I find myself pining for the person I become when I’m manic.
I’ve written before about how mania isn’t always fun. I do miss it at times, no matter how many times I tell myself the negative aspects of it.
Mania can be a mind blowing, euphoria filled trip. It’s honestly better than any drug I’ve ever taken. When it’s good, it’s fucking awesome. I’ve had epic nights out fuelled by coke and MDMA, but I’ve had days and weeks of endless bliss and a sustained feeling of euphoria just from being manic. Drugs just can’t compete with the feeling and the durability of mania.
When it leaves me I’m left with a mania hangover. After a while, when the memories of the destruction it caused in my life start to fade, I begin to miss it.
The creativity is the major one I miss. When I’m in a manic state, creativity becomes my everything. I have this incredible surge of confidence and self belief that comes from nowhere. I truly believe I can do anything.
I have always been creative. I started playing the drums when I was eight, I studied art up to A level and I continue to draw, sketch and sculpt. I almost studied sculpture at University, but decided instead on creative writing. I am always writing, whether it’s non-fiction or fiction, or on my blog.
As anyone does, I have times when I’m motivated and focused, or I’ll be inspired by something. The difference with mania is the creativity is astoundingly concentrated. My whole life will be consumed with the need to create. I’ll forget to eat or sleep, the house will become grimy and messy. I won’t shower because that takes too much time. So I sit in my trash ridden house with grimy hair feverishly writing or painting away. I’ll put off paying bills and running important errands because creating will be all that matters.
My mind at these times is sodden with creative ideas. I’m an artistic person by nature, but bipolar and in particular mania, doesn’t make me a creative genius. What it does do is make me more energised and more productive. I can’t ignore it and it turns into a flood of activity; from researching, buying resources and creating. It’s like I’m possessed, and there is nothing I can do to stop it. Except, I don’t want it to stop. I long for these moments, whether they last for a week or a month, when I can find inspiration from anywhere. I can pluck new ideas out of thin air. It is an enticing state, and one I miss when it has dissipated. I can be up and wide awake at three in the morning still sketching or writing.
What mania makes me is incredibly confident. Sometimes this confidence turns into delusion. I believe that everything I am creating is like gold dust, and must be seen and shared. I have written reams and reams of notes of ideas for a book, at the time believing them to be the best ideas I’ve ever had. When I look back on them at a later time all I see is scribbled nonsense, a stream of consciousness, misspelled and a jumble of words. It’s like the pages of these notebooks are a reflection of my manic mind. My mind is constantly darting from one idea to another, and never finishing my original point. My mind is distracted by the smallest spark of an idea, and every thought that comes to mind grips my attention. I show everyone what I’ve been working on, with a pride that verges on narcissism. I feel I have to do something with my work so I start a business, start writing a book, or both.
This post is not meant to glorify mania. It’s my honest opinion on how mania makes me feel. There is a duality to my feelings on mania, they often cross paths and I feel negatively and positively about the experience all at once. It’s confusing and I know feeling like I do is not a healthy way of coping with bipolar. However, I do feel this way and it would be wrong of me not to be open about this thought process.