I don't know if it's being in love, or feeling a deep and abiding connection with my child...it could be anything, even mania, but I've been having episodes of what can only be described as omnipotent potential. The feeling is being so happy that one drop more will open my soul a thousand miles wide, and I am well aware of feeling it, and knowing that it is a danger signal. It happened for the first time last weekend when I proclaimed that is was a "GREAT Saturday! A wonderful Saturday!" I was as high as an eagle can fly, soaring and tumbling through the ether, feeling the uplift in the takeoff and the thrill in the dive through the open air. I had to consciously say to myself, "Come down...land. You're too high. It's a long fall." It happened again this afternoon, just walking through the grocery store with my lover and I had to pull myself back...I had to stop myself from singing, from dancing through the aisles. But I wanted to spin. I wanted to twirl with that free fall into heights so expansive, it would take years to traverse the divide. I managed to calm myself down and not cause attention to myself. I managed to reign myself in and be appropriate. At the same time I had to squelch the disappointment of the moment. Why can't I dance in the grocery store if I'm this happy? Why can't I sing out loud because I'm in love? Why? Because I am heavily medicated, that's why. And as much as the medicine does its job in keeping these manic symptoms at bay, the disease itself will strive just as hard to push itself through. It is a constant battle these days, both sides of my mood taking swipes and swings at one another with me in the middle blowing the whistle and throwing the flag. The medicine is not working as well as it used to. I realize this with a sense of dread. There will be an increase, or there will be a switch, but whatever it is will cause an upheaval. What I dread most is that it will rob me of these recent episodes of overt happiness, that I will go back to the middle of the road feeling nothing in the extremes either way. I've told the story of my patients from detox...the ones sweating and struggling through pain one can barely imagine--when asked if they would rather feel that pain or feel nothing at all their answers were always the same. "I'd rather feel pain." And so would I. Give me sadness with desolation so black one can scarely see a ray of light shining through, but my God, don't make me numb. At the very least, let me have these few moments of ecstasy. The depression that follows is worth every tear. The price to pay is worth having that feeling of being weightless, of being free, of being inside the unfolding of one moment of utter happiness. All I need to do is learn how to stop it from taking over. I need to learn how to hold it all in and not let it explode all over my life and the people I love. That has always been the trick. Controlling it. How do you experience the thrill of speeding down the highway in a red convertible with the top down without pushing that gas peddle all the way to the floor? How do you stop yourself in mid-flight after realizing the jump was too high and that you are going to hit the fucking floor face-first? I don't have any of these answers. All I do now is open my mouth and swallow the meds, and hope that it will be enough.
At first, you can't hear anything. The noise in your head is so loud, it drowns out any of the warning beeps and buzzers that might otherwise alert you in a healthier state of mind. There is a sensation of wind...as if you were quickly running downhill, like you did when you were a kid and you thought for a split second that your body might be too slow for your legs--right before you tumbled head over heels. There is a thrill in that. There is a charge in knowing that you are living large inside one single moment of absolute awareness of every sharp piece of evidence of life.
But this is why you can't hear the crash coming. You are too busy listening to the buzz. It is pushing you, motivating you, oozing you into creation, sex, life, art, passion, housework. It is pushing your foot down a little heavier on that gas peddle. It is buying the colorful outfit on a maxed-out credit-card. There are so many things to do. So many things to do. So many things to do. So many things to do.
You don't need sleep. Sleep is for the weak. Sleep is for people who can't get in touch with their manic side. You have this under control. Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh. The sound of the winded arrival of a helicopter causes you to glance momentarily out the window, until you realize that once again, the chopper is in your head. Incoming.
And now people are pissing you off. They aren't talking loud enough. Or they're talking too loud. And they're standing too fucking close. Or they're walking too goddam slow. Or they're calling you all the time on the fucking phone. And they're trying to run your goddamn life. And why can't they just all fuck off and leave you the hell alone?
Crash, crash, crash, crash...
The energy wanes, but the insomnia continues. This is a cruel joke. You are not laughing.
You wonder if you will ever escape. You wonder if there will ever be a resolution.