Author: Ambika Paul
Mania is your favorite song on repeat, an explosion of energy that brews in your mind with saturated ideas all coming at you in a single shot. Gradually consuming your whole body. Mania always feels like a creative journey for me but also tugs at me in every direction, for me it manifests as wanting to clean my room/also paint a wall/ colour code every book in the house/bake/ go for a run all at the same time.
These projects and ideas feel like god is speaking through me and always inevitably ends in unfinished projects, lots of creative outlets and money spent on hobbies I may never want to follow through with. The energy knows no limits and at times it has destroyed my sense of reality. As much as I try to burn off mania with running or creative outlets, it does manage to trickle into my ability to actually complete anything.
Mania gives me the confidence that my shy personality thrives off. I really enjoy socializing when I’m manic, it’s the only time I feel like I can say and do whatever I want without really spiraling into what other people think about me.
And then there’s depression; the dark abyss that seems to swallow me up whole. When my depression sets in, I slow down, I feel apathetic and my mind takes me to the darkest places. I struggle to eat; I struggle to keep up with my relationships and the biggest indicator for me is when my bed is covered in layers of unfolded laundry. Small tasks feel like life is being drained out of me and there’s no coming back.
People pick up on this energy and question it and that’s when I clam up into a ball of shame. I try my best to hide these sides of myself by pushing people away, always keeping people at a safe distance and continually living a double life. I’d much rather people see the manic side of me rather than the depressed. My depressive episodes always make me feel like I’ve lost another battle and the episode has officially consumed me.
I’m slowly learning my triggers and limits. I’m starting to understand the patterns behind my episodes and slowly letting people in by opening up about my internal world. I still hide these parts of myself but I am also tired of being isolated with this illness.
I am slowly learning how to love my ever-changing moods.