Too Much of a Good Thing

There’s no doubt about it.  I am in a manic phase.  The flood of ideas and potential projects keep washing over me, each one more brilliant than the last.  What I’m trying to do is stay aware and stay focused.  I’m journaling to capture the ideas and get them out of my head.  When the mania lets go of me, I’ll be able to look at them objectively.  Often I find the ideas are still good ones, but not practical or timely or worth pursuing.

For example, yesterday I envisioned a new soft art piece—a Winter Solstice banner using a cloth-charring technique and quilting with used dryer sheets; revisited an idea for a novel about a bipolar woman living with her gay best friend in a conservative small town; and party favors for my Callinda party using cloth, beads, stamps and quotes from the story.  Swirled among those ideas are the details of the day today.  Get to the Y. Remember to take my food journal to TOPS.  Remember to take items for the silent auction at TOPS.  Strip the bed to do laundry.  All thoughts, all details, carry equal weight and flash in and out of my mind.  So writing them down and making lists helps to drain some of the wildness out of them.

I’m also trying to watch what the giddy energy brings up in me.  So far, I’m not feeling the compulsions.  Yesterday, I went shopping with my friend, Cheryl, and only indulged in a magazine (The Writer, for research purposes, of course) and craft adhesive (which I needed).

I have less of a desire to eat than usual, which may be part of the mania and the energetic spin.  Since I don’t have mania nearly as often as depression, I’m not familiar with this symptom.  Or I don’t remember it.  I’ve always been so identified with being a compulsive overeater, that the idea of not being hungry or even caring about food seems freakishly alien.  So I will watch this and mark it.

But, there is definitely an urge to GO, and I catch myself spinning around starting to do one thing, stopping, starting another, stopping.  I feel the nervy, acidic churn in my stomach.  Last night at our weekly Criminal Minds get-together, I noticed that Tom turned up the volume on the TV several times, so that told me how much more I was nattering.

Management today will be a constant returning to my breath, reminders to stop and relax.  Thursday is a busy day for me, and that will help use the energy my mania generates.  So will more exercise.  Our TOPS group plans to walk around a lake after our meeting today, which is perfect.  As always, the Observer must be in the forefront, monitoring the impulses and flurry of thoughts, creating a space between them and me where I can find myself, creating a space to rest and slow down.

It’s all part of the Bipolar Dance.  One cha-cha at a time.

15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bornattwentyfive
    Apr 05, 2012 @ 07:11:15

    I love how self aware you are. I tend to not be hungry when I’m manic as well.


  2. Evelyn Atholl Moir
    Apr 05, 2012 @ 07:16:44

    Hi Sandy Sue,
    Found my self wondering how you were getting on this very morning. When I experienced my four months of Hypomania I made some interesting voice recordings, and the word Project kept coming up again & again.
    I have been totally off medication now some two months and feel totally ‘normal’…in retrospect, the medication, over more than two years, was hard work…nice to have a full range of emotions back and be able to watch TV in to the night, but will be looking out for any extremes developing. Perhaps I will be fortunate and have no further depression & mania…four months of each was quite a journey.
    E x


    • Sandy Sue
      Apr 05, 2012 @ 17:55:45

      Evelyn, it’s so good to “hear” your voice! Congratulations on such a long run of being stable. I had a string of 50 days last summer. It was wonderful and made it very hard to accept and deal with the next swing. I think you’re wise to “be looking out for any extremes” while enjoying the moment. I think that’s all any of us can do. Many blessings, my friend.


  3. Grainne
    Apr 05, 2012 @ 08:36:48

    You inspire me so often xx. I think the way you are looking at and managing your mania is AMAZING. How clear headed you sound, considering the noise going on inside.

    I hope your busy Thursday turns out fulfilling and productive. x


    • Sandy Sue
      Apr 05, 2012 @ 17:51:32

      Thank you, Grainne. I do the best with what I’ve got! This process is important to me–it’s what keeps me out of the looney bin and off meds, so I guess I’d say I’m dedicated to it.


  4. Kathryn McCullough
    Apr 05, 2012 @ 10:10:37

    Bless your heart, Sandy. I thought it sounded like you might be headed in this direction. I just hope you enjoy this while you can–without crashing too hard on the other side!


  5. strugglingwithbipolar
    Apr 05, 2012 @ 15:43:36

    I see that you are in a manic phase. Stay safe.


  6. ManicMuses
    Apr 06, 2012 @ 05:10:39

    I love the idea of keeping a Manic Ideas Journal you can review later. I think I’m going to steal that one!


  7. DeeDee
    Apr 06, 2012 @ 07:31:27

    This sounds SO familiar! I usually do “prep” for a project rather than getting something really underway because I know that if I start too many things, then nothing will get finished and later (when I’m depressed) that will upset me.

    Do you consider this hypomania or mania? I’m trying to get a grip on where the line is drawn.


    • Sandy Sue
      Apr 06, 2012 @ 07:43:41

      That line is really fuzzy for me. I guess it depends on the amount of disfunction. If the compulsions rear up, if my agitation gets in the way, if my thoughts get too erratic, then I’d say mania. I’m trying to keep a map of this stuff in One Mind’s Map under the Mind in Question heading in the banner headline.


  8. bipolarmuse
    Apr 06, 2012 @ 13:24:49

    Indeed one cha-cha at a time… I relate very much. ♥


  9. The Mental Chronicles
    Apr 07, 2012 @ 13:59:37

    It seems like it’s a rare ability that you have, to be able to distance yourself from your inner mind to stop and observe. I certainly wish I could do that better. Lots of energy seems like it would be a good thing, but, as you imply, too much of a good thing can be pretty bad pretty quickly. Good luck on keeping an eye on this stuff.


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