Sometimes I felt like I was drawn to mania. That Patrick was right, and I had loved him only during his manic episodes. That mania was true love. And it could consume you like it had consumed Patrick, or it could leave you feeling tired and used up, like it had left me. Nothing seemed to exist in between.
All the greatest men are maniacs. They are possessed by a mania which drives them forward towards thier goal. The great scientists, the philosophers, the religious leaders - all maniacs. What else but a blind singlenee of purpose could have given focus to thier genius, would have kept them in the groove of purpose. Mania ... is as priceless as genius.
YOU'RE THE PSYCHOTIC DAUGHTER OF A PSYCHOTIC MOTHER YOUR FATHER WAS A MEGALOMANIAC YOU'VE GOT AN INSANE BROTHER YOUR NURSE COMMITTED SUICIDE WHEN YOU TORE HER OFF STRIP YOU CARRY A SHOOTER TO PARTIES 'COS YOU THINK IT'S HIP BUT IT'S A PURE MANIA IT STOPPED BEING A GAME WHEN YOU FOUND IT WOULD TAKE YOU TO THE ASYLUM AGAIN WELL YOUR UNCLE WAS A RICH MAN BUT HE ALSO WAS A THIEF HIS SISTER WAS A DYKE THING WHO WENT OUT WITH GIRLS TO GET RELIEF YOU COME ON WITH YOUR "HOW DO YOU DO?" HONEY I NEED A DRINK BEFORE I CAN LOOK AT YOU BUT IT'S A PURE MANIA IT STOPPED BEING A GAME WHEN YOU FOUND IT WOULD TAKE YOU TO THE ASYLUM AGAIN WELL YOUR GRANDMOTHER WAS INTO HOMICIDE JUST FOR KICKS AND YOUR GRANDFATHER PUT PEOPLE'S EYES OUT WITH A POINTED STICK YOUR WHOLE FAMILY SEEMS TO BE ROUND THE BEND IF I GOT HITCHED UP WITH YOU IT'D BE THE LIVIN' END BUT IT'S A PURE MANIA IT STOPPED BEING A GAME WHEN YOU FOUND IT WOULD TAKE YOU TO THE ASYLUM AGAIN WELL YOU MAY NOT HAVE AN ASYLUM BUT YOU SURE GOT 9.00 TO 5.00 YOU'D BETTER GO AND FIND A DOCTOR SEE IF YOU'RE ALIVE
But then back on lithium and rotating on the planet at the same pace as everyone else, you find your credit is decimated, your mortification complete: mania is not a luxury one can easily afford. It is devastating to have the illness and aggravating to have to pay for medications, blood tests, and psychotherapy. They, at least, are partially deductible. But money spent while manic doesn't fit into the Internal Revenue Service concept of medical expense or business loss. So after mania, when most depressed, you're given excellent reason to be even more so.
Kay Redfield Jamison
The beauty of religious mania is that it has the power to explain everything. Once God (or Satan) is accepted as the first cause of everything which happens in the mortal world, nothing is left to chance ... or change. Once such incantatory phrases as "we see now through a glass darkly" and "mysterious are the ways". He chooses His wonders to perform" are mastered, logic can be happily tossed out the window". Religious mania is one of the few infallible ways of responding to the world's vagaries, because it totally eliminates pure accident. To the true religious maniac, it's all on purpose.
Depression is a painfully slow, crashing death. Mania is the other extreme, a wild roller coaster run off its tracks, an eight ball of coke cut with speed. It's fun and it's frightening as hell. Some patients - bipolar type I - experience both extremes; other - bipolar type II - suffer depression almost exclusively. But the "mixed state, " the mercurial churning of both high and low, is the most dangerous, the most deadly. Suicide too often results from the impulsive nature and physical speed of psychotic mania coupled with depression's paranoid self-loathing.
When I am high I couldn't worry about money if I tried. So I don't. The money will come from somewhere; I am entitled; God will provide. Credit cards are disastrous, personal checks worse. Unfortunately, for manics anyway, mania is a natural extension of the economy. What with credit cards and bank accounts there is little beyond reach. So I bought twelve snakebite kits, with a sense of urgency and importance. I bought precious stones, elegant and unnecessary furniture, three watches within an hour of one another (in the Rolex rather than Timex class: champagne tastes bubble to the surface, are the surface, in mania), and totally inappropriate sirenlike clothes. During one spree in London I spent several hundred pounds on books having titles or covers that somehow caught my fancy: books on the natural history of the mole, twenty sundry Penguin books because I thought it could be nice if the penguins could form a colony. Once I think I shoplifted a blouse because I could not wait a minute longer for the woman-with-molasses feet in front of me in line. Or maybe I just thought about shoplifting, I don't remember, I was totally confused. I imagine I must have spent far more than thirty thousand dollars during my two major manic episodes, and God only knows how much more during my frequent milder manias. But then back on lithium and rotating on the planet at the same pace as everyone else, you find your credit is decimated, your mortification complete: mania is not a luxury one can easily afford. It is devastating to have the illness and aggravating to have to pay for medications, blood tests, and psychotherapy. They, at least, are partially deductible. But money spent while manic doesn't fit into the Internal Revenue Service concept of medical expense or business loss. So after mania, when most depressed, you're given excellent reason to be even more so.
Kay Redfield Jamison