The Joys of Mania

Possibly the most difficult part of being manic depressive is the highs. When I’m low I know something is wrong, even if my brain starts spinning stories of who hates me and why they hate me. But when I am high, I have no idea how sick I am getting. It feels good. It’s like being on drugs. And when you’re used to being depressed and down and ready to snuff it, being happy is a revelation all on it’s own.

Being happy isn’t a bad thing, but this kind of happy is deceptive. Suddenly you’re a superhuman, not needing sleep or food, thinking all the time, and creative thoughts start pouring out. It’s the creativity for me that makes me want to hang on everytime the mania comes out.

There are definitely things I hate about having a chronic brain disorder. I hate not being able to discern between a genuine emotion and a symptom. I hate the physical exhaustion of depression. I hate the wild paranoid thoughts of mania. I hate the fact that 90% of marriages with someone who has manic depression end in divorce. I hate that I’m 25 and my mother still has to worry about me.

But I love the creativity.

I love the spiritual epiphanies that occur. I love the fact that I can absorb new information like a sponge. I love the abstract thoughts, the symbolism, the expansion of mind that lets you go just that extra step further to make something powerful. I love the energy that can get poured into a project. I love the sudden insights that come one after another.

Manic Depression is a curse, that’s true, but it’s also a blessing in an unusual way. A lot of creative people with manic depression don’t want to get rid of their illness entirely. It gives you shining moments of brilliance inside of a dark world.

Sometimes I think, maybe I have this disease just so that I can feel everything in a far deeper way than most people.

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