Don’t Fuck With Me

From the Inside of a Manic Episode

Artwork Credit

I’m unsure if there are words to describe how it feels to experience a manic episode. If there are, I struggle to find them, piece them together and form a complete sentence.

During a manic episode I don’t eat or sleep. It’s not starvation or insomnia. It’s euphoric. I’m not tired. I’m not hungry. My body is fueled by some magical sense of grandiosity. I’m invincible. I’m unstoppable.

I’m taking over the world so you’d better watch out. Every thought I have. Every word I say. Every action I execute. I’m right. Your wrong. You’re crazy. There’s nothing wrong with me.

A typical symptom of Bipolar Disorder is risky behavior such as spending too much money or having reckless sex. I don’t do either of these things. This totally doesn’t describe me. I only do cool shit like own 8,000 books I’ll never read as I sit here surrounded by piles of projects I’ll never complete.

Another is low self esteem. Someone who is invincible clearly doesn’t have self esteem issues, not to mention I’m superior to everyone around me. I’m actually elated by how good I feel about myself.

Then there’s the standard norm of feeling agitated and behaving irritably. This is so not me either. I’m fine, really. As long as you stay the fuck away from me.

I’m a multitasking mad woman. Mad being the keyword. I can take on so much at one time I’m skilled in accomplishing nothing. Nothing being the keyword. There isn’t a goal outside of my reach, and I reach far beyond my capabilities.

There’s no stopping me because I’m unstoppable and the definition of unstoppable is impossible to stop.

I’ll be so high on life just doing my thing, loving every minute of it. All 7,200 minutes to be exact because I haven’t slept in five days. Then something happens. There’s this weird shift that acts like a smack in the face. The high is no longer euphoric. It’s transformed into something more like meth being pumped into my system intravenously.

Artwork Credit

Now I’m intensely fucking mad at everything, but mostly nothing. I’m filled with rage and clash with every person I interact with. I vomit negativity. Fuck this. Screw that. Bitch, piss, moan, repeat. I’m a time bomb waiting to go off. A volcano erupting.

There’s nothing worse than explosive behavior, except I’m not explosive. I’m stuffing it. I’m controlling myself from being destructive towards others which in turn is self destruction. I hide it with a smile on my face and a calm tone when I speak.

Yeah, it’s probably for the best if I’m let alone. Maybe I should sleep? I haven’t taken the Klonopin in days.

Yeah, I know It’s prescribed to take every day but I’m good and if I’m good why take a medication I don’t need? I rationalize. I mean, it was prescribed to me for a reason but I think I know myself better than a doctor does.

It’s common to stop taking psych meds once someone realizes they’re stable but they’re stable because of the psych meds. I only realize this once I’m not so stable.

Also, What day is it?

Ah, that’s better. I feel better now. The Klonopin helped. I’m fine. Wait. Maybe I should eat? I know you cooked dinner. I know you called me to come to the table and eat but fuck, you’re not the boss of me. I sit down regardless. If I don’t I’ll blow my charade. I use my fork to push the food around my plate. No one notices I’m not eating.

Look at this place. Newspapers scattered all over the floor, stacks of books tossed randomly, balled up paper with shitty love quotes cover my desk, garbage everywhere, materialistic objects in disarray and such a lack of organization it’s giving me a twitch. My office is trashed. My bedroom- trashed. My art studio- trashed.

I did this. I’m so fucking stupid. Why did I do this? I can’t handle all of the overturned and chaotic stimulation. The room is closing in on me. I should clean it up but I have to get out of here.

I step outside. The sunlight burns my eyes. I stare down at my feet as they walk me down the street. I keep walking for hours. I don’t stop because I’m unstoppable in the most dysfunctional sense. I’m on my second lap around the border of this three square mile town.

I’m not alone. The voice in my head is with me. The one that tells me to do things I know I should never do. The one that makes me think things I know aren’t true. I’m not having hallucinations. This I am certain of.

I am delusional.

The voice tells me to harm myself. The voice tells me I hate life. The voice tells me life hates me. The voice tells me I’m both my mother and my father. I’m my worst enemy.

I am a monster.

The voice shows me visions. Horrible things that haven’t happened yet. Horrible things that will never happen because I won’t allow it.

I ignore the voice and the visions. I’m aware this is illogical. I have awareness. The awareness saves me.

I walk until I’m exhausted. When I return home everyone is looking at me. They ask if I’m okay. I haven’t giving them any indication of what I’ve been experiencing. I keep it bottled shut, sealed tight. It would be wrong of me to burden them, worry them or include them. Instead, I’m dismissive.

I’m fine, I say. I’m just tired. I think I’ll take a nap.

I lay down and finally crash. The first night I only sleep for a few hours. When I wake my soul is empty. My body aches and I’m nauseous. I feel the tears building but I refuse to allow them to break free. My heart hurts and the pain won’t cease.

A spell of depression suppresses the manic episode and the cycle of Bipolar Disorder begins again.

Artwork Credit

Newspaper reporter in Eastern Iowa. The views expressed are mine alone.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store