And, as a result of my Bipolar Disorder, every time shit goes down and I have to suddenly engage, I am always petrified when it’s all over. I took action to correct a bad situation, but was my judgement sound? Did I do the right thing? Did I over react? Did my Bipolar Disorder skew my perception of reality in the first place and cause me to react in an irrational manner? Am I going to get into trouble?
It’s a well-known litany that plays over and over and over in my mind. Whenever shit goes down.
Today’s example: I watched two kids stop their bicycles, dismount, choose the perfect rock and hurl it as the swan who was sitting in the pond outside my living room window. I went into overdrive. I went on to the deck. I yelled at the kids and told them to stop. What followed was an exchange not about them stopping their asinine behavior, but the fact I wasn’t speaking Dutch. Smarmy, pre-pubescent idiots.
The swan flew away and the kids left without further incident.
I came inside and then the warped machinations of the Bipolar mind took over. Oh, God. Did I make the right call? I can’t abide cruelty to animals in any form, so…yes? I just knew that any second there was going to be a parent on my doorstep, screaming at me, in the language of the hairball, some sort of insults about yelling at their kids that I wouldn’t be able to understand. It would escalate. Perhaps there would be some anti-American sentiments thrown in after I explained my language barrier. The whole encounter would have to end with me slamming the door.
See what I mean?
Of course, none of the above happened – no one came to my door. But the fact remains that I am forever questioning my judgement about – well, about pretty much everything that happens involving heightened emotions. Because, if I’m going from zero to pissed in 2.4 seconds over something that doesn’t really warrant it, then it’s time to evaluate whether or not the mania train is trying to pull into the station.
I think just about everyone who has had at least one hypomanic episode understands what I am talking about. Have your judgement compromised once by the illness, and it haunts you forever. Yeah, we can tell ourselves over and over and over – just the way our therapists taught us to! – that it is the illness putting these thoughts into our heads. That when we are in a remission we need to be gentler with ourselves and trust our non-manic / non-depressed judgement. Yeah, OK. Well, if you’ve never spent a month of your life not going to work but instead decided to drive around to every store that sells iPhone covers because you believe you need one embellished with Swarovski crystals…
I rest my case.
And, for the record, I stand by my actions today. If my yelling, “Knock it off!” at some brats kept a swan from being pelted with a rock, then the crazy train isn’t pulling into Manic Station. Just yet 🙂