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Craving the chaos


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When I saw my pdoc 10 days ago I was in the middle of an agitated, edgy, speedy upward swing - complete with the accelerated speech, inability to focus, etc... I'm sure you know how it goes.  She promptly tweaked my meds and booked me off work for a week to see if we could catch it in time before I really spun out of control.  Well, it worked - I'm now super calm, level and even-headed.  I don't want to kill everyone who looks at me, emails me or calls me.  All good, right?  But.  Today I started wondering if this really is a good thing.  And maybe if I "untweaked" my meds I could get that feeling back.  Catch up with that high and see where it takes me. 

 

I know, really know that this is a bad idea.  I've been through enough life disasters and hospitalisations to have the basic awareness that deliberately under-medicating myself to grab on to the tails of a potential major manic episode would be seriously stupid.  Particularly considering the long period of high functioning that I've had since switching to seroquel XR last year.  But it's still so. fucking. alluring!

 

Can anyone relate?  How do you stay sensible and keep doing the next right thing instead of tossing it all to the wind?

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I can absolutely relate, I was at this point a few weeks ago and I did the thing I felt like doing: letting the mania take over. Of course I crashed hard and have spent the last week trying to drag myself out of a depression and I can tell you it sucks. Mania is fun, it's wonderful when it is euphoric, but it's the most terrible thing when it gets mixed and in the end, it seems the end with a crash. Now I think it was just really not worth it, I could have had weeks of good stable happiness or 2 weeks of euphoric chaos and then weeks of dragging myself out of the dirt again, it's just not worth it. It really isn't. And that's not even talking about going into some fucked up mixed nightmare. 

 

Anyway, excuse my rambling. I don't have a good solution either, trying to stay away from everything that would make you more manic is possibly the best idea: no alcohol, no drugs, no parties, no shopping, no sex with strangers.... or whatever your manic past time may be. Stay far away from it and remember the last time you crashed. Ask yourself it it's really worth it.

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I just remind myself what happened the last time:I wasn't able to pay attention enough to drive, lost time and couldn't control myself at all. I need my job and I don't want to subject my family to that madness again. It can be tempting to get all speedy and euphoric but it doesn't stay that way for long.

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I can relate. For me, hypomania is very alluring. Especially the euphoric ones. I didn't get depressed after this last hypomania, so I feel like it was a treat. When I was recently hypomanic, I chased my hypomania with substances. Not illegal ones, just caffeine and junk. But it ended up that I got higher than I wanted to and I said some stupid things, did some stupid things. Made myself embarrassed and broke, basically. I definitely have regrets.

 

I'm not gonna tell you that craving the chaos is a bad thing, cause you already know that. And you already know not to mess with your meds. But I will tell you to remember all the shit that mania brings with it. How it can be life destroying. Just hold that thought in your head whenever you crave the chaos. 

 

You certainly aren't the first bipolar person to crave mania, and you won't be the last. I think it's practically a part of the disease. You seem to have good enough insight though to know that mania will fuck. you. up.

 

Also, this is just me talking, but when I initially got well, I felt empty and missed my illness. It brought meaning to my life, even if it was horrible. Maybe you miss mania partly cause it's fun and exciting, and partly cause it's kinda boring being well? As wonderful as wellness is, it can be boring. Especially when you're used to the chaos of bipolar. Just a thought. 

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I miss my euphoric hypomanias and manias, but I haven't had that in over ten years now. Now they are all destructive, manic, mixed states. Those I fear like death. So no, I don't miss that kind of chaos. If you find yourself missing euphoric mania, just remind yourself that they can switch to destructive rage and/or suicidal mixed states at the drop of a hat. 

 

I've managed to stay away from alcohol and casual sex for over ten years, but I still have residual problems with spending and binge eating (to the extent that I've developed full-blown binge eating disorder: not fun). Those are very hard for me to control, and they ramp up when I'm getting manic. Also not good things to experience AT ALL. I just remind myself how much worse these things get and the temptation to ride myself up into mania goes away. 

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I eventually realised that I only missed mania when I was either depressed to some degree or unhappy with something in my life. Once I had experienced proper stability on the right meds, with my life set up the way I wanted it, I knew I would never choose anything else.

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I can so relate. Last year I stopped most of my meds, partly because I didn't want to take them and partly because I wanted to be manic. Became depressed instead. I have also had a hypomania that came to a gentle end with euthymia, without the crash. So you think, hey, why not? Sadly, 9 times out of 10 I crash into a depression.

 

A deterrent for me is thinking about what a fool you make of yourself when manic. It is so embarrassing and afterwards you have to pick up all the pieces...

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I am feeling that EXACT feeling right now, except I'm in the middle of a crazy mixed episode and really would just like some straight up fucking mania. The problem I have though is that I don't know what fucking around with my meds would do to me, worsen the mixed state, send me manic, or a downward depression spiral, and I don't feel like finding out. But the craving for mania is SOOOOOOO there!!! That's my reason not to eff around with my meds, I don't actually know what that would do to me.

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