When I'm Manic

When I'm Manic

A peek into my life when I experience mania.

All at once, I have so much energy. I’m excited and hopeful, but I’m also irritable and angry. My head is flooded with ideas. I’m on my soapbox telling joke after joke, getting mad if someone doesn’t understand me and then laughing hysterically thirty seconds later.

I go through all my old papers, trying to sort writing and quotes and articles I’ve read for books I’ll probably never write. I go through my closet, finding old shirts to cut the sleeves off of and read old letters from years ago. I paint and glue and glitter and cut and it’s all pretty much crap, but it looks amazing when I’m manic. Everything sounds beautiful when I’m manic. Or everything sounds like nails on a chalkboard when I’m manic. It’s never one or the other. My senses are heightened. Maybe I should get into running again. Right now. I decide to run around my neighborhood at two in the morning.

A song is playing. One, two, three, four–I’m doing cartwheels and running in place. I’m taping up more things on the walls and writing my ideas down in page after page. I’m breathless and excited and ambitious, and I run around the block again because I’m destined to be a runner even though I haven’t been in any races since 5th grade. The lights are dim, and the people are following me around town as I run, trying to catch my cold breath in my fists. Christmas lights hang off the trees, and it looks like the most honest, beautiful, special thing I’ve ever seen. The world feels so good. The air feels light and sweet on my tongue. Where have I been for so long?

Hey! Don’t touch me. I don’t want to talk anymore. I don’t want to dance. I don’t want to paint. Everything is disappointing and uninteresting. I hate you, but more than anything I hate me. I comb my short hair until it feels just right, and then check my teeth for cavities instead of just brushing them. The world is falling apart. What is everyone doing? I can’t save the world all by myself. Death is inescapable. So is pain. What is the point? It’s all so frustrating. Who is that following me?

Hours later, a day later, or a week later, and I come to, accessing the damage. Everything sort of just slows down. The music skips and then stops. The house is a mess. I no longer feel strong and unbreakable or righteously angry. Words hurt and I look in the mirror at the girl who remains a mystery to me, even after 21 years with her. I’m embarrassed by the things she’s said, by the things she’s done.

There are so many things I want to do, like finish school, marry, have a career. But the main task has and will always be to figure out this beast behind my cold nose and dry eyes. She is the one calling the shots. I scroll through my Facebook memories for the day and lick my lips, finding her beneath violent words, profanity, and sentences that just don’t make sense. There she is, swooping in and out to call the shots since 2009, making me post weird, cryptic statuses that disturb me seven years later. It is different from just being embarrassed. It’s looking back and knowing that even then, my mind was splitting in half, fragmented.

I catch my reflection and see the cogs turning behind my eyes. I know the beast never sleeps. What will she do now? How will I keep the bad thoughts out or the dead people inside or the bad decisions at bay?

I can taste my bad breath. The dancing poinsettias that were keeping in time with the music wilt and fall to the floor. I notice the pile of dirty dishes in the sink, run my hands through my greasy hair, and look at the mess I’ve made.

What has she done now? What have I? What have we?


This post originally appeared on my blog Survival is a Talent.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels.com

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.

Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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5 Tips To Help You Feel Better If You're Sick

A few helpful tips if there's a bug going around.


Not to brag, but I don't get sick very often, maybe once a year. When I do find myself a little under the weather, there's a few things I like to do for a faster recovery. I have no idea if any of these are 100% accurate, but I'd like to think they do. None of these will immediately make you feel better, but they'll help quicken the process.

Drink lots of water.

This one is a no-brainer, but it can be hard to do sometimes. I know when I'm sick, I definitely don't think about it. Water can help flush toxins out of your body, makes you hydrated, and can help you feel more awake and energized! If you're not a huge water drinker like I am, Tea also helps.

Stay home.

If you're sick, it's honestly better if you just take a day off and focus on feeling better. If you're worried about going to school or work, it's better that you don't spread anything. Let me just say, I'm fairly certain the last time I caught something was because someone behind me in a class was coughing through the entire lecture.


This one goes with the last point, but sleeping will help your immune system fight off any infections. It's good to take some time off and get any extra sleep you can.

Clean everything.

I like to wash all of my clothes and bed sheet, because they're what I wear and touch the most, especially my pillow cases. This will help get rid of some germs and stop them from spreading. It's also good to disinfect anything you touch often, like doorknobs and table surfaces.

Take medicine.

This one also sounds like a no brainer, but seriously if you expect to feel better soon you should be taking some sort of medicine. At the very least, it'll help with your symptoms, so you're not couching or sneezing every couple minutes.

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