A manic spark

As the first waves of mania hit me a few years ago, I would find myself having THE MOST WONDERFUL IDEAS and then acting upon them STRAIGHT AWAY. Need something from the shop ? I’d not walk to the shop 100 feet from my front door – oh no. I’d cycle over 6 miles into town to buy the item. Or I’d not tidy just one small part of the house – I’d rearrange everything from the roof tiles down. There were lots and lots of ideas. They arrived by the minute. In coachloads. I would do everything, now. I could do everything. now. BIG ideas. That’s what they were. Bigger than me too – IF the wave crested before completion.

Then the meds came along and a glass ceiling and basement was applied to my emotions. My mind would want to sent me spiralling down or flying high but the meds kept it all firmly harnessed within tight limits. I could feel the highs but in a remote, third person type way. You know how when you want a drink – say a beer or a coke – that as you get closer to getting that drink you feel that bit thirstier ? It’s like when you really need the loo – the closer you get to the toilet the more your bladder squeals “HELLLPPPP”. And that when you finally do get to hold that drink, you feel that extra surge in the thirstiness, your tongue starts to taste the liquid before it actually gets to your mouth ? You know that feeling ? That feeling that is sated by the actual liquid ? Well my highs feel like that right up to the point of actually tasting – because the meds stop me hitting that point. I can get close, closer, closer still but the meds stop ME feeling what I want to feel. So parts of me race, much of me does not. I have flights of ideas (Rapid movement of speech and ideas from one topic to another. Often experienced in episodes of mania.) but what follows physically is not how mania should be. (And I know that’s the point of meds, but leaving half the sensation / emotion / whatever is worse than none isn’t it ?). With no meds I’d fly through what needed doing. With meds I try to fly without wings. So I’m in this odd little world which has bursts of the most vibrant colours and I have that net and I want to chase the rainbows but then all too fast I fail and the greyer world returns. I suppose it’s like that for others without MD but the ‘things’ are different. (things – events, paydays, stuff). The saying “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” comes close but whereas in an uncontrolled mania I could keep going, the meds don’t let the mind control the body to the same extent – so the physical exertions take their toll sooner. But the point is the ideas, the manic sparks.

I could have lots of ideas but the next day, next week or even an hour later I’d have no clue what most of it was. None. Didn’t matter though – no-one died because of it and more importantly, I didn’t remember. That’s important. Because I didn’t remember I couldn’t recall it, build on what I would have done, had the same ideas, placed myself back to where I was when I had thought of it. That’s important because without that regret I didn’t question myself harshly. It didn’t make me look any harder at reality than I have to. But then I’m starting to build a little history of sparks and as daft as this sounds, they are domains. I own 12 domain names and 7 are sparks. Ideas that I had, ideas that within minutes I had thought through, structured and got completely sorted. So I bought the domains and got the hosting … and then the spark died. Each idea was – and is – sound (well …. one is pretty daft actually) and if I don’t have the ability to complete I know people who could help me. But the impetus has gone. The shell of ideas is still there, as is the name and the space but the drive has gone – but these things hang around. They don’t go away so I DO remember what I was thinking of, what plans I had, what I hoped to do (none of this centres around generating lots of money either) and those reminders get annoying. “You’ve not done ME yet”. The cost doesn’t matter (it’s a few £ anyway), neither does the fact that I can let them expire. They can’t expire because if I let one go and someone else used it I would think that I could have done that … but if they hang around then i’ll think about what I wanted to do. The answer is that I need to use them – but they originated in a whirl of thought and I doubt my usual level can sustain them. My perpetual sparks .. and I know that many other people have these ideas and buy names and maybe they feel the same – but it won’t be exactly the same ..
(This is not some way of me saying “Oi, help me with my ideas”. It’s just me rambling on. Like I do sometimes)

4 thoughts on “A manic spark

  1. Being manic depressive myself, I so know where you’re coming from. One thing people used to find difficult with me is that when I was ‘high’ I could argue something convincingly one way, and the next day argue it comvincingly the other. I find that medicated I seem to live the majority of my life slightly depressed. I don’t miss the trouble being (hypo)manic got me into, but I miss that soaring feeling, and the ideas that I thought brilliant at the time. My eldest son asked me recently why I start lots of things and never finish them. I used to have a load of domain names too. I have OCD as well and am never totally sure what is OCD and what is manic depression.

  2. Are you separating the concepts of having a lot of ideas but not seeing them through and being manic? I would – mebbe you did. I have three domains that I chip away at but have never quite got to grips with the initial idea. I’m sitting here looking at the design for one portal and just can’t bring myself to slog away at it … which is a different story from last night when I had a load of ideas but was nowhere near the laptop to bring them to life.

    It’s just an element of being creative. I get annoyed with myself because I have a lot of ideas, but sometimes my skills are lacking and don’t live up to the initial vision so I get bored. I’m not very good at illustration in a digital sense (and I won’t pay for illustrator or the like). I really have to be ‘in the zone’ as far as CSS is concerned because the tricky part get’s in the way of the creative aspect.

    I think you could write the same post without mentioning the meds and people would still relate. People pay me to make sure projects come in on time and to budget and as expected (hopefully). But if you look at my personal projects then I’m much more of an idea man if I’m honest. I need a team of designers and coders to bring the visions to reality 🙂

    Nice description of the highs and lows though. Makes it understandable.

  3. I think others probably can see where I’m coming from and have similarities like yourself, but the motivations and results are different. I don’t look back and see something not finished – I see all that accompanied it and the fact I haven’t learnt from it because I bought another – but then maybe that is normal. It’s very very hard for me to know what is ‘normal’ sometimes – and comments like your Gary help me to see this 🙂 It’s very easy to get trapped into a certain way of thinking and for others to see – and use – that too.

    It’s one of those “Who really is seeing the reality” type things.

  4. Definitely.

    That’s why I said I could see two aspects to it, one I could relate to and one I couldn’t. I don’t look back and just see something as not finished either. I remember the last domain I let die and didn’t get past a holding page and wonder

    “That took a year for that domain to expire … how the hell did I not manage to get my act in gear in all that time and come up with some genius site that would have brought me fame and riches??!! Never mind THIS one will be it! Muharharharr”

    I just don’t have the extra ‘interest’ of the highs and lows that you have to accompany it 🙂

    Now I’m going to give myself a headache trying to define normal.

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