And it has been very long. Very, very long. So long. Long.
I think I am the opposite of most people who deal with manic-depression, but I’m not sure. I try to remember from the zillions of books I read on it, but that was so very long ago. . .
What happens with me is that when I am depressed, time rushes by, but when I am manic, it goes so very, very slowly. Guess what this week turned out to be?
“I blink and half my life is over. . .” ~ Pete Winslow
I have never been a huge poetry-reader, I will confess that now. Mostly I stuck to prose, especially in my younger years. But beginning a poem in an anthology that one of my dearest and my oldest friend brought back to me when she visited the City Lights book store in San Francisco years ago. . . (you know who you are now? hi!). That line began a poem and it jumped out and grabbed me and has stuck with me in a way so many and so few things have.
City Lights possibly might not mean a lot – anything – to some of you, but if you’re familiar with the Beats and specifically Lawrence Ferlinghetti, that’s his. The progression is I spent pretty much all of my teens wildly enamored of Jack Kerouac. I have made good acquaintance with Ginsberg and Cassidy and Burroughs and Holmes and so many more as well, but Kerouac will always be my true love there. We are both “crazy mixed-up Catholic Buddhists,” though I only have a name for it because Jack gave name to it.
Thank you, Jack.
This week was, as I described to my psychiatrist Thursday when I saw him, florrid mania. Psychotic, to boot. But then it had little tiny ultradian cycles woven inside the days and most especially the nights. I would lay in my bed at night, knowing there would be no sleep, listening to music, Thinking, and hallucinating with four out of five senses. Time stretches out for me in a very unreal way. And I lay there and I Thought about so many things. One of them was how I was having my parents drive me to my doctors’ appointments, because I didn’t feel like it was at all safe for me to be behind the wheel of a car. A decade ago that would have been the first place I jumped in that state.
I have slowed down. I have grown older. I have grown wiser. I have grown tired.
(For those of you keeping score, 72 hours awake, 4 of blissful sleep, 16 awake, between 30 minutes and 2 hours asleep – little hazy about what happened there – 14 mostly awake with a wee bit of dozy time, which is not real sleep but is closer to it than anything else I found, 4 of sleep, 6 more awake and that is now. I know. It’s confusing to me, too.)
By Wednesday afternoon I decided the
best only course of action for me was to go silent, which I learned by hard lesson is what to do with myself in that state. I stay completely off of the internet, and keep all other interaction very minimal, until I feel like I have most of my judgment returned. If I ever disappear for a long period of time with no notice, that will most likely be why.
Thursday night the mania dissipated (though the insomnia didn’t) in a very nice and novel way. Just a matter of minutes, it was like inside me some dials and slider switches were moved and I was restored to euthymia. Euthymia. Such a pretty word.
I think it was a combination of finding a bit of balance, and some clonazepam (Klonopin) that did it for me. And yesterday morning my doctor wrote me for my favorite sleepies that didn’t kill me but should have (not a botched attempt there, a drug interaction that no one knew about nor figured out for months, despite me repeatedly blacking out – and I was the one who discovered it – but I’m off the other drug), which gave me my four hours of sleep last evening. Which I needed, because while I haven’t come down this time into a full depression – yet – things got pretty desperate for me yesterday.
The wherefore of that is a little hard to explain, but it has to do with the lovely way I have of almost dissociating when I am so long with very little or no sleep and nicely manic, and no longer having that, being fully present in the reality of the moment. And it has to do with how hard I work to insulate my mind, my mental state against anything that might further compromise it, even a little, and coming out of that cocoon-in-a-very-high-tower-with-no-door-and-briars-at-the-bottom. That’s a good one. It not only describes perfectly what I build around myself, but doesn’t it sound pretty much like hell to come out of? It is. I nailed that, and right off the cuff. Love it.
Lastly, my desperate state had to do with one of the many moments of clarity I had while Thinking, actually this one deserves the designation of ‘epiphany’, that I found myself in during the whole episode. I’m saving it for another time. Maybe.
Moral of the story: ”I’m a paranoid schizophrenic. I am my own entourage.” ~ a delightfully misnomered quote, from the always lovable and neurotic John Cusak, in America’s Sweethearts
© Ruby Tuesday and I Was Just Thinking. . . 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ruby Tuesday and I Was Just Thinking. . . with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. This work is protected under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.