There comes a moment in time when life slows down. You have always been running around from moment to moment, and suddenly when things settle, you realize years have passed and you have nothing to show for it. I had such a realization this evening, as I just sat and just stared into space while my car was running.
14 years have passed since I actually had a full-time job and somewhat of a career. At a young age, I was driven, determined, and oh so ambitious. I attribute a lot of my success to my mania, (the euphoric state of my bipolar illness). My mania got me through a lot; it helped push me and gave me interstellar confidence. However the fallout of mania is the Catch 22. There is no real way to harness mania, and use it for all it’s good qualities. Once you go down that path of psychedelic bliss, there is no turning back, and you end up either in a psych ward, jail, or someone’s bed you had no business being in. You also end up with a mountain of debt, because while in a manic state of mind, you end up spending money like you’re a Rockstar.
As I sat in my car this evening, I realized that I will be two years closer to 40 this year. I was frozen in fear, with my hands on the steering wheel, and the tears started flowing. It was at that moment I said a silent prayer, trying to connect to that place which is so lost to me now. My mania is completely gone, and I am having a really hard time adjusting to that. When I was at my psychiatrist appointment today, it dawned on me that I had no complaints to report; I am stable and functioning properly, and it fucking sucks. People with bipolar go through so much, and they look to mountains of medication to fix the problem, (I know because I have), but what happens when they actually work? So many people would argue, that its great and I shouldn’t complain about it, but I feel like I have lost an entire part of myself.
My mania was my drive. Yeah, it drove me nuts and I made bad decisions, but the complete absence of it makes me feel like I have lost my cosmic connection. Doctors would argue that my spiritual and universal experiences were all in my head, but nothing, not even an orgasm, can compare to what it’s like to have the epiphanies you have when you are manic. You don’t even notice it, but suddenly everything connects and things make sense that never did before.
The bottom line is, I am a fully functional bipolar survivor that’s ready to rejoin society, and it totally sucks. I will become a drone, work a 9 to 5 to retirement, and eventually be just another plot at a cemetery. All my magnificent experiences are gone. I feel like my soul has been taken from me. I don’t even have a husband or kids to leave my legacy too.
As I sat in my car I thought about those all those years. Those years in which I chased all those men, spent money I didn’t have, and basically wasted most of my existence on a bipolar rollercoaster. A lot doesn’t matter now. A lot of things that used to drive me seem infinitesimal. Being a human being used to be such a wondrous thing to me. The magnificence of my brilliant, inspirational mind seems dulled, and beaten down by medication.
The mania, which had been my exquisite poison, is now absent, and has left a hole in my marvelous brain. I wanted to start the endeavor of writing again, because I think through my words I can capture what is lost, and express myself though the magic of literature. Though my words I can find my voice and enrich the part of my soul that I feel has been taken from me.
I will find myself again through connections too. As I sat in my car, I fished out an old friend’s telephone number my therapist had passed on to me. I met her 11 years ago, when I first moved to Long Island and was hospitalized because of a manic episode. We had reconnected here and there over the years, and we even attempted college at the same time. But much like me, her mania took her so many places, and she ended up disappearing for long periods of time. She’s back now, and I am going to try to meet up with her for coffee next week.
Without the keys to the universe, I am just an ordinary human being in the world. My mania was a gift while it lasted, and I experienced things way beyond mortal understanding. Now that it’s gone, I have to live the rest of my life just like everyone else.
I guess that’s not such a bad thing right?
Life on life’s terms, and all part of a new beginning.