I stare at this blank screen, the cursor flashing at me – mocking me. It tells me my thoughts are not relevant, my thoughts are worthless. It makes it difficult to write. So I just start writing – anything. I write about the cursor. I write about my thoughts. Today they are spinning and I don’t really know what to do with myself, just like the cursor flashing, waiting. My brain flashes and waits for me to settle.
But my problem is I cannot settle. I cannot rest. All the ways I try to cope are failing, so I thought I would try to write a little to give my brain something to do. I am trying to keep myself entertained. I listen to music to calm the misfires, to keep myself from freaking out. I try to maintain a level of peace. I wrote in my journal today but it didn’t help. I may draw later to keep from going insane. I may sew later to keep my brain occupied. But these thoughts won’t quit making their depute entrance without an ending.
And this is what mania is like for me. I can’t sit still. I can’t focus. I can’t rationalize with my brain. I want to sleep but I can’t without the help of pills. Writing seems the only thing to keep me level.
So I opened WordPress to day to speak to my audience.
Not long ago, I finally sought therapy and found out I was bipolar 1. They put me on some pills and it does help stabilize my mood. Before the pills, my emotions were out of control. My depression would send me into these lows and all I could think about was death. My mania wanted me to do everything all at once, spend all of my money, and act as though everything was fine. On the inside, I was breaking. On the outside, I was losing control. Now, I am mending myself back together and keeping my emotions in control. It is amazing what some pills can do for you.
In the midst of finding what would work for me, my mania was running a muck. I took on all these tasks I thought I could handle. I had a podcast with a few episodes, I revamped this blog, I told myself I would write a short story a day (for goodness sake), I tried to commit to writing a grateful post two times a week, I spent money, I was too involved on social media and it effected me, I told myself I would write 500 words a week on my novel ( which is not plausible for me and my schedule and all these other commitments). I also told myself I would finish my memoir by the end of the year.
None of these things happened, and I set myself up to fail. Mania was consuming me for months. It took a high around December, and I crashed in January. I shut down the podcast, the grateful posts, the short stories, and any other thing I thought I could do. My mania came back. But this time, it is somewhat in control and I have found ways to cope rather than give into the cycle.
When I am feeling the high, I open my computer and write. My memoir sat at 6,000 words for almost a year. Now it is at 10,000 with only 10,000 more to go. However, I am taking it slow. I am only writing when the urge hits me and I actually have something to write about. If I force it, I write crap. Today seems a little different. I sat down to ease these spinning thoughts and didn’t really have a topic in mind. So perhaps, sometimes, I can force the words even when my mania won’t let me be.
It is just another way to cope. The pills help me to an extent, but they are not a cure-all. I have to find ways to deal with the excess. Here are some things I have found helpful:
- Bullet Journaling – I like the calming effect it has over me (it didn’t today, but I must find what my brain wants to do with the tools I have before me).
- Drawing – drawing helps sooth the demons. Almost everything I draw is dark or has a dark theme. So drawing dark, demented work, helps give the demons something to look at beside bothering me.
- Reading – even when my brain won’t shut-up, reading helps put the thoughts aside.
- Writing – almost a sure fire way to stop my brain from completely misfiring.
Today, the mania was trying to get the best of me and it nearly did. This blog has helped me though some trying times. I get to vent and I have readers willing to read. And I truly appreciate every single one of you.
If you deal with an mental health issues, don’t be afraid to ask questions or to just have someone to talk to. I am always available (if I am not at work). Also, what are ways you cope?
As always, thank you for reading and being a fan. If you would like to get to know more about me, my art, and my books, you can check out my website, The Takeover, and if you really want to, you can sign up for my monthly newsletter. lilianvale.us