How did I end up a forty-something newly diagnosed with bi-polar disorder? How did I not know? How could I not know? I guess the answer is that when you live with something long enough, it seems normal. I thought my ups and downs were just normal because they were normal for me. But after the birth of my last child several years ago, the downs starting getting really down. Postpartum? Sounded likely. But looking back I know that it progressively got worse because of impulsive, risky behavior in which I was partaking. Now, I wasn't off hooking or shooting horse, or anything like that. It was more financial; impulse shopping, skipping billings that kind of thing. Oh, and about the time that my last child was born I decided I wasn't going to make the house payment anymore because I hated our house and I hated the town that we lived in and I just hated everything. Now, I realize that isn't rational, but when you are in the throws of a manic episode, you can make yourself believe that anything is rational.
There is a common saying among people with depression. “Depression lies.” Now, this my have been made famous by The Bloggess, because that’s where I heard it, or it could have preceded her notoriety by years. I don’t know. However, this has become a personal mantra of mine when things would get really, really heavy. When I would be in the basement with a heavy-duty dog leash pondering the strength of the beams, this is the phrase that would make me, eventually come back up. But here’s the thing: “Mania lies, too”. You just don’t hear about it as much even though this bitch is just as good as a liar, if not a better one, than depression because she tells you things that you actually want to hear. But, you are not going to replace that $5k you spent out of the insurance check without you’re husband noticing that it’s gone. Regardless, your mania seductively whispers in your ear that everything will be fine and it will all somehow, magically work out. It entices you into believing that you need, you need, you NEED! You need an iPhone, an iPad, a new computer a fucking micro pig. You are going to become an expert seamstress and, therefore, you need a sewing machine. Oh, those vintage machines are cute, so you should probably buy ten of them. Because you can take a $600 sewing machine repair course and then start a business and it will all come out even in the end. You devise elaborate, intellectually exquisite plans in your head that will solve all of your problems. And the world is a wonderful place because you can have your cake and eat it, too. You can, you can, you CAN! Except you can't.
That is just a couple of the delusions that mania has fed me. There are a hundred, hell, probably a thousand more that I could give you. I’ve probably forgotten more than I can remember. And then the crash comes....the low that inevitably follows the highs. When reality kicks you in the face and you are left with the aftermath of your latest fuck ups.