The Price of Mania

Updated: Jan 28

Parts of mania are fun.

There’s no point lying about that. The early days of being happy and excitable and everything being fun and spending all your money and getting nice things in return and having good ideas about all the things you can do and make and write and read…is fun.

It stops being fun after a while. It’s too quick. You can’t sit still, you can’t get your ideas out, your brain feels like it’s going to explode with all the information in it and you can’t do everything it wants to do quick enough. Other people are a barrier to doing everything you want to do, like staying up all night to work on all your excellent projects and buying everything you want to buy. You don’t eat or drink because you don’t even think about it because you’re too busy thinking about and working on all your excellent projects. You become irritable and frustrated.

Mania is expensive, yes. It’s expensive in time, in money and in physical health. But for me, the biggest expense I pay is the crash. The horrible anxiety as you check your bank account and try to add up where all your money went. The extreme exhaustion that takes over your mind and body. The sadness as you reflect upon what has happened, and how you’ve got to this point again.

Often the price of mania, for me, is depression. It doesn’t always last long and it’s not always severe, but it is probably going to happen. And I truly wish, in those early days of hypomania, when I am excited and colours look brighter and all music is amazing and everyone is wonderful, that I could remind myself of the trade off I am making. That actually, maybe stability isn’t boring, and it’s exactly how I want to live. That what comes up must come down. That this feeling cannot be sustained.

But I can’t. I don’t know if I can’t because I don’t realise, or if I can’t because I don’t want to. And if it is because I don’t want to, is that because I enjoy hypomania, or because I hate having to dissect every mood I have just in case it’s a symptom?

Maybe next time I will catch it early. Maybe I’ll read this post back and it will remind me to slow down and to get help as early as possible.

All I can do is take each episode and learn from it as best I can.

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