Is This Mania ?

Breathing air that seemingly becomes so fresh Working endlessly on a project that determines my worth.
Going hours without eating Disappearing without a trace Reading theories about the fucking M&M characters!
I thought I was just happy.
Finally after months of being alive but not living.
I just thought I was better.
Healed.
But not eating takes a toll, My body shaking as I try to hold off for just one more second.
If I eat the happiness leaves.
The energy…the frenzy just leaves.
I am in love to the very thing that destroys me.
I guess it’s mania.

This is Not What I Expected

I stare out the window,
stand and watch the rain beat down
harshly on the rug spread on my patio;
It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

I sip coffee from a chipped mug that I broke
during my last move;
its temperature scalds me—
just like life.

By the time I finish my cup
and the day has halfway gone,
the raining stops;
So, I do as I always have.

I trudge outside,
hand the sodden rug over the metal furniture to dry,
and I make my peace that,
oftentimes, life occurs in such a way that I am both
the mess and
the broom;

No worries, though,
for I will always have the ability
to sweep myself back up again.

Seafarer; From the Perspective of a Future Lover

Her hair—twisted like long, green tentacles—fell like water across her face
and as the rain came pouring down, algae liquid followed suit—oceanic.
In the depths of her laughter, I explored the brightest and most beautiful coral reefs,
and in the wake of her tears, I learned that, sometimes, they…get bleached.
Luckily, she always finds the light again, and I am able to sun-bathe in her warm glow;
Together, we grow tanner, and as nightfall breaks, her body crashes like waves upon me.
Over and over and over again, I get to enjoy her tides until it’s time for me to nurture, rather than to relish.
Because as the sea rises and falls, so does she, but that doesn’t make her any less my favorite place to be.

MANIAC

Today has been good.
I got out of bed. I showered. I got dressed up.
I was productive. I had coffee. I filed papers.
I socialized—flourishing in the limelight.
…I made a mistake.

Today has not been good.
The shower was so hot it scorched my skin.
When I was getting coffee, I almost hit another car.
While I was socializing, I crossed boundaries that I knew were there but didn’t care about in the moment.

Today has been manic.
I cried hysterically when I put on my ex’s favorite shirt. I didn’t stop until I was ordering my drink.
My productivity consisted of using up old art supplies by tie dying my bathroom towels at 2:30 in the morning.
I think I pushed away my best friend.

Today, I took my medicine. But today, it didn’t help.

BIPOLAR ESCAPISM: PUSHING PEOPLE AWAY & DISAPPEARING

When a person in a relationship—whether platonic or romantic—has bipolar disorder, the symptoms can often affect both people. These interferences will arise in a variety of situations—whether manic or depressed—and they will manifest differently based on the personalities of the persons involved and the situation at hand.

One thing I have noticed across the board, though, in both my personal life and the lives of the bipolar individuals around me, is what I’d like to call an escapist tendency. This tendency can manifest in any mood or altered state, but I see it creep up most often in romantic relationships—particularly when the relationship seems to be going a bit ‘too well.’

I know—that doesn’t really seem to make sense. If things are going well, isn’t that good? Yeah, of course it is. But for people with bipolar disorder, for those of us who are always waiting for the other shoe to drop, being in a romantic relationship that makes us so incredibly happy also often reminds us that there is a big downswing waiting just on the other side. Because we live cyclically. And that’s destructive thinking, yes, but, sometimes, we can’t pry ourselves away from it because it’s all we’ve ever known. Up, then down. Up, then down. Over and over again. And the more encompassing the high, the mightier the fall.

So, when things are really good? We have a tendency to run. Because it’s better to remove ourselves from the situation than it is to watch such a beautiful thing come crashing to the ground, right? Especially if we feel that wonderful thing is crumbling because of us and the way that we exist.

What I’ve noticed, then, is that, instead, we disappear. We push people away, and then we exit their lives slowly—casually. Or, we forgo the pushing them away stage and just straight-up ghost them, leaving them to wonder whether or not we were ever even real. And while that is nowhere near fair to the people that this keeps happening to, I cannot say that it makes us any less prone to be “runners.”

I don’t think any of us ever look at leaving as an attempt to harm the other person. We’re just trying our best to survive, and, sometimes—with our minds the minefields that they are—escaping feels like the only way how.

Hypersexuality and You

Everyone’s had an itch before, right?  Sometimes it’s on the bottom of your foot, but you can’t take your shoes off.  You end up wiggling your foot around, trying desperately to scratch the itch.  It seems to take forever for it to go away.

Now imagine that the itch is your sex drive and your life is the shoe.

Yeah, it’s kind of like that.

Hypersexuality is an often overlooked aspect of Bipolar and other disorders.  So overlooked, in fact, that my editor is looking at the word like an error.  Maybe it is.  A cosmic error. 

I bet there are a few people out there who would read “hypersexuality” and think it must be AWESOME to have a hypersexual girlfriend.  Never getting turned down for sex?  SO into it.  Sorry, fictional bros, but it doesn’t quite work that way.   Yes, when I’m hypersexual I want sex.  A lot.  A LOT a lot.  But it’s far more than that.   It’s feeling sexy.  It’s seeing sex everywhere.  That guy over there?  His girlfriend?  Yeah, they totally want me.  I can tell.

Of course, there are obvious downsides, the risk of STIs being just one of those.  There’s also the risk to your mental health when the hypersexuality wanes and you’re left to deal with what’s left in its wake.  I still cringe when I think about the last episode of hypersexuality when I was single.  It’s more than just cringe-worthy, though.  It’s the realization that you could have put yourself in harms way.  Not only your health, but (especially if you’re female, unfortunately) your life and safety. I could have been axe-murdered so many times. Yeah, boys and girls, it’s not all fun and games.

The truly unfortunate part is that many people don’t understand that this is a symptom of their illness.  They might not realize that they are ill at all.  When you realize that this hypersexuality is a part of the illness, you can take steps to prevent or mitigate it.  Without that knowledge of yourself, you (or at least, this holds true for me) heap guilt upon guilt and don’t understand why you do the things you do.

Once you accept that the amped-up sex drive is a symptom, you can begin to forgive yourself for your past behaviors, be it inappropriate flirting or a string of one night stands. More importantly, you can begin to learn how to deal with hypersexuality without completely wrecking your life.  It is possible.

There are tons of resources on the internet to help you deal with hypersexuality.  One of the most important things you can do, though, is to treat the bipolar disorder, whether that be with mood stabilizers and medications or through therapy and coping techniques.  Unstable moods mean unstable sex lives.

It also helps, if you’re in a relationship, to keep that in mind as a goal.  Hypersexuality can ruin relationships and marriages, but knowing your triggers  and being honest with your spouse about the way you’re feeling can go a long way toward keeping your relationship happy and healthy.

Most importantly, don’t beat yourself up about it. You’re not slutty or gross.  You have a condition that causes  your sex drive to kick into high gear when your mood spikes.  Be safe, but don’t be hard on yourself about it.