Most, if not all, manic depresive people will tell you that feeling manic is FAR superior to depression. As a matter of fact, even someone without a mental problem would tell you they prefer energy to depression. Over the past few months all I wanted was to stay manic as long as possible. I got pretty depressed around the whole six month anniversary of my attempted suicide thing, but I bounced back like always. Except this time, the prospect of living with depression again was absloutely unbearable. I just couldn't handle another few weeks of wanting to die, pretending to like people, wishing I had the energy to try... so I decided to do everything in my power to stay manic. I read that excessive amounts of caffine and lack of sleep can enduce mania..... so I started drinking coffee religiously and staying up as late as I could. When I started feeling like I might be slipping back into depresion I would grab another cup of coffee and practice, go to the gym, or go facebook crazy for a few hours until I was too busy with life to feel depresed. I ignored all the classic signs of Jaron depression like complete disinterest in hygene, irritablilty to the point of absolute bitchy-ness, extreme fatigue, and an increased desire to stay in bed all day and never open my eyes. I though maybe if I could find a way to stay manic for three or four months, I could just relax during the summer. It didn't work. In fact it just made me feel awful. I found myself getting angry over EVERYTHING, taking things too personally, and getting physcally ill. Underneath my facade of being "totally fine" I wanted to run away and never come back. I started looking up hotel prices in random places all over the country so I could have somewhere to escape to.
Although I was very productive, I felt that I might suddenly burst into tears at any moment. There was this awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. A feeling I so desperately wanted to get away from... but couldn't manage to outrun.
Finally last night I gave in. I sat in my emptpy apartment and cried. I gave into that feeling I had been running from. And i must say... was actually a relief. As strange as it may sound, feeling depressed alone in my apartment was the nicest thing that had happened to me in months. My head stopped spinning, my body relaxed, and I relased all of the fear I had pent of for months. Then I spent the whole next day doing whatever I wanted. (which ended up being eating a greek salad alone in the mountains).
Now, for the first time in months, things seem clear, balanced, almost normal. What I really want is balance, so I thought maybe if I stayed manic for a while I would have some control and be ... sort of balanced. What I have learned is that my own personal form of balance comes from the ups and downs I experience. So I think i'm going to try riding the rollercoaster for a while and see how it goes.
"to be tested is good. The challenged life may be the best therapist." - Gail Sheehy