Yesterday was bananas for me. I started with mania and ended with anxiety. I've been dealing with a a dull headache for days. I'm keeping the migraine at bay with meds. i know if i just let it take over I will be under a shroud of comforters in the dark for days.
i wrote 10 pages over the weekend. (i think i worked on my website too? more words.) I want to continue the momentum of writing, even though i know it's the mania. Having this constant pull of up and down is exhausting.
Details: Yesterday I woke and made coffee in my home. My daughter texted and asked if we could go through the drive through on the way to her work. Of course. But i had a conscious struggle with my head that I had just made coffee and should take her a cup. I was both annoyed with myself for wasting the coffee and not meeting her needs. I literally had just poured the coffee into my to-go cup and had plenty of time to finish it before I even had to dress for the drive. I finished the coffee I made at home and then picked her up. Stopped at the drive through and bought her the coffee she wanted. I refrained from the outside coffee.
I came home believing i could continue the writing momentum that i had. (fully aware that it was mania and using it to my advantage.) I looked at my laptop and thought about the dishes in my sink that needed to be cleaned, the counter top next to the sink that could use a scrubbing, my floors that also need to be touched by bleach and the hunger in my belly. i had ten words added to my manuscript. I made eggs, cleaned the sink and swept the floor. Realizing that I was avoiding writing, I refrained from pulling out the mop and bucket and sat again to write. The sounds of cars driving down my street were deafening. I knew I needed to refill the dog's food container and should care for that. Also ran out of paper towels while cleaning the counter. I should run out and get paper towels and dog food and then come right back to write. I should go early because then I can get parking in front of my house. After a half hour of working out the pros and cons of running errands, I walked out the door in my slippers and drove to get paper towels. One more stop, just dog food. My car needed gas. If i pick up my daughter and the gas is low, she expresses concern. I have to ensure there is gas in the tank. I run to the gas station. one more stop. dog food. I go to the pet store and the shelves are empty. Rewind. the shelves containing my brand of dog food are empty. I question if there was a recall. The staff of my pet store is unaware and look up the listing of alerts they have at their aide. I'm looking on my phone to the world wide web for any notice on this brand. I find nothing. They find nothing. After twenty minutes of this panic i have vomited into the air, the csr asks, "Where did you hear of a recall?" i said, "The shelves are empty." She told me the delivery truck was delayed. It should be in later in the day.
I sit in my car. I know I am dead in the middle of the mania. But as in all the manic episodes I have, I have no idea when it started and I'm unclear if the bell curve would even indicate when I can expect it to end. I breathe deeply and weigh if I should just go home with my paper towels or if I should find dog food in another store. I take my car tot he car wash with intention to vacuum. I pulled into a space and when pulling the hose over to the car, I remember I just vacuumed it two days before and there really is nothing to clean. I move the paper towels to the way back of the jeep so the back seat is clear.
I look up the nearest pet store with the brand of food my dogs eat. My eye chooses a store and I plug in the address into the gps app I use. Drive through to get another coffee for the journey and drive. (By this point I considered going home and driving back around the corner, but decided with the madness I may be so engulfed in writing, i miss closing time. And what if the delivery truck doesn't come still today?)
The store is 15 miles away. Not a problem. I love driving and perhaps it will calm my thoughts to listen to music and drive mid-day? My thoughts were filled with collective consciousness and I had both sides of a conversation with a friend who seems to be taking a break from philosophical discussions. I wondered what two other friends thought and sent requests to see them for drinks so i could share with them my musings.
GPS wanted me to take toll roads. My brain screamed, "For Dog Food? Negative!" I wound up on the street m parents met. I never knew the exact houses in which they lived but they were next door neighbors 1968-1970. I drove slow looking at the houses and came across the historic society and police station (same building) of the rural town. I pulled into the parking lot and then reminded myself that I was just picking up dog food and had to write today. At this time, it is over two hours since I ran down the street to get the big pack of paper towels and a fifty pound bag of dog food.
