Speeding…

(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.

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3 thoughts on “Speeding…

  1. whoa—how much i wish i didn’t know just what you are saying: “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”—this is exactly me too but i tend to be just that way—hypomanic— with only about 3 manic episodes since 1992 (terrible ones!!!)…..and i don’t get the depression ….much…but i use a light box all through, say, october to may….i’m sure it helps…and my hypomania is expressed by “pressure of speech”—i talk so much and right through people that my therapist told me 2 weeks ago that i was putting her to sleep—i have to be very careful to take enough Klonopin, which saves me from that horrible symptom….oh well, enough about me….i admire your writing about your “condition”, which is your life sort of, not totally of course—it’s brave and there is so little understanding that these conditions are simply medical, neurological—not really understood (yet) but seemingly changes in brain chemistry…i.e. uncontrollable without meds and the same as any other disorder like diabetes or high blood pressure…yet there is so much prejudice…oh hell, screw all of them, we just have to live our lives as best we can and seek the light…thanks for writing this, my friend…

    1. LOL – thank you, Daniel – I totally understand, of course, what you’re saying. And I never thought of it that way – “pressure of speech” – but I do the same thing. I’m lucky (?) that people usually give me an evil look and I’m able to reel myself back in.

      I’m trying to start walking and yoga – hoping that they will help with sleeping and just mood stabilization. And a friend very strongly encouraged me to give my CPAP machine another shot as he said it has worked miracles for him. 🙂

      You’re a great friend and wonderful supporter!

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