TRIUMPH OF SPIRIT IN LOVE, NATURE & ART

Mania Free-flow

This is the mind in mania, a sampling of the free-flow of racing thoughts and rhyming words that occur.  On first glance, the meaning may seem random but in the context of the memoir, themes of paranoia and the flip side of mania, depression, are apparent.

I catch the Number Four bus.  The bus is crowded.  The motor in my head starts racing again.

IT’S PANIC.  AND THEY’RE PUSHING.  PUSHING AND SHOVING.  AND THE STREET LIGHTS ARE FLASHING— GREEN VENOM/BLOODY TEARS ALTERNATELY ON THE RAINDROP WINDOWS OF THE BUS.  AND THAT WOMAN OVER THERE IS STARING, DAMNED BITCH!  AND THAT HAIRY MAN— THE EYES ARE PROBING AND LOCKING.  IT’S SHOCKING.  THE MIND MOTOR’S GOING FASTER AND FASTER STILL.  NERVE ENDINGS FIRING.  AXONS AND DENDRITES SYNAPSING ALL OVER THE GODDAMNED PLACE.  AND THE STREETS CRAWL BY.  FLIP FLOP.  THE CAMERA SHOP.  GOTTA MOP THE CAMERA SHOP.  FLIP FLOP.  THE BUTCHER SHOP.  CHOP.  CHOP.  RAW MEAT DROPS AT THE FEET OF FAT FLESH.  TICK TOCK.  THE ROUND, WHITE INSTITUTIONAL CLOCK TICK-TOCKS TO THE CHOP CHOP OF THE BUTCHER SHOP.  A SEAT.  SIT DOWN.  CLOSE THE EYES.  YEAH.  THAT’S BETTER.  NICE AND EASY DOES IT.  TRANQUILITY.  SENILITY.  DEBILITY.  THE MIND MOTOR’S RACING.  THE HANDS ARE SHAKING.  GRAB HOLD OF THE BAR.  YOU’LL GO FAR IF YOU GRAB HOLD OF THE BAR.  KEEP THE EYES CLOSED AND GRAB HOLD OF THE BAR.  THE BLACK HOLES IN SPACE TAKE THE PLACE OF THE RAY OF HOPE WHICH LIES LIKE A DOPE BURIED UNDER THE FALLEN STARS.  A MURKY MIASMA AT THE BOTTOM OF THE UNIVERSE. REHEARSE THE HEARSE.  ANOTHER STAR IS DYING AND TRYING TO REST AT BEST IN THE BOTTOM OF FOREVER.  AND PEOPLE ARE LEAVING.  AND THERE’S MORE SPACE.  AND I’M DOWN IN THE VALLEY OF THE DESPAIRING DAMSELS, SITTING WITH THE DOTTED, SPOTTED DALMATIANS, IN THE PURPLE PANTRY PUDDLES OF THEIR PISS.

From Chapter 2 of my Bipolar/Asperger’s Memoir.  For more information see: 

http://www.amazon.com/Eye-locks-Other-Fearsome-Things-ebook/dp/B007TOOF56/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363364264&sr=8-1&keywords=eye-locks

Also available on Barnes & Nobles Nook, iBooks and Smashwords

24 responses

  1. Such awful experience. So sorry for your ordeal.

    Like

    March 15, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    • Thank you, Paul. It wasn’t the best but I learned a lot and got help and changed my life. And I hear stories from my clinical social worker husband. There are far worse things one can go through.

      Like

      March 15, 2013 at 3:36 PM

  2. Thank you for the insight. I have such days, be it only once every 18 months. When it happens in the night there is no sleep. Panic-stress-anxiety are then part of me. Unrelated to events. I don’t know how it stops. Hard physical activity in the garden has a grounding effect. Walking 20kms. Riding the metro for 3 hours. Metro and Train are very calming, bus is horror.

