Manic phases are different than depressive ones. Aside from the obvious mood difference, there is the way that they begin. Depression kind of sneaks up slowly, from behind, stalking and waiting for the lunge that will bring its kill. Mania is instantaneous. All of the sudden, there is a ticker tape from my subconscious, listing all of the things that need to be done NOW!!! I still can’t concentrate, that’s the same, but now I can’t think because I’m thinking of ten things at once and it’s hard to separate them out into a single strand.
I know that I am agitated, because when things don’t go my way, Trusty Boyfriend/Knight In Shining Armor screams “Oh my God Karen, what next?!” (This is usually followed by some sort of assuaging behavior providing fulfillment of my needs. – he is trusty you know.) I usually get angry with people at about this time, and wonder why they are so slow, or in my way, or even there in the first place (How RUDE!) Hint number one: Don’t go shopping with me when I’m like this…all those bodies in such a small space, it’s not pretty.
Sleeping now seems more like a chore than a way to relax or rejuvenate. I will myself to lie still in the dark and quiet, as the ticker tape keeps plugging away in my brain. I restrain myself from getting up and just taking care of “a few little loose ends” at the end of a 20 hour day. Torturously, the slow nighttime hours pass until I’m finally freed by the dawn’s light to arise and begin again, all the time telling myself that I am in control and I will not crash. There isn’t really anything wrong, I’m just feeling better, that’s all.
And it feels good to be feeling better, or so I tell myself. It is true, I do feel 100% better than I did a few days ago. A small part of my brain (maybe the amygdale – it’s VERY small and reptilian in instinct.) whispers: “you are not alright…there will be a down you know.” Though I choose to ignore it today, I know deep down inside, this is true. I am not okay – this is a cycle, and I will have to pay dearly in an hour or a year or whenever it ends. For now, I choose to ride the wave, thanking God only that it’s not a depression this time.