I just saw an article in BP Magazine asking the question at the title of this blog. At the same time I found an envelope from an old girl friend. She was the one I had I went into the vets program. And looking back it was definitely mania. She was attractive, interesting, a Unitarian and a member of a little UU activist group I had set up. At the time, my life was falling apart and I was grasping at straws. So why not find a nice blond-haired woman to hang onto?
She had spent years in relationships with men who had mental illnesses. She appeared out of nowhere via yahoo messenger. I liked the idea of having her picture above my bed but there was no way it could have become anything long-term. She lived in the Boston area which could be brutally cold. She was caring for her elderly mother, who was living with dementia. She had survived far longer than one might have expected, given that her mother had taken some unfortunate pills in the 50s. Something called DES.
And she felt what she wanted to do was eat fat food, drink french wine and smoke french cigarettes. Eventually she hoped to live in Florida where it was warmer. It is hard to resist when mania sweeps you into its arms. There was someone here who actually loved me but I wanted the golden woman. My undiagnosed bipolar disorder presented differently top different people. I was deeply depressed at the state of my finances. My job and career had fallen apart. I was angry and hard to get along with. I was full of lust. And I had no idea what the hell I was doing.
Those of us who live with this disorder called manic depression have these kinds of episodes when we are struggling to cope with our shifting emotions before we are diagnosed and sometimes even after. I truly regret turning away from love but I am glad that I finally learned the reasons behind my behavior. I can truly say that I have been free of mania for many years despite some struggles with controlling my anger.
From my experience, if you can ask yourself the question, whether it is love or mania, it’s probably mania and you need to slow down your romantic and sexual impulses. Stop, the love may be your own.
- The Madness of a Writer With Manic Depression (thedancingwriterblog.wordpress.com)