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    March 15, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    • Really. I am surprised. Yes, exercise, gardening helps and trains are calming. Buses and subways, not for me. Do you have depressions, too? Or just episodes of mania– maybe hypomania. Maybe panic attacks. Do you have problems sleeping? You don’t have to answer these questions.

      Like

      March 15, 2013 at 5:48 PM

      • I can be quite manic when i’m in the flow. Doing a month’s work in 2 days and 1 night. It’s a lot less these days. I have become a lot more balanced over the years. Young children make it impossible to be busy with a given task for more than 9 hours. And when they come home round 5pm they take enough energy so that you have to sleep before 2 am. The depressions are also a lot less. Deepest in the eighties, but not regular like in manic-depressed. I noticed just before I wrote that post on shame how the fear, panic, stress I always felt, has in fact always been a kind of shame for not always doing as expected. Like inferiority complex related. I can be an incredible procrastinator and manic performance is not always possible leading to failure now and then. 🙂

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        March 15, 2013 at 8:38 PM

      • Bert, I am not trained as a therapist or psychiatrist. Only have what I have experienced as a guide though I did run a synopsis of your reply by my clinical social worker husband. He and I both thought perhaps you are describing hypomania. My husband is also hypomanic so he knows it from both sides of the bench. I would definitely say though those periods of low self-esteem and procrastination and not being able to meet a deadline are symptoms of depression. When I am in depression I can’t stand myself and am lethargic and everything is a push. I am very glad you have your family to keep you more moderated. Sounds like they exert a very therapeutic influence over you. But the working until 2AM and then getting up in time for work in the AM is a bit worrisome. I did wonder how you managed all you do.

        Like

        March 16, 2013 at 11:11 AM

  3. Genie

    My mind races or else gets blank when I am exposed to chemical smells like synthetic perfumes and chemical cleaners. Sometimes I get migraines from them too.
    It’s a horrid sensory overload and one day, I believe, these offensive and sickening products will go the way of cigarettes: banned in public places.

    Like

    March 15, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    • Oh, I can’t stand them either. I get migraines all the time– strong odors are the trigger for many migraineurs.

      Like

      March 15, 2013 at 8:53 PM

  4. <>

    I never saw myself as different. But I have indeed manic tendencies. One of my students pointed my attention to it after a day of following all the questions (in stead of keeping them at a distance for after the explanation).

    I see my tendencies as productive ‘in the flow’ periods when thinking is casted in something creative. I need this creativity. After the creative period there is first a feeling of satisfaction, followed by a couple of days of being restless. The opposite is also true: whenever something is ready for production, and time is lacking, I feel very stressed. Feeling bored used to be worse, but these days boredom is quite far away.

    The following is something I have been doing for the past 10 years: I sleep 6 hours every night, one of those lucky people to doze off within 5 minutes, and that is just enough for me. If there has been a night with less sleep, I catch up the following day or night. (afternoon sleeps like today are very healthy). In the weekend I usually catch up. I listen to my body. I have to. I don’t use medicine or any other substances, I try to keep my body in shape. My alcohol intake is limited to max 5 units (250ml beer) per month.

    When I teach, I go to bed round midnight and wake up just after 6. When I work from home I do whatever needs to be done between 7.30am and 1.30am and sometimes a little later.
    🙂

    Like

    March 16, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    • You are not different and it does not sound Bipolar with regular sleep and taking good care of yourself and all. So maybe you just have manic tendencies and are very creative. I feel the same way about being creative and the depressions are hard because creativity is at a low, too.

      Don’t take what I say as gospel. I really shouldn’t say at all– not being an expert and not knowing you really. But, for example, when I am manic, sleep will not come, even with pills and, if my husband weren’t there I would use the treadmill at 2AM, but since he is there, I write instead. I buy lots of things when manic and nothing when depressed. There are many synptoms– it is like being 2 different people but that is Bipolar 1. Bipolar 2 is milder and hypomania milder still.

