(This was written as response to a prompt in my current writing group – Worrier to Warrior – lead by Jena Schwartz.)
At first, I thought about how I tend to speed in my car and, in fact, have since I started driving. My dad and I shared my Grandad’s car (mom’s dad), which was a 1974 Chevy Nova that was faded to a sort of maroony-pink with a shredded gray fabric top. It was automatic, but there was NOTHING “new” about it – only AM radio, crank handles, push locks, and the fabric ceiling was drapey because all of the glue had dried up… we called (my girlfriends and I) the car the Boobmobile because, on my first time driving it to school with all of them, we had too many of us in the car and went flying over the railroad tracks (because we were, of course, late to school) and two of the girls who were calling one another Boob at the time (one had lots, one had none) banged their skulls against the car’s roof.
But, what worries me with speed lately is how my mind races, how I feel like I race through life, work, etc. until my body literally just forces me to stop. Twice this month I’ve gotten physically sick – swollen lymph nodes, upset stomach, headaches, exhausted beyond compare – and have had to rest for 2-3 days. It’s not a huge surprise because I know I’ve been pushing myself, but at the same time, I don’t know how to NOT do it. My friend Mara sends me these notes – I hope you’re taking care of yourself and not taking on too much… Ummm, yeah, nope. I’m doing my usual. I’m an idiot bent on destruction – and though that’s not really true. I work very hard on staying sane and relatively even.
My doctor asked me – a week or two ago when I met with him, “Are you feeling too happy?” I knew what he meant – are you too manic? And the thing is – I have gotten to where I don’t seek that out – mania, in its true form for me, eventually leads to depression – and that stays and stays and stays… And mania now is also not “happy” – it’s exhausting – I feel angry, frustrated (lots of visualization of punching people, walls, screaming, LOADS of silent cursing), I struggle to control myself. And I can’t sleep. And I can’t get anything done – I start LOTS of shit – even good shit – and it never gets done. People get pissed at me – I get pissed at me – and the cycle continues.
But, I don’t know, right now, if this is seasonal (I tend to be more manic in the summer and depressed in the winter – sun vs. lack of sun) or if I’m struggling with something that I have yet to admit to myself (which is totally possible), or if (God I hope not) I need to have my medications changed.
Speed – I’ll probably always have a lead foot – except when I have kids with me or even animals – but I’d rather NOT zip through life… if I can just figure out how to slow myself without bringing on a complete stop.