-slow down, you’re going too fast, I can’t maintain this speed.”
Do they listen? No….never. Not in this state. Even if I manage to keep it together on the outside so no one can see the chaos dancing gleefully behind my eyes, my thoughts always find a way to betray me and find their voice in the words I speak….
I don’t know what the point of all this is, my writing it down. What I do know is that it’s jumbled and erratic, nonsensical even. Hello, welcome to a mind hijacked by mania. I guess I should be technical and say “hypomania” but if you ask me, mania is mania and when you’re experiencing it, you don’t feel a textbook distinction. You feel your grasp on your mind and energy weakening and your willpower caving to mania’s seductive allure. You can’t see that it’s deceiving. You don’t realize it distorts your vision and perception of yourself and the world around you. It’s “fun” I guess at first, but always leads to agitation, uneasiness, restlessness, and paranoia eventually…at least for me. In the midst of its chaos I can always hear a small part of me whispering “this is temporary-it will end, so prepare yourself.” It does, it does indeed end, but not until you’ve (I’ve?) lost control of your (my?) mind and it’s racing at a dangerous speed the human brain isn’t designed to handle and it sends you (me, definitely)flying off a cliff…..soaring…then free falling to the ground below, a ground that is unforgiving and jars you (again, ME) back to reality. It’s painful really, like smacking your (my) face into asphalt.
Ok, maybe that was a dramatic description but I don’t find it to be an exaggeration….
Do any of the metaphors I used in an attempt to paint a picture of my manic thoughts make sense? I’m guessing not…I’m not as good at describing and tying thoughts together in a cohesive way like I used to be….you know when I prided myself on proper grammar and “technical” writing. But this isn’t a research paper I’m turning in for a grade, so it doesn’t really matter does it? So go f—yourself grammar police. Go nitpick someone else’s sentence structure.
I can’t sleep. I need to, but of course my inability to control my compulsions during these episodes has me checking Twitter on my phone every 45 seconds and letting my crazy come out in 140 character sprints. I always regret this later, feeling ashamed of letting people see this side of me. I’ve tried staying away, but you know, OCD goes hand in hand with my mania and I suck at saying no. At restraint. Obviously. I try to use Twitter as a means to distract me from what I’m experiencing…but I always end of being swept away in the excitement and euphoria, especially when something great happens (like getting my engagement ring and wedding band! Yep, that happened tonight. The sales lady cried when he put it on my finger. So did we in the van later on the way home.), and I let them speak for me. Then I come down from the high just enough to realize I was Socialite Sally-you know the person at the party who’s had too much to drink and can’t shut up?-and I feel foolish for making an ass out of myself. When I go back to college I’m going to ditch social work and just major in being bipolar and minor in embarrassment.
Do I have anything else to say? My hand hurts. I should really scrawl my words more on paper than across a computer screen. I’ve missed this, the feel of paper, the smell of ink as it emanates from its tip, forever encapsulating my words on the page in front of me. I guess posting my words digitally is permanent too, but it doesn’t feel the same, it’s not as….personal? Is that the word? Not sure, but that’s as close as I’m going to get at this point.
My heart feels like it’s about to burst. This clonazepam hasn’t kicked in yet. It usually does. Maybe I’m building a tolerance to it. Which sucks because that means eventually, maybe next week, maybe 10 years from now I’ll have to be on a bigger dose and it’ll stop working.
I should post this, even though I said I’m going to take a break from the blog. I still intend to….I just keep finding things I want to share. I have to force myself to wait and just write them down elsewhere because I do indeed need a break to focus on other things….like actually writing on paper.
I’m going to post this…because I feel obligated to, that whole transparency thing. People should know this is what it’s like, at least what it’s like for me, being bipolar, being manic. More importantly if I share it there then maybe someone who needs to remember that they aren’t alone will come across it, find themselves in my words, and be able to feel less hopeless…because they aren’t alone…
So that’s it then. That’s all I’ve got. 5 pages of erratic nonsense.
I’ll take it…it’s my life after all.