      Like

      March 16, 2013 at 2:41 PM

  5. I had an idea of what you were experiencing. My background is in mental health and a second professional background in Animal Health Technology. I had patients with Bi Polar as well as many other mental health disorders.
    My heart raced with their’s. My head throbbed as their’s did. I wanted to just hold them and say “it’s ok, just close your eyes and breathe deeply.” The pain I felt and the frenzie I felt was horrible for them and from them. I have a very dear friend who has asperger’s and Bi Polar along with health issues resulting from it. I have gone on line to read all about his disorder to understand him better. Now I have come upon your site and lo and behold, you have the same disorder. I want to understand from a very personal view what is felt. I appreciate your honesty about your illness and I support your tremendous efforts to be the optimal of health possible. God Bless your heart, your life, your message.
    Yisraela

    Like

    March 19, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    • It sounds as if you sometimes take on the problems of your clients. My husband who is a clinical social worker is also a bit Aspie so this helps keep distance. One needs distance for one’s own health. Did you stop doing therapy?

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      March 19, 2013 at 9:50 AM

      • I am retired now. Took early retirement. But when I did work as a therapist, I put a certain distance between myself and my clients. I invested a lot of time and love because as with many people who have emotional health issues, they are often quickly assessed and misdiagnosed. I did not want to learn about them from their history. I wanted to know them myself first without any prior information. That lent me the optimal opportunity to understand without having another clinical history in front of me. Later I read their histories. So yes I put a lot of myself into it. But that was to afford my patients the best of me that they could get and that would benefit them. I always had a comfortable shield that allowed me to not get overwhelmed however. I know how important that is.
        Thank you for your comments.
        Yisraela

        Like

        March 19, 2013 at 5:26 PM

  6. Wonderful. 🙂
    The insight that this provides to an internal world I cannot imagine, has opened a door for me. I work with a couple of Aspergers, and an elective mute Autist; and despite my best efforts have thus far failed miserably in finding a key to understanding the world from their perspective. This makes sense! This explains so much that they themselves could never express.
    Thank you. xx

    Like

    March 23, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    • Thank you for your wonderful comment. I can’t say if this is what they experience since it is a spectrum and I am Bipolar as well. I wrote the book to try to make what I went through a guide for others like me. Do you work with these patients as a shaman and if so, what do you do? I hope you don’t mind me asking. I am not really knowledgeable about what a shaman does. It has been so interesting reading your comments.

      Like

      March 23, 2013 at 9:54 PM

      • Oh, Ellen. Your book is much more than that! It should be on the compulsory reading list of every high school on the planet. (He said, getting prepared to dive into chapter 7, with a strange mixture of joy and tredipation (the title does not bode well… 😉 ) There is a humilty and raw honesty running through it, that is both touching and liberating. How many times, already, I have wanted to reach out to the 20-something Ellen, and through hugs and tears just try to be there for her, in whatever capacity she could find most strength. (Can’t wait for the rest of the journey! 🙂 )

        I’m afraid shamanism would be a step too far for these particular clients. A bit too much noisy drumming and rattling, a bit too much “eye-locking”, a bit too much dancing around like a crazy dude, a bit too much “out of the comfort zone”… kind of goes for most of the population really… lol

        I treat them through massage, of all things. Not suitable for everyone across the spectrum, of course. My young adult, mute autist, in particular, they said, would never allow the closeness and skin to skin contact. Well, he proved them wrong on that count, squealing in delight every time I turn up, and interacting with “his” massage therapist in a confident, active way that even his long term carers are unable to achieve! All three were referred to see if massage could help with their symptoms of stress and unresolved anger issues. The look on the faces of the parents of the younger two, witnessing their child physically relax for the first time in years, and watching the stress disappear from the two of them, is probably the most worthwhile thing I have ever done.

        Like

        March 23, 2013 at 10:28 PM

      • You’re reading my book!!?? Thanks so much for what you said about it!!!
        All very interesting what you are doing with the autist. That must be so rewarding! Just seeing his parent’s reactions must be so touching. So you do massage as well as shamanism? I do Reiki but mostly distant healings. Only had one very moving experience with a relative of a 9/11 victim. I can’t take massage– too over-stimulating. What do you do with your Aspie clients with that problem?

