Illadelph BassLife: Hypomania (Or Come Here And Leave Me Alone)
by pronounced "ahhh" like a sigh
I’m probably one of the most sensitive people you will ever meet. I feel things deeply and quickly and react often the same way. I’m also probably one of the coldest people out there. I can freeze you out in a blink and never think twice about it. I’ve done both at the same time. It’s a trick worthy of a David Blaine special. I’m not quite sure how I manage this but I do have a few ideas.
Recently, someone on Twitter posted that they were “26 and have never been in love”. She seemed to be lamenting this and I felt for her, I did. But also acknowledged that after several whirlwind and dramatic relationships, I was almost 34 and I have never been in love. Ever. I’ve had amazing connections with men. There are men that I loved deeply and still do to this day and of course, there are men that I completely blanked out better they don’t exist than acknowledge I was ever that stupid.
I’ve mentioned hypomania before. I’ve mentioned recently how the medication I’m on is finally working. Finally allowing me clarity and depth but it’s also explaining a lot of past behaviours. And… wow. Let me explain hypomania briefly for you. Remember the first time you were ever on a ferris wheel? Remember when you got to the very top and kinda just sat there for a little while, the entire world at your feet. There was euphoria, excitement, you could see the entire world from where you were. You felt like you could touch the sky. Your entire body was tingling with this amazing sensation of joy and that good anxiety. You were giddy. Just fucking excited to be alive at that moment.
Now imagine feeling that every day for a week or a month or a few months, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with no break. No “down”. No rest. It’s exhausting for one but it also makes every thing you do feel like THE BIGGEST MOST AMAZING THING YOU HAVE EVER DONE IN YOUR LIFE! The first week or so, it’s great. You can’t beat it. Then the insomnia sets in, then the inability to settle down and focus on anything for long sets in. Then you HAVE to write the entire book tonight before you can sleep or eat or go out or do anything. But first you have to call your friends and the boy you just met and tell him that you love him. That he makes you feel amazing. That you’ve never felt this way about any other human being in the entire world and you’re so lucky and so glad and so everything to have met him. And it’s true. Until it isn’t.
Every single relationship, save one, the first one, was hypomania induced. That’s a difficult thing for me to say considering all the tension and drama that’s come out of most if not all of them. What I was feeling wasn’t real. It wasn’t love. It was my brain chemicals misfiring. It was this need to have to explain why I was feeling so much, so big, so fast. “No reason” wasn’t a good enough answer, so it must be a “him” right? Is that what love is? Isn’t that what “being in love” is about? All the songs and the books and the movies always have these whirlwinds that are neatly wrapped up by the last note or page or ending credits. But in real life, at some point, you start to feel a little less and a little less and it makes no sense because this person made you happy, right? So why aren’t you? Why are you suddenly looking at them like, “I need you not to touch me.” and the sound of their voice grates and you can’t figure out why suddenly, you’re not answering the phone when he calls. But as soon as he stops calling, then you need to know why and you need answers and you find yourself dialing and dialing and texting and emailing and “I love you!” because you want to know why they don’t love you. And maybe if you say it first, you’ll hear it repeated. It’s awful.
The flip to all I just explained is that, when I’m done, I’m done. I try so hard and work so hard to stay connected because I know as soon as that “thing” shuts off, it’s like you never existed. I don’t think about you. I don’t talk about you. I honestly forget or forgot that you were ever a part of my life. If I see you, I might even get kind of annoyed that you want to talk me. Especially if you were one of my “poor decisions”. I suddenly don’t feel anything anymore. Not love, not hate, not anxiety, not worry, nothing. I’m more compassionate and empathetic to strangers than people I’ve shut out of my life.
When Peter passed away, I thought I was depressed but I wasn’t. I was sad because my friend just fucking died but instead of going into a depression, I swung into mania. I needed it. I knew somewhere in the recesses of my brain that if I allowed myself to feel every inch of Peter’s passing, I didn’t know if I could make it out alive. I’m not being dramatic. I’m being honest. Peter was everything good about people and the world. And if cancer could take him at 29, a day before his 30th birthday, if it could do that. If God could do that well fuck the world and fuck God too. But I didn’t have permission to feel that. It was too frightening. It was too dark. It was a room I couldn’t see myself out of if I ever entered it. So somehow, to protect itself, my body went the opposite direction. It went up. And up and up and and up. And stayed up for 5 years. I had moments of depression but the next day, I’d be up again. And up and up and up. And I made the worst choices of my life. I let people in that should never have been allowed in but I needed to fill in that space. I needed to answer some questions. I needed to feel something other than “lack” so my brain saved me. It said, “We can’t die. So we need to live in another direction.” and unfortunately for me, that direction is hypomania. The severity of it waxed and waned over the years but when I checked myself into the hospital in January, I had been crashing for a few months. I didn’t recognize it because I didn’t know I was up. But in retrospect, I think of things I said and did and people I hurt and people I should not have let in over the last few years and months and I realized that in order for me to crash into depression… I had to be up somewhere. It makes all the sense in the world but when you’re not thinking clearly, it doesn’t make any sense.
I had my son to ground me. For some reason and some how, I was able to always make sure he was in the right place and with the right people. I learned to protect him in a way that I could never protect myself. That’s why he’s so amazing because he’s protected and shielded but also free and unencumbered. And when I was unable to do that. When he was seeing me cry and not eat and not sleep, I knew that a few days of him seeing this was too much. I had to get help. Period.
This was supposed to be about not ever being in love. Maybe I’ll talk about that some other time. This is already too long.
But yeah, I realized the other week, that I’ve never been in love. It’s not a tragedy, just a matter of fact thing. Like saying I’ve never been to Disneyworld or I’ve never seen Star Wars. It’s more upsetting to other people than it is to me. I’ve lived with myself a long time and I know, even if I can’t control because my brain is broken, I still know. And I always knew. I’m just sorry so many people get caught in my misfiring synapses.
But let’s be real, a lot of the people were jerks too. I’m not saying fucked up things or people didn’t happen, they certainly did. The difference is that when “normal” I see it and I walk away before it turns into a catastrophe. When “hypo” I can’t see it and I keep pushing until something or someone breaks. Usually me. Sometimes someone I do care deeply for just not as deeply as I thought or lead them to believe.
I just have to be more careful.
This entry was all over the place but its’ officially too long and my french fries are about to get cold and lunch will be over in 10 minutes and I don’t want to talk about this anymore.