A blip of mania popped up on the radar this weekend. In a way I would say that cycling as rapidly as I have been is almost a positive, as the episode only lasted about two hours. Sure these moments are random and seem to strike without warning, but the the limited nature of their duration makes it all seem much more bearable.
For me, it is much easier to name these phenomenons so I can reference them at other times. After all, what do you call something without a name? To simply say that I felt manic doesn’t seem to really describe what happened, so by introducing you to some of these characters I am hoping you might understand things better.
“Crazy girlfriend,” for example, is one of these characters I’ve already mentioned. Of course, when I say “characters” I don’t quite mean that she is someone else entirely, just a state that I can sometimes fall into. The crazy girlfriend phenomenon. The version of me that is extremely paranoid, specifically about my relationships. Irrational, angry, accusational, and generally believing that every little thing that happens is intended to cause me harm.
Last night was a different phenomenon. I know this one pretty intimately, as it used to come about a lot more often when I was younger, not as frequently these days though.
I call it the werewolf. Or Sarah werewolf. Or just Sarewolf.
Imagine being struck by a bolt of lightning, and the lightning fills your body with electricity. Currents are rapidly coursing through your veins, filling your chest with something that can’t seem to escape. An all consuming claustrophobia hits suddenly, and you have to escape outdoors. Something inside you is trying to get out, and your muscles ache and beckon you to tear away the flesh caging the beast you know is in there because your mind already feels transformed. You are now a force of nature, something simple and humble, but powerful. Then, you see the moon and laugh because of the overwhelming urge you have to run and howl at it.
That’s when the confusion begins. Or doesn’t, depending on how swept up you are in all of it.
“Am I a fucking werewolf?”
Don’t worry, I know I am not a werewolf. That would be silly. The werewolf phenomenon, though, tries to make me believe I am.
There are two parts of me, internally, and with bipolar disorder they often disagree. The emotional feeling part of my self, and the logical thought portion of my self. Thought usually carries the burden of trying to wade through telling the feeling part which feelings are real and which are not. Every once in a while, it is the emotional part that has to bail out thought because it’s gone and thought itself into a hole, but for the most part the two can work together to figure out what is going on.
I guess that would mean that true mania is the moment when thought and emotion both suddenly coincide in a fantasy, and the fantasy seems real. Emotion asks thought to double check the situation, and thought just shrugs and says, “just go along with it.”
So for about two hours last night, I was a werewolf. She (as in me, in this state) was quite courteous to my psyche though, and very friendly, I think she knew that I remembered her.
She even wrote me a letter, cautioning me about the dangerous hole I’d fallen into, and letting me know that even though we are friends she doesn’t bother coming around in the city much because the urban setting is just too stifling to her nature.
Well that’s nice, I suppose, even if it is a little unnerving. Suddenly I have a new appreciation for 10 years ago me, because she clearly had a lot more going on than I gave her credit for. To be fair, I had no idea that this was considered “unnatural” for quite a long time, and any documentation I’ve read from long ago that I had written about fighting with myself, well I guess I believe it now.
If I struggled as a teenager fighting against myself, Sarewolf was one of the main contenders who I was doing the fighting with. Her priorities are completely different, and her instincts are on a very primal level. Not conducive to what we consider a normal living situation in this day and age.
I can see more clearly now, the culprit of the day I ran away from home to live in the woods (yep, that happened). Living like a gypsy fits the Sarewolf m.o. completely. That day was one of the few moments where I have been able to pinpoint experiencing true mania, but when those feelings happened last night, many memories came back that I seem to have lost. Memories of the Sarewolf.
Anyway, just a moment of clarity, I guess. It isn’t every day that I wake up with long lost memories that I’d forgotten. And don’t worry, I’m taking steps this week to consult with my medical team about what happened. I do not anticipate any sort of danger.