Mania sets in like an electrical helmet on my skull, and I have no memory of what it was to feel like I did even an hour ago.

I am alive, abuzz, full of life, energy, ideas. I must see, do, be, create. I am alive, in love, purposeful! I am human; no, more than human! The trees are blooming, and I am too! Can’t you see? Of course you can’t! How can I expect anyone to know this feeling? It is immense, full and rich; I feel my chest bursting with a thousand feelings, rich, colorful. I see feelings. They no longer exist in physical, emotional terms; No! I see them! They are peaches and purples and sunsetting hues all alive underneath my ribcage, too gigantic to be contained and I am sure that they will explode right out of me at any minute, pouring forth onto my desk like melted rainbow sherbert, sticky sweet.

I could cry from the euphoria. I want to chase through my office, wild laughter exhaling from my mouth; it is too slow so it will follow behind me in a trailing streak, my body moving at the speed of light, so fast I am faster than the thoughts in my head. I would grab stacks of paper and file folders and pens and whip them behind me and demand that people liven up, enjoy the day, it is spring after all! We have survived, survived 100 inches of snow! We are unfurling like flowers, we deserve joy, let us rejoice and show it by dancing madly among the sterile cubicles, the drumbeats of our hearts beating so loudly we hear them in real time and they join as one, because we are our own tribe.

I will write stories, enter contests, I am brilliant, I am productive, I am on fire. I am answering phone calls, I am in love, I am a goddess, I am cosmic, I understand the nature of the soul, I am divinity unto herself, and it is good, she said. Music pulses through my veins and I understand that it is the tapestry of the world and I am but one thread that weaves its way throughout for we are all one and that is how it should be. All is right, all is well, how could anything have been any different?


This is the feeling that prevents people from taking medication. This is the feeling that people want when they take cocaine. This is the feeling people wish they had, always. If I could bottle it, I would be a millionare, a thousand times over. I am powerful, beautiful, brilliant, funny, talented and productive. I am, quite literally, on top of the world.

I do not want this feeling. I want it to end. This feeling. I used to love this feeling. It is predictable. It comes every year at this time, and I swell with it, engorged in euphoria, fat from feasting on it. I am a thanksgiving turkey, stuffed to the gills with good feelings. 

How good is too good?

Eventually I will level off, and I’ll sail into summer a little less, well, manic. I feel invincible now, but I am sure I appear frenzied to the outside world. My confidence comes across as conceit, likely. My benevolence, arrogance. I will not sleep tonight, my mind wired with ideas, ideas, ideas. This time it will not be dark thoughts that haunt me, but thoughts of future successes, endeavors, things to do! Things to be! And oh so many questions. They will stalk me until I get up, pace around, jot them down, try to assuage the Muse that I will write another day. That I don’t need to send out a 1 a.m. text message about how the trees weep with joy when they begin to leaf again and I can hear it in my soul and that’s why I can’t sleep. That I wonder what it sounds like to roll downhill in tall prairie grass. Or that I wished my house was made of adobe so I could lean against it at midnight and it would still be warm, like an oven. Or that I want to hear a moose sing his song in the woods, just one time. And why isn’t there spanish moss in Wisconsin? Or tree moss at all? And why do nails sound so horrible on a blackboard? Chalk is disgusting. How come there is still water in Niagra Falls? Why isn’t it empty? What’s at the bottom of Lake Superior? When will the sun stop shining? Who will overtake the earth after the mammals? Why do flamingos stand on one leg? How many shrimp do they have to eat to be pink? Why do nurses sometimes wear hats? Why aren’t there adult sized swing sets? What is dew? Why are there boats with fans on the back and why don’t we have them here? Why didn’t Don Johnson wear socks and did he ever get blisters? What is the difference between a hurricane and a typhoon? I like the word typhoon better, because I like p-h together. P-h. P-h. P-h. Phhhhhhhhhh. A tis-ket, a tas-ket, something, something bas-ket. Ring around the ro-sie, a poc-ket full of po-sies, ash-es, ash-es, we all fall down.

These thoughts are just as exhausting, but ever more pleasant. They take me back to a kid-like state of awe, where the world is new and fresh and ready to be explored. I am an archaeologist, a pathologist, a cosmologist, theologist. I wonder. I wonder.

For now I focus on containment; how to appear as sane as possible, never too happy, never too out of control. I need to rein myself in a bit, check myself. Under control, under control, just keep it under control.



  1. Zilly said,

    April 24, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    This is a very beautiful post. I think I may have experienced a milder form of this, too, and some part of me wants it to come back. I’d probably buy one of those bottles. Especially this: “and I have no memory of what it was to feel like I did even an hour ago” sounds very familiar. I don’t know why it happened to me; I don’t meet the diagnostic criteria for anything at all. Thank you for putting it into words.

  2. Cindy said,

    April 24, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    I’ve had episodes like this. Short lived.

    God damn but you can write.

  3. Karen said,

    April 24, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    It is very interesting to see it this in words. My first reaction is that I’ve felt something like this too, but it isn’t quite true. Have my thoughts gone hopping around like yours in the direction of really rather silly as yours to at the end? Sure. Have I been positively ebullient to the point that people were asking who gave Karen the speed? Sure. But rarely. Not quite unpredictable. It takes just the right amount of alcohol. I actively induce this, oh, about once a year. I don’t know what it’s like to do that for days, though I imagine you do. I don’t know what its like to know it will be followed by a drop like a rock, though I know that’s what will happen to you.

    I would wish you could bottle half that feeling. That you could balance between knowing you are a goddess and the depths of depression you also get. I wish you had people around you who were happy for you when you felt this way so you could enjoy it without feeling judged. Sometimes I wonder if that isn’t what most people with some version of depression need. Just to be able to be without having to worry about how others are judging them

    If I haven’t properly expressed it before, I will now. I really appreciate what you share. I am not the same as you, but I see similarities in your condition to mine. You condition is sharper, more defined, more clearly visible than mine, and the similarities help me analyze my own mind and soul. I look at what you go through and can say that no person should have to take some of the crud that you get, and I realize that I am a person so shouldn’t have to take similar crap from others. I am able to look at you and see a person who is more clear, sharper, than myself, and see into problems that no one else has been able to satisfactorily define for me and define them.

    For that I thank you.

  4. Pet~ said,

    April 24, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    Oh, I know this feeling ALL too well. I’m manic also. It set in yesterday. I just hope it levels out soon. I’m miserable. I’m making my kids miserable. My DH has been home for all of 45 minutes and he has already retreated to our bedroom because I’m driving him crazy because he can’t follow my train(s) of thought. =c/

  5. Nia said,

    April 24, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    Oh, Thoughtracer, I do know that frequency. I know it, I know it, and it makes me weep in that sweet-and-sour way that is Manic Depression.
    Even so, we ARE ” the music-makers, the dreamers of dreams” — even when the music gets too loud and we have to turn it down a few notches.
    Happy Spring —

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