        Like

        March 23, 2013 at 10:50 PM

      • Funnily enough, I’ve not actually come across that problem yet, despite the warnings that it just couldn’t be done! Perhaps it’s where the individual sits on the spectrum?
        Having said that, being a farmer’s boy, I’m much more used to massaging larger vertebrates… so it may have to do with the amount of pressure applied. (My training is towards the sports / remedial massage side – once made the mistake of getting a “normal” massage, and it was awful – felt like they were using feathers… 😦 )
        Have you ever come across the “Cow Lady”? She realised that cows relax when they are put in a cattle crush (there seems to be much easier ways to inspect and treat a cow…), and, suffering from autism herself, wondered if that feeling could help her. She even invented a “human crush” and uses all the time to keep her stress levels down. So I suppose my big clumsy hands might be having a similar relaxing effect… lol
        Check her out here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46ycu3JFRrA

        Like

        March 24, 2013 at 8:49 AM

      • Dear Running Elk,

        Thank you for sending me the link to the cow lady. I knew of Temple Grandin and have read many of her books. An article I wrote was compared to her story though she was severely autistic and I am on the mild end of the spectrum. You are absolutely right– your heavy handed massage would work for autists and Aspies. The light massage IS like feathers and very overstimulating. So you do the right thing by instinct and by working with cows. I maintain animals are some of our best teachers. I would love to hear any stories you have to tell and would love to hear your opinion of my book when you finish even if you don’t like it. Thanks again for writing and your feedback and for telling me a bit about yourself. Would love to hear more of your work as a shaman and why you were picked by your teacher.

        Warmest regards, Ellen

        Like

        March 24, 2013 at 10:45 AM

      • That they are, Ellen, that they are. 🙂
        I’d forgotten that Temple had done so much for animal welfare – so engrossed was I in the clamping philosophy! Amazing the insight that she has been able to bring to the world.
        Will be an honour to send feedback. (Frustrating day of doing the stuff that needs to be done… Chapter 7 still awaits… :D)
        Hopefully the muse will take me (been a bit stalled of late) and more details will be forthcoming on the blog sooner, rather than later. 🙂
        Stay well. xx

        Like

        March 24, 2013 at 1:59 PM

      • Guess the muse struck. Was struck by your beautiful post. Yes, Temple Grandin did lots for animals and for autists all over the world.

        Like

        March 25, 2013 at 11:27 AM

      • Ha-ha. Right over the head with a banjo… 😀 Glad you enjoyed the post, Ellen. xx

        Like

        March 25, 2013 at 4:04 PM

  7. What a peek into your internal experience, and way familiar to me having lived with my ex-husband for 20 years. The last 5 years he a spun into long spells of mania, which I didn’t understand. His writing looked very much like yours above. He seemed to like the way he felt without sleep – he felt creative, powerful, brilliant, and wholly unavailable to his family. He still doesn’t perceive this as a disorder, so he only participates with his kids in more surface ways…heartbreaking in some ways – but learning to trust the journey. Thank you for sharing your journey. I think self awareness makes all the difference in being able to either address or just continue patterns. Bow of gratitude for your sharing.

    Like

    March 25, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    • I am sorry for you, I am sorry for your kids and I am sorry for your husband. It took me years to “learn to love” and I thought the lessons important enough to write a book about it. In a manic state it is almost impossible to truly love because one is racing out of control and hurling through space. One does not know that though. Only through being medicated and being in therapy and getting feedback does one learn. It has taken me a lifetime to get where I am today and it took me till age 35 to be able to feel love and give love. It helped that I had a breakdown at age 28 and then HAD to get help. Unfortunately until the person crashes, the mania makes the person unreachable and with the crash comes devastating depression but then the person might get help.

      I am glad my post was meaningful for you– it makes what I am trying to do seem worthwhile.

      Like

      March 25, 2013 at 3:18 PM

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