I have an alter ego. Her name is Manic Meg, and she’s tons of fun, unless you happen to not appreciate someone who tramples all over your side of the conversation and your needs, talks at the speed of light (stopping only at a quarter to never), and can’t hold a train of thought for more than 30 seconds. And if you’re someone who values gentle social cues in your interactions, Manic Meg is really going to tick you off.
“Meg, slow down, you’re all over the place.” This is the phrase, repeated to me a few times by a few different people who know me inside and out, and perhaps more importantly, know what it is to live with Manic Meg, that finally clued me in.
I have Bipolar disorder, type II. This means that every now and again, something will trigger hypomania* for me– most often the culprit is untenable amounts of stress. Looking back at recent events, it’s not hard for me to see that that trigger, which had been building for awhile, came to a head on Tuesday, and my brain, which couldn’t deal anymore, called out for help, and Manic Meg, who is always waiting just off stage, was like “dun dun dun-dun, Hypomania to the rescue!”
Sleep became an afterthought– Between Tuesday evening and Saturday morning I got a total of about 10 hours, though not for lack of trying. Eating became hit-or-miss, energy levels shot through the roof, and my outlook on life would have put Mary Tyler Moore to shame. I had a slight inkling, for a brief moment every now and then, that something was off, but the problem with mania is that it just feels so dang good– the minuscule part of my subconscious that’s still sane and knows all the symptoms is like “Uh oh, she’s manic, gotta fix this,” and the rest is like “Dude, shut up! She’ll hear you!”
Fortunately, the people around me who know the symptoms and love me unconditionally reined me in, and I’ve been able to slow down a bit. I don’t know if I’m quite there yet, but I’m trying my best to avoid the depressive crash that usually follows mania. Pray for me. It’s a lot to fight off, and I’ve lost that battle too many times.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of wonderful people in my life who don’t know me or the symptoms well enough to understand Manic Meg. To any of those people who have been offended or let down or affected in any other way by the recent behavior of my alter ego, I apologize. I did not realize, in the height of mania, that my behavior was anything less than normal. Manic Meg is not so great with the social cues. Please forgive me, and know that I’m doing what I can.