I feel so alone. There is no one who can understand this feeling that has come over me, this feeling that the mania is returning, the sudden realization that the crying I did at work today was maybe not that I have a terrible boss (even if my boss leaves much to be desired), but that I am not in complete control. This blog is suddenly a great solace because maybe there are people out there who feel the same way. I don’t know. Not that there are many people reading this blog right now, but if even one person feels better because I say something that makes them feel less alone, well then, I feel less alone knowing that.
I saw Wishful Drinking, the one woman show with Carrie Fischer tonight. I’m so happy I saw it, but what’s funny–or funny is not really the word but I don’t have the right word at this moment– is that I think I was compelled to purchase the tickets to a show that deals with manic depression because I am feeling so bipolar today, these days.
The show was fantastic. Fischer’s description of mania gave me chills. Just to hear someone say the things that happen to me out loud. She called mania “liquid confidence.”
In her book she writes, “Mania is, in effect, liquid confidence… when the tide comes in, it’s all good. When the tide goes out, the mood that cannot and should not be named comes into you. Because to name it would be an act of summoning.”
Afterwards, it was as if the play, for me, had summoned even more feelings of mania, had put all of it in the front of my head. My thoughts were racing. (My thoughts are racing.) And I stood on the subway platform, waiting for the always-slow C train, thinking about the fact that maybe the problem at work today wasn’t me. It was just bipolar me, overreacting and crying and screwing everything up. But my boss did do something that I think was inappropriate. It seems, however, that these uproarious events only happen when I’m manic, like it’s a bad coincidence. What I realize in the rational corner of my brain that I’m having trouble visiting these days, is that it’s because I’m manic that these things get so blown out of proportion.
On the platform, wrote this on a blank page of my planner: “I can’t get out of my own head. I try to crawl up out from whatever mood has taken hold to see the world as it really is, not tinted by the greys of my depressions or the purples, reds, yellows of my mania. It makes me feel like a narcissist, drowning in the details inside my brain, being unable to see out into what’s really important. But it’s not that I’m in love with my own image like Narcissus staring in the pool. It’s that I never know where my image is, exactly, so instead of looking out into the world, I’m chasing after my own face.”
I don’t know if that makes sense. But it’s the only way I know how to describe it. The earthquake has just hit Haiti earlier today, I’m seeing in the headlines. But I don’t have any perspective. I am too much in my own head to recognize that my life is a fraction of a speck of a pillar of sand on this earth, that so much is bigger and more important that my daily minutiae.
Here is a girl, a victim of the earthquake. I am seeing this girl, in the center of a real crisis, not some nonsense going on in her head, and it’s devastating. This little girl–her wounded arm, her expression frozen in a kind of acceptance of pain and loss. My thoughts go out to the people of Haiti.