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Mania + Me

There are things you learn about yourself, about the person you really are, as opposed to the person you think you are, that make you ask the one question nobody wants you to ask: ‘Why am I still doing what I’ve been doing my whole life?’

Nine years ago I was meant to leave for Paris during Easter break. I never reached France. Instead I was found unconscious on St. James’ park and, an ambulance call later, in hospital with amnesia. I had apparently attempted suicide with a cocktail of prescription drugs, alcohol and ‘xtc’. Four years later and after staccato referrals to SHA Wellness, The Priory and Fulbourn I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and severe depression with psychosis.

One can only imagine how I managed to take these diagnoses without further breaking down.  I did nonetheless and after many an eventful year – multiple jobs, a plethora of psychiatric sessions, two family suicides, a nomadic life – I am somehow still alive and have found a voice. In this particular blog I address you all not as recipients per se, but rather as spectators.

If anything it will serve as a ‘journal’ of sorts as I take what I hope will be sure steps in my life toward recovery as I’ve been able to set aside time and space for a more pro-active approach. I hope that this also helps any young-people, as myself, and their colleagues / friends / family in being able to further understand their disorders.

I will, occasionally, write a few posts on a variety of topics, from fashion and politics to wine and architecture.

P.S: I thank Lithium & ChipsHyperbole & a Half, Ellen Forney and Kay Jamison for being very candid with their own fight with bipolar disorder.

There is a particular kind of pain, elation, loneliness, and terror involved in this kind of madness. When you’re high it’s tremendous. The ideas and feelings are fast and frequent like shooting stars, and you follow them until you find better and brighter ones. Shyness goes, the right words and gestures are suddenly there, the power to captivate others a felt certainty. There are interests found in uninteresting people. Sensuality is pervasive and the desire to seduce and be seduced irresistible. Feelings of ease, intensity, power, well-being, financial omnipotence, and euphoria pervade one’s marrow. But, somewhere, this changes. The fast ideas are far too fast, and there are far too many; overwhelming confusion replaces clarity. Memory goes. Humor and absorption on friends’ faces are replaced by fear and concern. Everything previously moving with the grain is now against– you are irritable, angry, frightened, uncontrollable, and enmeshed totally in the blackest caves of the mind. You never knew those caves were there. It will never end, for madness carves its own reality.

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