The Bipolar Bum

Backpacking and Bipolar II. Taking Manic Depression on tour.

Hellloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo #Mania

#mania #manicdepression #upswing


Nothing's ever been so welcome!

Nothing’s ever been so welcome!


I’ve spent the last week or two wondering what a pale shade of life I would be living if the monotony of a truly balanced mind continued to oppress me.  I’ve pondered on the unfairness in the fact that I have had the even-keel, peaceful tedium that everyone in the blogosphere yearns for and that I’ve rather ungratefully viewed it as something of a worst-case.  My moods for a while now have felt like the result of environmental factors and an overall negative response to the emotional ‘flatness’ that I had attributed to my medication.  I’ve been down, but rarely have I had prolonged bouts of the abstract, ridiculous, kamikaze pilot depression.  Most of my worst moments have been sired by ruminations about a life of continuous emotional greyness.  A self-fulfilling prophecy if ever there was one.  Lesson learned (again and until next time).


In the ‘old days’ my antediluvian self would consider days of depression as times when I was ‘not on form’, ‘not my best self’ or ‘feeling flat’.  Anything else (I.E mania though I didn’t know it) was my ‘norm’.  If I wasn’t manic, I hibernated and drank profusely.  Once I wasn’t depressed I would burst onto the scene (still drinking profusely) and be everyone’s best friend.  You couldn’t keep me in the house.  Being relatively well balanced for the past month and a half has given me an insight into what I assume my true resting emotional state would be.  I’ve had lows and my mood suffers when I feel lonely or remember past sadnesses but I’ve not sunk to the crushing, Jules Verne depths for very long.  I think when you view your highs as the benchmark for normality, it comes as a shock to feel a genuine calmness.  The sensation has been alien enough to cause concern.


“Is something wrong?”
“Are these meds working too well?  Is my dose wrong?”

“Will I ever be happy again?”

“Can I spend the rest of my life feeling like this?” 

“What happened to automatic happiness?!”

The last two days I’ve spent wondering then if I will have to re-learn how to be happy or at the very least if I would have to employ techniques to consciously make myself so.  If I have to maintain a level of stoicism about the endogenous elements of my mood, and accept what comes at me from [wherever it comes from] then it leaves me the other components of mood-construction to work with.  I’ve come to the conclusion, however, that this is an issue best tackled organically.  Just as I’ve decided to not pay for promotion of this blog, I’m not going to spend time trying to artificially enhance my mood with routines and prompts.  Obsession over trying to coerce my emotions hasn’t helped me thusfar.  In fact – throughout my entire history it has only ever provided a benefit once, and that is because it piggybacked onto the strongest manic episode in my entire life.

The aim this time has to be stopping short of fully blown insanity and the best strategy I can think of is to just assume that my meds are working, any happiness I feel has been well earnt and that I should just try to have a genuine laugh every day sans over-thinking everything.  Tonight I laughed with my friend.  I laughed until I cried, repeatedly.

The other day my friend and I had discussed the phrase “All things being equal…”.  We agreed that it is an absolute absurdity, and a useless one at that.  All things aren’t equal. Ever.  How about instead – All things being stable.  In my current state of mind – all things being stable – can I assume that I can provoke a state closer in it’s nuances to mania than depression just by avoiding stress, being glad and enjoying good humor?  Are these the mechanics of happiness in a balanced mind, or am I just swinging in a more pleasant though significantly imbalanced direction?

I did some pressups and situps before bedding down for the night.  What felt at first like endorphins rapidly became a desire to listen to music, then a face full of beaming smiles and tapping my leg to the beat, and in a matter of seconds I thought “ahhhhhhhhhh, yeah. here we go.”.  Everything about this stinks of mania but I’m not going to look a gift-horse in the mouth.  I’m going to milk it for all it is worth and enjoy myself.  I have to live out the lows and the non-moods, I’m going to wring out my good times.

If this is the onset of a manic episode – then I’m at least going to learn about managing this mood in the present moment.  I’m going to make every important decision twice.  ‘Important’ involves criteria such as [Involving money], [involving significant life changes], [involving food intake] e.t.c.  Short of that, I’m going to milk this mood for all it is worth and enjoy being extra productive, light and happy.  Other than the important factors to my life I’m not going to ration much thought to miscellaneous and trivial details.

All the best,



12 comments on “Hellloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo #Mania

  1. quietcalliope

    Loving the idea of ‘all things being stable’ – that sounds much more manageable, doesn’t it? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • drheckleandmrjibe

      I’m dubious as to quite how stable I am given how I feel right now but on the other hand – I’ve had a great night. Had really good food, had a crazy little session of the giggles and then a very calm and pleasant wind-down after that.

      In the absense of stability, I’ll take hypomania. 😉


      Liked by 1 person

  2. Susan Irene Fox

    “I think when you view your highs as the benchmark for normality, it comes as a shock to feel a genuine calmness.” I’ve been blessed enough to be able to operate at this level for some time now, due to my life-saving meds. I call it contentment.

