it's so hard when you're living in the devil's playground***
I'm out about it, because I'm what passes for a public figure on a really bad news day, and who the hell knows--there's so much scare out there about bipolar that maybe it will help somebody to see somebody else with a fairly fucking acute case, who is nevertheless functional, creative, realistic, moderately successful, and not yet dead.****
Normally, I don't blog about it too much, because it's boring, but what's going on right now is actually interesting.
Short form: I'm bipolar I, ultra-rapid cycling**, and I have had that diagnosis since it was manic depression and the treatment was lithium until you killed yourself. (Things are better now.) I'm one of the lucky ones that can control it fairly well through diet, exercise, and supplements, and I got a buttload of cognitive therapy and coping mechanisms from about age 6, so I'm not medicated, and I'm also not prone to hallucinations, delusions, or *paranoia.
Well, anyway, as I write this, I have not slept in forty hours.
I'm not tired. I'm extremely productive. I am mellow and cheerful as a hippie stereotype, and every synapse in my brain is being bathed in massive quantities of sweet, sweet serotonin. Life is good, everything is awesome, I'm not tired, this is fun, and wouldn't you like to go for a walk?
It's basically like E, without the pacifiers.
Since Tuesday morning, I have run four miles, practiced yoga, had a fairly stiff rock-climbing session (which I only quit because my climbing partner had had enough), read a book for review, started another one, written over 8000 words (a personal best in wordcount), completed a novel revision, brushed the dog, driven up to my mom's place to split the farm share with her, gone through a massage therapy session (these hurt, and usually leave me pretty wasted afterwards), watched three episodes of Flashpoint (it r0xx0rs, rent it), played two hours of Bookworm, talked myself out of another run because I knew I was fucking tanked to the gills on Nature's uppers--
...I wish I could maintain this for the rest of my life. I could write three novels a year and have plenty of time for everything else I love doing. I would never get tired or bored or sad. I would be one of Nancy Kress's Sleepless, and I would fucking rule.
The problem, of course, is that life is not fiction.
I haven't slept for forty hours and I have no urge at all to sleep now. And even though I feel calm and alert (and with-it enough to remember that even though I feel great, my reflexes are probably not all that, and there are fatigue poisons coursing through my body even if I'm too stoned on happy chemicals to feel them) I know intellectually that there is a price to pay for this happy, happy serotonin bath.
There's a crash, you see. Or worse, there's a manic phase (which I have been trying to head off with lots of fish and running), and my manic phases are not a happy place.
So at this juncture, I will be applying beer and benedryl until I pass the fuck out. Because I can tell already, the alternative is another post like this at 10 pm tomorrow, and the Netflix queueueueueueue doesn't need reducing that much.
Self-medicating. It's okay, as long as you are nice and know better....
*mostly. I do get the occasional fugue state of everbody hates me and I'm a terrible person and I should fall under a truck, but mostly I can correct for those. Except the one that was apparently provoked by some unregulated herbal supplement in my multivitamins, Nov 2007-Apr 2008. That? Fucking sucked.
**I don't get the good mania. I get the fits-of-destructive-rage mania. You wouldn't like me when I'm manic. Fortunately, at this age, I have interrupts installed, mostly.
***Gram Rabbit always reminds me of how much I miss Life. That was some good TV.
****I said moderately.
*****So you've noticed that these end notes are out of order, have you? They are, however, in the order in which I wrote the post--and the end notes.