I Miss My Mania

I am a 50 y/o wife, mother of five and lawyer. I have been, so we now discover, bipolar since I was a child. While very young I could remember feeling a burst of creativity and courage and feeling near perfect when Mania came to visit. I was the fastest, smartest and funnest kid in the universe. When She left I felt Her absence with equal ferocity. When She was gone, Depression had a gateway to my sleeping feelings of self-doubt, self-control and peace of mind. My OCD tics re-emerged from slumber and I bit my nails, counted, followed straight lines with my eyes until I got a headache and alienated everyone around me with my lack of impulse control. I began self-medicating with alcohol when I was 14- took the NY Bar Exam in a drunken blackout. I've bounced from doctor to doctor. They readily gave me pills. Some shrinks believed my "situation" was due to an alcoholic father's abandonment when I was 14; others blame it on my violent immigrant narcissistic mother. Every shrink I have seen has lamented, "It's a miracle you were'nt a teen-suicide. I've been hospitalized three times. I am with a new doctor, have new pills and have become sadly resigned that I may never be visited by Mania again. Life if grey and I feel I am going through it because it just is. "No longer suicidal but never content"-that's what should be written on the side of pill bottles.  I miss my Mania.
BabzEsq24 BabzEsq24
46-50, F
6 Responses Nov 30, 2012

I know it hurts and you hate it, but I guess you are one hell of a personality. So, to you !!!

And I thought Mania was masculine ,......... why worry and spend time , effort and money on shrinks

odd string of words

I've wondered if being bipolar is a type of *gift*, and what I mean by that is the creativity part of it. I was recently diagnosed with PTSD and bipolar 2 after going thru who knows how many doctors in the past 30yrs.. amazing that now I have insurance, they can figure out what's being going on most of my life.. anyway, back to the gift... the creativity for me in photography and sometimes poetry. A handful of people have seen my photography (some are here) and are amazed at what they see. But it only comes in spurts for me. I might not pick up the camera for literally months, then go thru a phase of just going out and my imagination takes over, and the results can be good. Same with the poetry but much rarer. And when does happen, the thoughts come at me so fast, I write down what is rapidly coming at me, and only then can I look back and really read what I wrote. A very few select friends have had the chance to read what I protect because it's very, very personal.. and I've been told to copyright them, and same with the pictures...
That... I do not want to lose. That to me is a gift.. if in fact this part of the whole picture

My creativity also is grand and comes in unpredictible spurts. I used to tolerate the drpression and anxiety as the flip side of the coin, but as the depressive episodes come closer apart and with more intensity, I'm at the point where I'd gradly sacrifice my talents for steady peace of mind. Thank you for commenting.

I loved your post. I am newly diagnosed, and Im very scared to take the pills, not only do they want the lithium but OCD medications and ADD meds. I must say being chained to the grey feeling even if I am giving up the incessant crying and never leaving the bed does not sound like a fair trade compared to when im "on". thanks for your post

Tuff choice- I took the pills when all else failed- still not a cure-all

Please have you Vit B levels checked- I was deficient but with the vit's I quit all the crying

There are many things to be great full for when not manic. I am completely sain and not living off emotion. There are ups and downs to both like anything in life I suppose. You are very blessed to have five healthy children for sure especially because what we deal with can easily be passed on to the next generation. That's one thing that worries me about having children. Do you currently work Babz?

I have practiced law for 25 years-I have a small practice. While I agree that genetics matter- most of my issues stem from mental, emotional, verbal and physical abuse. I've been "odd" since childhood and despite my mother calling me Jeckel & Hyde and me relling her I know something is wrong, she did nothing but abuse me for embarassing her. I adopted 2 kids and my son is a mess without my genetics & my 3 biological kids--I am nothing like my mother. I invite my kids to share anything they want with me. My daughter is prone to anxiety around finals and has help for that-Regardless of genes- environmental factors are very influencial

That sounds really good, Babz...you sound like a good mom despite the odds. I too have had to overcome the genetic and other faults of my strict insane parents.
And I miss my mania too. When I drink I become almost like that...but I do have to learn other ways. I'd rather learn to be deliberately awesome (and a bit slower thinking) than attain it and be out of control.
So far, this eludes me, that's why I have no kids

I know exactly how you feel. I also miss my mania and am not currently suicidal thank God. I love how emotionally strong I feel when manic and how unafraid I am to say how I feel and be completely truthful. I had my most severe manic episode a year ago and even though my family was terrified, I didn't want it to end. I hate this blah that I feel everyday. How do you handle things when not manic?

So nice to hear from someone who has been through this and has positive words- thank you

I do hate this color-less blah existence. I keep trying to convince myself that I am happy and blessed with 5 healthy kids and a husband to stuck by me through 3 hospitalizations and my embarassing episodes. I guess I keep waiting for something to happen

I used to suffer from bipolar disorder for about 8 years and suddenly I felt cured as I got no ups and downs for several months. Though I rarely experienced Mania with positive feelings (all I got was getting irritable and suffering under pain) I miss the old me getting into crazy moods and acting a little bit out of convention. Before, I suffered a lot, now the days are colorless... I don't know which one to choose.... Wish the best for you

Maybe we should all get cured and use marijuana instead :P

There are 6 million of us going through this in North America.

It's a real fight for life when you are bouncing off the bottom.

My wife sticks by as she has for 33 years not that I could blame her if she walked away as many do.Your husband and my wife are there with us because they have character and they want to be with us.We wouldn't leave them if they were sick either.

Your kids love you and they need you even in your lowest blah times.You will come back up in time with medication and feel vibrant and alive again.

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