    I do have times when I feel sadness and joy, but over the years, I’ve learned to embrace this new feeling. In it, I’ve been able to find appreciation for the mundane things I used to overlook all the time. I seek each new day now for the wonder it brings me. I’ve finally discovered that’s more rewarding than chasing the highs that were only temporary anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    • drheckleandmrjibe

      It may take me a long while yet! I’m going to try my best to remain sane and sensible in my efforts but I am addicted to the high. I absolutely LOVE it! Enough that I was considering changing meds or adding a med to induce mania periodically to the stable Quetiapine state.

      Hopefully none of that will be necessary. If it turns out that it is still worth looking into I’ll be trying to source some SAMe soon.

      All the best


      • Susan Irene Fox

        I was there, too. In your stable state, when you make the decision that your relationships and your life are more important to you than your high, you will allow yourself to be led by something more permanent – peace and wholeness. Until then, my heart and prayers go out to you.


  3. larainbriggs

    I’m so pleased you are feeling better. I too also love the highs. Especially when they come after a period of depression. It’s such a relief. Just as long as there is not a crash after. The way I view it is like a graph. The middle line represents normal, 0. Below that any minus figure represents depression and any point above the 0 line are the highs. Well, I think everyone bumps along this line. Some, those with bi-polar have a roller coaster ride where the positive figures could reach a 10 (absolute craziness) and a -10 (nightmare, despair). Personally I don’t think I’ve ever reached a 10 either way. An 8 on the positive is a great feeling but comes with reckless behaviour, I’m sure you have experienced this at least. I think the majority of people bump along at around 3 and -3. People with bi-polar on meds bump along at 5 and -5, after things have started to normalise. It’s a part of our character we can learn to enjoy. A more passionate way of living. Perhaps there is a need to experience despair to recognise absolute joy. Stephen Fry created a great documentary that is worth watching. From what I know though he still suffers at times, as we all do. I believe that having bipolar disorder helps with my art. There are positives to it. Enjoy your highs and happiness, just as you should. Just be aware. I think you are right to question everything, eventually you will then understand and be able to control your moods or rather what you do with them. I was very concerned for you and am relieved to hear you are happy. It’s great to use your posts in the way that you do. Your writing is wonderful. I admire and respect you for coming through such a difficult time and continuing to question, understand and share with others. I hope you stay above that normal line for as long as possible. I’m just dipping below myself at the moment and looking forward to my happy, productive days.

    Liked by 2 people

    • drheckleandmrjibe

      Hi Larain,

      Truly sorry to hear that you’re not as well as you could be. Thanks very much for the kind words and encouragement, it means a lot!

      I’d say I’ve been at -9, if -10 is self annihilation, and I know I’ve been at +9 if +10 is believing you’re Jesus, born again.

      I hope your own private storm cloud buggers off sooner rather than later!!!

      All the best,


  4. stripeysquirrel

    This sounds like a wonderfully positive approach and I hope it is successful for you, even if it requires a little practice.

    I LOVE my manic states even when I know in fibre of my body that it will end in a crash and trigger/aggravate my other conditions. But I struggle to reign it in, I enjoy the productivity, creativity and energy giving me a literal bounce in my step.
    I know it’s not ‘real’ and that I could never maintain it, have been trying to learn to be content with that (terribly dull) middle ground, the ordinary, the mundane!
    Very slowly I begin to accept that stability is better overall but I still allow myself to slip into mania occasionally, after all its only fair pay off for the tortures I endure!!

    Sorry, didn’t mean to hijack your post. It’s just that this stuff has been on my mind a lot lately. I genuinely wish you all the best in your pursuit of stability 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. drheckleandmrjibe

    Hijack away, I love to hear from people! It’s why I’m still blogging. Since I wrote this really I’ve not experienced hypomania much at all. The meds are working and that “All things being stable” line is applicable now more than ever.

    I’m with you on the difficulty of being thankful for the mundane sometimes but I’ve identified that particular thought pattern as, at best, useless to me and, at worst, toxic enough to lower my mood.

    I’m trying to avoid obsessing over lost mania and just enjoying every day right now. So far, so good. 🙂

    If you’re getting the lows then milk the highs for all they’re worth. Just try to not allow them to have any kind of lasting negative affect outside of the crash. Decisions made whilst manic were generally as bad as depressed decisions for me.

    All the best,


    • stripeysquirrel

      Agreed, I am some way off from learn to double and triple check ALL decisions made. The last few months have been rapid seesaw states and I am paying for it now, physically, emotionally and financially. It’s going to take me a while to repair the damages done.
      On the positive side though I dealt with it all better than I have before and the results could have been a lot worse so I guess progress Has been made in the desired direction!

      Your success so far is a great encouragement for me to continue with my own personal journey.

      My overwhelming thought recently has been to wonder if life will EVER stop feeling like a battle. I long for a feeling of peace and contentment, with the occasional manic period thrown in, for the purposes of my artistic creativity of course!! ;-D


  6. Seafarr

    from a family of bio-polar and chemically embalanced genes, The best parts are there is so much brilliance to behold in moments captured


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This entry was posted on 29/04/2014 by in Manic, Self Analysis, Toon and tagged , , , , , , .
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