Guest Post: ManicAF
Haha!! Bet y’all forgot about us! NGL we kinda did too – but sometimes someone needs to share something and for any number of reasons wants to remain anonymous and we are glad to lend a space to do that sort of thing!
This topic (manic episode/mental illness) may be triggering – do what you gotta do to protect yourself. And if this resonates in an “oh dang it may be time to talk to someone about things” and you need resources, we’re happy to help!
I AM MANIC AF RIGHT NOW AND CAN’T EVEN PUNCTUATE
(In which I now have to be accountable for bitching about how people don’t openly discuss mental health)
You know me. You might know me well. You may have even seen me this week. What you probably didn’t catch was that I am in a full blown manic episode where shit is not ok. So… supervillain origin story… cool cool. I work with people dealing with life impacting mental health diagnoses every day in my personal and professional life… I have taken mental health first aid and suicide prevention training and got the regrettably ugly coffee mug to show for it. I’ve got two on the books for myself… depression and ADHD… and probably a few more that didn’t get discovered before the funding ran out 🤣.
So I had a good health insurance run for a couple years and started taking Adderall and Lexapro. Then I changed jobs last year and it got a little trickier. My piss poor executive functioning was not able to defeat the obstacles of the privatized capitalist health system this year and I found myself at a place where both my scripts lapsed without a prescriber. “Oh ho” says me… “I’ve only been on ADHD meds for 2 out of 42 years of my life… so I will just be going back to what I know.” “Ah ha” says me… “I’ve been depressed plenty of times without meds… no big 🤷🏼♀️”. “This is fine”
Spoiler alert: It was not fine.
A couple weeks into my cold turkey cleansing psychoactive detox I felt amazing. I had more energy than I’ve had in a decade. I felt hopeful about doing things I’ve been putting off forever. I enthusiastically threw myself into activities I had missed doing. I had days on end where I felt zero… ZERO… anxiety and overthinking. “This is uhmazing” says me. “Maybe I was over medicated… maybe I got better and just didn’t notice”
Sure I was a little impulsive. I drove faster (efficiency!), talked more (communication!), I spent money on alcohol and takeout (treat yoself!). My sex drive went into overdrive (hot!). Somewhere along the way of running up charges on my credit card and banging strangers from the internet I had a moment of lucidity… I’d like to say it was a result of my training and insight but I really think it was because a real fat dude that didn’t look a thing like his picture almost broke my bed and it pissed me off.
So then… real reflection. Ten deep breaths. Stretch and hydrate. Eat some crackers. Google “can stopping antidepressants make you manic?”
The hardest part for me to wrap my head around is having to make the admission that being manic feels fucking good. A little scary in part, but great. And then the follow-up to that is realizing it’s a actually just a euphoric mindfuck I don’t get to safely keep.
And here is why I’m making myself write a thing about this, but also why I’m not just straight publishing this under my name.
I have friends and family who I love and care for deeply who are also having a rough time at the moment. They have been taught, as we all have been, that the polite and expected thing to do when you are having an absolute shitshow meltdown where you have detached from reality and are hurting inside is to say “I’m fine”. “Meh”. “Shrug”. “Lol 🤣🤣🤣”. Shots Shots Shots! Because that is way more comfortable for everyone involved. I am not writing this under my name because I don’t need a spotlight shifted to me and my shenanigans where it might take attention and resources from other people who also need it right now. I AM writing this because we have to do better. If I (figuratively only, hopefully) pull my damn pants down (sorry blog!) on this one and talk about the ugly and intoxicating without shame then maybe the next time a safe and trusted person asks me or someone I care about “are you ok?” we can answer truthfully and without fear… and not face this alone.
A friend from the old days went through a rough patch a while back and he bravely chose to disclose to his social media circle that he was feeling suicidal. And he looped people in to his battle by letting us know he would post a certain word daily to let us know he woke up once again. (You know who you are, and I adore you). He spoke out publicly and opened a door for a ton of people in our circles to come out about their own issues.
This is the way.
If I ask you how you are doing, I want you to know that if you’re having a shitty week or one hangnail away from becoming a Lifetime movie then you can say that. If you want a listener, say that. If you want problem solving, say that. If you want me to drive you to the hospital, say that.
I would rather be made uncomfortable and worried by your authenticity and truth than leave you to figure this out on your own.
I love you. Tell your story.
I’m hopefully on the way to unfucking myself. I told a couple of people that love me that I’m not quite right at the moment. I’m watching what I’m doing and making sure there is a rational reason for doing it. I’m watching for the inevitable depression crash. I’m planning on making a plan to get back on that health care train. I’ll definitely see you again. I’m accepting all hugs.
If being a creative and functioning adult suddenly blindsided by mania is a topic that resonates with you; further check out “An Unquiet Mind” by Kay Redfield Jamison, because vague memories of reading that book were my first clue as to what was happening to me