Tag Archive: mania


avoiding mania

I don’t want to go manic.

I have a mood disorder, Bipolar I, and generally have both a depressed and manic spell each month.

I go through this cycle often.

I absolutely welcome not being depressed anymore, as I came out of the darkness last Thursday. Subtly. But on Saturday, I saw my first flashes of “fast time” though. I immediately checked in with dudes in my support group, some in recovery and one who is clean/sober and also has bipolar. I made the commitment not to eat sugar or take caffeine, as suggested by one of my dudes. Sugar is like cocaine to the manic brain. Same for caffeine. Those are two of my last devices to cope with. Sugar especially when I have depression.

I’ve done well with that so far. I also started my walks again. Walking is good for both sides of the spectrum, of course. I walked for an hour yesterday. Today, 45 mins.

Here’s where it gets tricky: SLEEP. I went to bed Saturday around 10:30pm and made it a point to turn my wi-fi off to help fight my compulsion to be on my phone. I used my meditation app Simply Being and got some rest. Then I woke at 2:45am…

For the day.

I played my church job which I am super grateful for for many reasons. I avoided caffeinated coffee and the mmmmm lovely Shipley’s doughnuts at the church. After a father’s day gathering with the dad’s on my wife’s side of the family, I left to get home to work on a paper that’s due today. I wanted to work all day with no naps but that wasn’t going to be possible.

I am grateful I could nap for an hour. What I must keep in mind is that my illness is getting better. It really is better. When full-blown manic, sleep is quite elusive.

By 8pm, it felt like the middle of the night and I pushed through to write about and listed to Debussy’s Pagodes more. 

My goal was to sleep 10-6am then get up and work for the day. Instead, boom! I’m wide awake 3.5hrs later.

I’ve gotten some good progress and have to question why if I haven’t blogged in months am I doing so now?

It is because I’m frustrated and tired of this. I don’t want to have bipolar disorder. I just want to be cool. Maybe a little up, a little down, but not this shit. Depression is for the fucking birds and I can fight it, but I cannot seem to beat it. It’s as if I’m going to be depressed for at least 10 days out of the month. Ugh! And mania, well, although everything feels good, I often lose track of time, spend money I don’t have, and other painful things.

Having written that two things come to mind. It is getting better. I am on an incline where the spectrum of mental health is concerned. I have more tools to cope than when I was diagnosed with BP in 2010. So… I’ll keep taking my meds, I will check in with my doctors, I will carve out time to walk everyday, I’ll go to more meetings, I will stay connected, I will schedule meals (I forget to eat), I will meditate, and lastly, I will avoid caffeine and sugar.

I don’t have to go full blown manic, I can harness my superpowers for good.

I will write a good paper on my analysis of Debussy. It’s 4:25am and the world is quiet. Class isn’t until 2pm.

I don’t like this last “I will” statement… I will stay offline until this evening. #yikes

Thank you for reading this.

Composing again

Working on my live CD recording last month got me writing again. As my psychiatrist Dr. Lee says, “it’s an anti-depressant” for me.

I’m currently working on an arrangement of my tune “Leveled Off” for Omni Brass. (2 trumpets, 2 trombones, and vibes). The tune is actually about that space where I’m in the middle. No depression, no mania.
I’m about 2/3 through the arrangement.

I’ve also started an a Capella version of Jerome Kern’s “I’m Old Fashioned.” It has men’s voices only with me singing the lead. Pretty fun to write! I it’s good, it may be included on the Moores School of Music Jazz Orchestra concert “The American Songbook” in April.

I’d like to also write an arrangement, or intro/endings really for “You Come From Rhode Island” to be recorded for my CD, Too Much Monday

So, I’m not depressed and I hope to keep writing when I have what seems like the inevitable slump. We’ll see, maybe I won’t get depressed soon. It usually occupies 2-3 weeks of each month in average.

I push forward!

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