Thursday, April 24, 2008

The First Manic Maniac

I knew something was horribly wrong. I hadn’t slept all night. I spent the night talking to my friend Will until dawn. He may have started it, but it wasn’t him that kept it going. It was an unseen force that was driving me to go out, party, drink, not give a damn about the consequences. I didn’t always come home. Sometimes I’d drink too much and then just stay where I was, usually at will’s house.

I felt sexy and free and didn’t want to be tied down by Greg or anyone else. I told him that I needed to be having fun and would promptly leave the house as soon as he got home from working all day.

But lets go back. After staying up all night that first night and not sleeping, after I had been wild and said I hated Greg, I knew something was seriously wrong. I called my work and they had a program to get counseling if I needed it. I had already told my boss that something was really wrong and I couldn’t work right now. They really understood, and immediately submitted a claim for long term disability for me. I met with the counselor later that week and after hearing me speak at lightening speed for half an hour straight she immediately diagnosed me with bipolar disorder.

“Bipolar disorder”? I was having so much fun. I felt wonderful. Songs sounded better, everything was beautiful and I wanted to kiss every person I met. But I went along with it, because deep down I knew I had a problem. After all the counseling I had been through in my life, I was fairly adept at realizing when something was out of wack. But I’d never in my life had feelings like this before.

Some people say that there’s a catalyst that triggers manic episodes. I think that might hold true for me too. It wasn’t the first time I’d screwed up, but it was an emotional train wreck that I simply couldn’t look away from. In the past I’d fallen for a lot of men with pretty words and pretty promises, but this was different I was married now. To Greg, the most perfect loving supportive husband and woman could only dream of. Yet in my mind it just didn’t have anything to do with him. The mania separated him from all the destruction that was about to occur.

Through out all of this I loved him. I never thought of leaving him seriously, aside from the few occasions we fought because I needed some kind of release and someone to blame. But he was always separate from anything I felt and did in my mania. In my mind I can compartmentalize people and feelings. It’s a gift I got from having PTSD and being abused. I could hide parts of myself and the other parts have no idea what’s going on. I think there’s a phrase that is something like the left hand can’s see what the right one is doing.



Butterfly said...

Wow, Beth, your post could very well had ended "Butterfly".

It's almost like you were telling my story.

So glad we have this outlet.

Nancie said...


It was good that you realized early that something was wrong and your boss was understanding, and you managed to seek counseling help.

You are blessed to have a supportive husband. Hope you are coping well now.

Take care.