Grounded & Etherial Mania

I’ve been overloaded with an overwhelming amount of intense information this week, and it is all the sort of stuff I need to wrap my head around (even remotely) to be able to write about it. As I sat down to write yesterday, there were too many intense topics swirling around trying to fight to be heard, so I gave up, really, and called it a holiday.

My moods have been relatively stable this week with the exception of over the last weekend, I had what was probably a 6 hour long manic period. I’ve talked a little bit about the sorts of things that go through my head/feelings I have while manic,  and now that I’ve analyzed a lot of what happens while it has happened (which is always fun to read later) I’ve concluded that the manic states I find myself in usually fit into one of two categories.

I’ll call them grounded and etherial.

For me, grounded manic episodes are usually linked to something around me, I have a plan for a good idea, or an overwhelming energy to propel myself toward/into whatever strikes my fancy at the time. Grounded by no mean means level-headed, just that what I am experiencing is attached mentally or physically in some way to the things that are going on around me. Dancing, socializing, camping, physical activities with mental expansiveness beyond what I can keep up with.

The etherial manic episodes, though, are almost the opposite. These I have often called wispy or evaporative and I find myself feeling as if I am floating above all of those things I’d attach myself to when I’m in a grounded state. There is no seeming goal, just a feeling of contented detachment like being a cloud watching time unfold. The high is weightless, and feels more like a general sense of being high on life. 

Sunday’s experience was etherial, and I found myself sitting on the floor (though it felt quite like I was hovering above it) for over an hour thinking about nothing but how good it felt and how if spiritual enlightenment exists, that might be what it feels like.

Usually when I think of mania, I think of the racing, intense, 12 project, chest pounding kind, which is one of the reasons I have never been able to embrace the idea of mania addiction (on a personal level, I mean). There is something about those episodes (the grounded kind) that I find interesting but a little unnerving because it seems anything could happen.

Now that I’ve experienced the etherial type a few times fairly-recently (enough for me to recognize the pattern) I would personally expect that mania addiction for me would most likely occur to that seemingly unprovoked high on life feeling of the etherial manic episode.

3 responses to “Grounded & Etherial Mania

  1. I like the idea of defining two different types of manic episodes. I’ve not really heard about that else where. I love how you can put something in to words I’ve only begun to start noticing 🙂

    I think this is what I was trying to explain to my counselor (rather unsuccessfully) that before I started taking Cymbalta my manic episodes where the racing, intense, 12 project, chest pounding kind. And that was good for me because I was working and managing projects and my life was a house ‘o fire. I could let grading slide for weeks and then barrel through a month’s worth of grading in a few days. I could put events or school packets together at the last minute that looked well planed out, etc.

    But now, I have two OTHER kinds. 1) I am so wired I can’t sleep but also can’t be productive. While I used to be able to write whole poems during a manic cycle, I have trouble concentrating on any task. Everything is just a blur and I can’t focus. I can only sit around and think. And play video games.

    Then, recently, I have been getting these rather frantic periods of no sleep, buzzing thought, but my mood is subterranean. I guess that would be a mixed episode.

    I think this post or yours will help me explain this to my team (The White Coats) better.

    Thank you for sharing.

    • Sarah @ bi[polar] curious

      No problem!

      I have the wired unproductive episodes too, and have been experiencing them lately. Totally the pits, because I have a ton of projects that I should be doing, the energy to do them, but the lack of focus to follow through on anything. Oh well, I suppose… it could be worse!

      I’ve been trying to define how my episodes occur to better tackle them, medically. It hasn’t been so helpful on that front yet, but it has been extremely helpful in my understanding!

  2. Pingback: I am a Wikipedia cut and paste « Living on the Green Edge

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