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Thank god I’m Manic – Structures, Music, and Mania

Posted Sep 02 2011 5:50pm

Philosophy, Science, Bipolar I, and Life

Posted by on September 2, 2011

Too busy to post anything meaningful today. In real life, I’m a sound engineer and I have a show to run tonight. Plus, tomorrow night as well as sunday, I’m running an entire festival for local folk artists and helping to set up a pirate radio station. Big days with long hours. Should be lots of fun. Music is a lifestyle. It doesn’t pay well, but it’s heavily enjoyable.

One thing I have noticed is that while I’m a little hypomanic lately and I have completely forgot how much I love music when I’m in this state. And I mean love music. I can feel beats throughout my body and I need to create my own music. Beats and melodies play through my head with ease and it’s all I can do to focus on a task at hand.

The basic insight that I have into this is that when I’m manic, I crave structuring. I love the way a good song mingles the rhythms and melodies with a strong harmony. But it cannot be too simplistic. It must be dense, ready to be unpacked. Challenging me to divine its inner structure. Ready with little nuances that I can pick out on repeats. Good music has this, so does good philosophy.

It’s also a way to take a short break from things. Even when I’m manic, I do tire at times. I need a small break from buzzing everywhere because my body cannot physically take it right now after my back injury. So I need to crash while my mind is still racing. Music provides a small escape for me to sink into. Reading a good book does as well. Unfortunately, I usually bore of books when I’m manic because I either guess what’s going to happen next, or I start fantasizing and coming up with my own ending. So music is where it’s at.

Side note: I got A First Rate Madness yesterday (yay!) and I should be putting up a review sometime soon. I’ll need to reread it to get all the points out of it, but so far I can tell you that it is a very interesting book. Easy to read with fascinating diagnoses that elevates the spectrum of manic depression symptoms to a very positive level in defining great leaders (there’s Hitler in there too… but one takes the bad with the good).

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