Managing a manic phase is kind of like reigning in a horse and teaching him to come off the bit.
Like the young colt, your first instinct is to let fly, the wind whipping through your mane and an odd kick for joy every now and then. This results in an unflattering picture at best. Just like the foal, you run yourself out by losing control and put yourself in a crash harsher than if you had managed it a little more carefully.
Teaching a yearling (for that is where it starts) to respond to a surcingle and rubber reigns with a nice big rubber coated snaffle bit can teach him to respond well. He will, with practice, find a position that will cause him to be uncomfortable unless he is rounded in fore and rear, letting him get his propulsion from the rear and a clear, focused head leading the body in perfection.
The bi-polar mind is similar in that with the right tools and guidance, a mania can be controlled and of good use. You just have to follow a few rules.
- Know your tack: Talk to your psychiatrist about your meds. Make sure they are working optimally for your best advantage. Be open to changes they suggest and don’t be afraid to mention any apprehensions you may have. You should do this as a yearling (As soon as possible, before you grow into a bad habit.)
- Practice getting it right. Don’t expect to look pretty at first. Give yourself a little time to adjust with knowledge gained.
- Gain your momentum optimally. Make sure you are not over promising or kicking for the joy of your newfound freedom. Learn to use the phase for good by catching up on the details (cleaning, making sure your datebook is correct. Etc.) which were left untended during your last depressive phase. Select only those things which are on your daily task list, and then force yourself to get some rest. Do not add to the list just because you feel you could accomplish it.
- Come off the bit. Get yourself settled into a position that can only lead to success in making it look attractive and easy. Allow that position to teach yourself what a well challenged and yet in control horse you are.
If you follow these rules religiously, you will more than likely gain control of your disorder. Not to mention looking proficient while doing it.