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How a Brown Paper Package on My Doorstep Describes My Experience With Mania

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Often I forget I was manic until I receive the routined daily package revealing my devious plans from the night prior. Yesterday, I received a copy of “An Unquiet Mind,” by Kay Jemison Redfield, and a pack of 50 papers fit just for my polaroid zip. They were both a simple reminder of my newfound dedication to spreading the word of my disorder through the book.

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I vowed to buy one to accompany every reckless online purchase to build my growing collection, and from there, I could disperse them to my friends and family. I fixed my gaze onto the papers shortly after I began rummaging through my “Spiritual as Fuck” cards, their sole purpose only to pump you with excessive motivation through inspirational notes I had convinced myself were the Holy Grail. As I sifted through the bold statements on the stock card cutouts, I was struck with inspiration to start printing pictures that would be fitting to the messages.

Eventually, I had created an entire army of scrapbook materials and stared at the total that lingered on the right side of the screen. With some sort of dumb luck, I decided to keep them all bookmarked, only ordered the pack and swore I’d continue this adventure the next day. Which, of course, I didn’t, as that was just another manic episode feat.

Though that resides with the problematic and slippery slope of the episodes, struck with genius ideas at 2 a.m and convinced I’m destined to finish them, regardless of how financially tasking or time-consuming they may be. I bought a $1,500 photography set-up only to abandon it shortly after I realized I knew nothing about cameras, and couldn’t bear the patience as my next grandiose idea was afoot. On a whim, I’ve decided within two hours I’d like to drive across the state to visit the place where my heart resides, with little to no consideration of my responsibilities. I’ll spend hours fixated on a path to my future, completing the FAFSA, entering an application to a college and turning in multiple essays to get scholarships, and within a day, I’ll have come to the conclusion I’m meant to live on a farm embedded in trees and miles away from civilization.

In many ways, it has been a gift to me. I’ve created enough budgets to ensure my bank account is temporarily stable for a week, crafted dozens of poems in just one sitting and found music that fits my feverish, yet fragile moods. It is flighty, I’ll be sultry and enticing only to pick up the next romantic interest as I hadn’t found a similar intensity to match mine. Given that’s when I’ve been awake for 22 hours and my judgment is quite hazy, and in reality, I’m better fit with a gentle soul that can grasp my relentlessly shifting moods.

Mania has become a blessing and a curse, I’m plagued with a lack of complacency in my day-to-day living. It has convinced me I am far from fulfilled and my calling will eventually be revealed in one of my scrambled messages that litter my notebook. I am often unpredictable, either boisterous or irritable, and neither tethers me to sanity. It has fueled my greatest adventures and carried me through the lows, giving me a slight taste of what pure ecstasy feels like, as my baseline tends to reside within my self-loathing and lack of motivation. It is dangerous, daring, endearing, the most intense high you’ll ever feel without the aid of drugs, and a toxic relationship combined all into one. Self-awareness is my cooperative nature as it keeps me grounded through the lust-filled episodes, yet it can only curb the lower ends of them. I’ve learned to ride the waves, and expect a bundle of brown packages delivered at my doorstep, each a clue to piece together my previous quest.

Getty image by cybrain

Originally published: January 29, 2020
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