“The blinding light? Wait a minute, I thought that spending life on top of the world was a good thing!” I’m sure that’s a thought that went through some of your minds when you saw the title (If it’s not, we’re just gonna pretend it was, mkay?) I guess in a sense, being on top of the world is a good thing; however, there comes a point when the pedestal you sit upon becomes so tall, the awesome might and power of the light ends up turning you into the demon deep within yourself. The truth is, my manic episodes have caused more pain to myself and those that I love than any depressive episode I’ve ever had. Which is unfortunate, because I’ve spent most of my life sitting high above the world on my manic throne.
For those of you that aren’t quite sure what I’m talking about, let me start by defining Mania. According to http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/, Mania is defined as “an abnormally elated mental state, typically characterized by feelings of euphoria, lack of inhibitions, racing thoughts, diminished need for sleep, talkativeness, risk taking, and irritability.” Sounds pretty great, right? Euphoria, lack of inhibitions, diminished need for sleep (You’re saying that I’m not gonna need sleep? Sign me up!) risk taking? Those all sound pretty fantastic to me! Okay, so irritability doesn’t sound so great, and the racing thoughts might turn some away (for me, it was one of the greatest parts), but those two things don’t sound like such a bad price for not needing sleep, fearing nothing and a euphoric feeling all time! How could that be so bad? Well, lemme tell ya why being up on top of the world isn’t so great.
To put it simply, Mania is a lot like getting super shwasted. It seems like a fantastic idea before hand, and while you’re in that state-of-mind, there is no greater feeling on Earth. It’s the aftermath that hurts – much like a hangover. It’s when you fall from your demonic throne of light on top of the world and crash hard into the gray reality, before sinking into the never-ending darkness of depression. It’s how awful you feel from going days upon days without any sleep at all; it’s the horror of seeing all of the pain you caused to the people you care the most about, and have no way to explain what on earth possessed you to think that was even an acceptable thing to do or say, let alone a good idea. You see, it’s not the Mania that hurts, but the crash that will inevitably come after. It is then that you see the true evil of Mania; it turns you into the demon you fear.
The worst thing about Mania is that it is a demon you want to chase forever. Because when you can go five days in a row without sleep and still manage to write a book learn music and practice monologues all at the same time and know that everything you do is going to work and have no fears? There’s not a greater high on this planet. That high comes at a cost though, and try as you might you will pay one way or another.
The problem with this high is that the human body wasn’t meant to go without sleep for days in a row. It makes you more irritable; I’ve always generally been pretty good at keeping my emotions in check for the most part, but at the top of my manic phases I would lash out and explode on people I loved more than anything in the world for literally no reason at all, and I couldn’t have cared less. On top of that, living without inhibitions is not a very good thing at all. Because when you crash and see that you’ve maxed out four different credit cards (thankfully, this has never happened to me, but it seems to be a pretty common problem from what I have read from other people’s testaments) or that you spun some horrible tale to a close friend who might not ever forgive you for making them believe the things you said, you’ll realize why inhibitions are a good thing. Not to mention, the amount of dangerous and stupid things that could kill you that you will now do because you can’t even begin to fathom anything bad happening to you.
All in all, Mania is a perfect example of why you should never judge a book by its cover. Because while it seems like heaven on earth on the outside, once you open that book, the true horrors swallow you up and spit you out a broken mess. Still, it’s something that once you get a taste for it, you never stop craving it. Many people diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder refuse treatment because they are unable to sacrifice that manic half. You always think, this time, I can sit on my throne and never fall, and then you always crash harder than the last time. It never fails.