I get back on the road I know will take me back to Philly and cut through a road I believe takes me in the vicinity of the suburb where this pet food store is. Once I am away from the turnpike (toll road), I plug in the address again to GPS. I am taken into a neighborhood that friend who is taking a break from discussions with me. Every coffee shop that I pass screams at me to pull in and send a text that I'm at so and so, to see if he will talk to me. I resist and stay in the car. (The thought of interacting with someone, even to order a medium coffee with almond milk was frightening just then)
I pull into the parking lot of the dog food store and see that the store is closing. I sigh heavily believing they have already closed. But then, the door opens and the brand I am looking for is in there, with a discount from the store closing. I pull out my phone to text a friend who works at a shelter to inform of the discount and hesitate. I cannot handle the responsibility of waiting at the store for a list of his needs. I just cannot do it at the moment. I take the bag of dog food I want to the counter to pay and there are two people in front of me. They are standing too close to me and I really have not explored the sparse inventory to figure if I can get a good deal on something I would buy anyway. I put the bag of dog food down and walk through the store again. I am doing math for the 10-75% discount weighing if I want/need/can afford/cannot afford to pass up a deal like this! ... my brain is full of noise and I worry that someone is going to come to the counter and take the bag of food I selected. I return to the counter and pay for the bag of food. done.
I open the back door and put in the food on the seat. I open the way back and move the big pack of paper towels to the back seat, understanding that if the things aren't together, I'm going to forget and have to go out to the car for the second item. I need to spend as much time on writing as I can so running to the car a second time is going to interrupt that. I pat myself on the back for having this forethought and after turning on the engine, I move both the dog food and the paper towels into the way back in case someone calls and needs a ride. There is no need to have groceries on the seats when i have a cargo space in the way back.
I drive home. I know the way home. I don't have to GPS. Except I didn't know the way home. I was driving away from home and was lost in cul de sacs and school campuses with whole sports teams running together to my right. I plugged in the word home into the GPS app and found i was 18 miles from home. 18. So, I was going to a place 15 miles from home, had been out for four hours at this time and 18 miles from my home by the time I realized I was in the wrong direction. I found my way back to familiar streets while ice decided to fall from the sky.
The parking I believed would be available in front of my house was taken by a neighbor. Which is fine, but instead of unloading the 50 lb bag of food and awkward pack of towels while I was at my door, I parked and then beat myself up for not thinking about what I was doing. But I had a different focus then. I had to get in to my home without talking to any neighbor. I could not endure words.
I fell down on my couch after pushing the dog food against the inside of the door. I was exhausted, but pleased that I got the errand done and had the rest of the day to write. I made a cup of tea and realized I had spent six hours picking up dog food.
And then the anxiety hit. One of my favorites texted me. And I was talking to her about the positivity we are both trying to nourish for 2019. She had it harnessed. My positivity was scrambling to cover it's ass in yoga pants and provide some illusion it was holding itself together. My chest was pounding and my vision blurred. I sipped my tea and looked at her words, wishing she was closer, because I needed a run to a diner for a coffee and slice of pie so i could look at her breath when I can't. I hate feeling the crazy. And I know how much it hurts me to see her turn into the moods of her mental illness. I feel guilty about giving her this chaotic energy and just go quiet on my phone. She'll understand later. Just then, I had nothing more in me.
The anxiety didn't stop. I took my seroquel and fell alseep, completely believing, although unprepared to deal again today with it. I woke today with relief of the anxiety. The mania is gone too. I have a dull ache behind my eye and I wrote half a scene this morning. (writing a trial and took the change of witnesses to recess myself) I'm breathing today. I'm exhausted and hiding still. I'm feeling productive. If a friend calls for a bite of food and to see their face, I will be able to shower and change and drive as the crow flies.
I once asked my doctor if this is what 'normal' feels like. He suggested i use the word 'functional'. i'll take functional. i no longer believe I'm ever going to be free from these episodes. And I'm no more equipped now to cope with them than at any other point in my life. But, it does feel like a small victory to have gotten through the day of bananas with my breath.