My Latest Manic Episode

If you know anything about bipolar you’ve probably heard that one severe manic episode could literally ruin your life. I can tell you, from my own experience, this is absolutely true.

Technically, I don’t even have manic episodes. My diagnosis is bipolar II, meaning I have depression episodes and hypomanic episodes.

What is hypomania? It is similar to mania but your symptoms are less severe. It’s “mania light”. Symptoms of both mania and hypomania include:

  • having higher-than-normal energy levels
  • being restless or unable to sit still
  • having a decreased need for sleep
  • having increased self-esteem or confidence, or grandiosity
  • being extremely talkative
  • having a racing mind, or having lots of new ideas and plans
  • being easily distracted
  • taking on multiple projects with no way of finishing them
  • having decreased inhibitions
  • having increased sexual desire
  • engaging in risky behavior, such as having impulsive sex, gambling with life savings, or going on big spending sprees

For most, mania feels good. And you do not recognize it when it’s happening.

My Story

It started at the beginning of last summer. I had been fired from my job, so my schedule was out of whack. My son moved in with his dad for the summer. And my boyfriend at the time moved into my house.

To say that this boyfriend was a bad influence on me is the understatement of the century. Normally, I work, take care of my son, and take care of my responsibilities. I rarely drink or go to bars.

Once the boyfriend moved in, the wheels completely blew off. We partied, partied, partied. We hung out with people that I would never normally associate with. Drug addicts. Low lifes. People who had been in and out of prison. People who had had their kids taken away from them.

It never crossed my mind that I was acting out of character. It was fun! It was exciting! Plus I loved my boyfriend and wanted to please him.

My boyfriend and I had regular late night conversations where I would talk and talk, so rapidly that he couldn’t understand me. I was full of brilliant ideas and literally could not control my speech. Often I’d be doing this, then discover that he had fallen asleep. So I’d go online, usually on Quora, and talk on there.

I had so much energy. I stayed up late at night, or all night working on projects, talking to people online, sending out my resume…I was constantly using my phone. But, I didn’t have energy to do “boring” things like clean the house or go grocery shopping or cook a meal. I craved excitement and stimulation.

In my late night sessions with my smartphone, I regularly did what I call “going down the rabbit hole”. Something exciting would pop up in a news article or a Facebook post or something else. I would then obsessively read everything I could about the topic. Then, since after spending 2 hours reading about something I considered myself to be an “expert” on the topic, I would go on various sites and social media and make comments. These would often lead to heated debates with strangers. This would go on for hours. I remember the Jeffrey Epstein story kept me going for days!

Meanwhile my house was a disaster. My clothes were dirty. I paid almost no attention to my teenaged son. There was a pile of unopened mail in my kitchen so high, I had to move it to the floor. Normal life was just too boring.

Then I got a job. It was a very structured environment with lots of rules. Looking back, I rubbed certain people the wrong way. I talked way too much and, being full of brilliant ideas, I gave unsolicited advice to people. Managers. I regularly went to my boss with a “better way” of doing something. I couldn’t sit still, so I frequently got up from my desk to get a drink, go to the bathroom or go talk to someone. I didn’t get much work done.

After a month, I received a written warning. But my behavior continued. After two months, I got fired. So in a span of 5 months, I had been fired from 2 jobs. I thought everyone was out to get me. It never occurred to me that I was the reason why I’d gotten fired.

My hypomania continued. I was rapidly going through my savings but didn’t give it a second thought. Friends and family took notice. Nobody liked my boyfriend. My son hated him. They warned me.

One night, we were hanging out with my boyfriend’s friend. He seemed nice. It was late so my boyfriend went to bed. The friend said he had to go back to his place nearby to let his dogs out. So I went with him.

He drugged me and raped me.

The drug was GHB, known as the date rape drug. In large doses, it makes you pass out. In even larger doses it can kill you. As soon as it hit me, I knew what was happening. But I was too high to call for help. Then I blacked out. The next morning he drove me home as if nothing had happened. The worst was that my boyfriend blamed me. He said I never should have left with a lowlife scum like that. I felt ashamed. I never called the police.

This wasn’t the only time my boyfriend treated me like shit. It happened regularly. He had a terrible temper which came out of nowhere. He said awful things to me. Things that “you just don’t go there”. Ladies, you know what I mean.

We had one fight at my house where he got in my face, screaming so violently, I got scared. Then he started throwing things at me. I called the police. He took off before they arrived. After every fight, he’d apologize and I’d take him back.

September came. My boyfriend was also out of work. So I came up with another brilliant idea. We would start a business together! I poured myself into it. At first it was to be a handyman business just for him. But it snowballed into me being his manager, getting him jobs, setting his appointments, doing his quotes and invoices. I also designed a logo and a website. Occasionally I helped him on jobs. All of this work I did for no pay.

We worked seven days a week. I had plenty of energy. But I was also exhausted. I made mistakes in the business which cost him money. We had fights regularly. Not really fights, more like him blowing up at me and me silently taking it.

Normally, I keep to myself unless I know someone well. But during my hypomanic episode, I was Chatty Cathy. I struck up conversations with people in stores, bank tellers, anyone who would listen. Even people who clearly weren’t interested in my friendly banter. I talked to them anyway.

I also had much higher confidence than usual. I thought that I was smarter, more creative and better looking than most anyone. Modesty and humility flew out the window.

Looking back, these beliefs were way off. To give you an example as to how bad I looked, I often slept in my clothes, then wore them again the next day. No shower. I didn’t bother with makeup or fixing my hair.

I finally found a new job in October but it didn’t start until November. This is when my hypomania slowed down. Usually what follows a hypomania episode is a depression episode. So from mid October until the day before I started my job, I laid in bed depressed.

It’s late November now and I feel fine.

The aftermath: By mid October, I was completely broke. I sold everything of value that I could. It was some of the worst stress I’d ever experienced. I even had to borrow money from my ex-husband.

I broke up with my boyfriend. I can’t blame him for everything. But had I never met him, I don’t think I would have had the hypomanic episode. And I finally realized that I deserved better.

I’ve been trying to repair relationships that I damaged during this episode. Especially with my son. I feel guilt and embarrassment. As for my family, it will take a long time before they trust me again. Right now, they see me as crazy, immoral, selfish, and a bad mother. But it could have been much worse.

A manic (not hypomanic) episode can destroy your family, your career, your finances, your reputation. You could end up homeless, in prison or committed to a state hospital. Or dead.

I am grateful to God that I made it through this chaotic time.

Have you ever had a manic or hypomanic episode? Please comment below. Or, use my Contact page and I will email you back. Hugs, 😀❤️💥🙏

16 thoughts on “My Latest Manic Episode

  1. I’ve had several.. one got me placed in a psych hospital. I often think im psychic. I spend too much money and i sleep around. I haven’t had a full blown one in years thanks to medicine but some days i miss it. To be what i felt as vivacious

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I understand. I pray that God touches you and comforts you right now in the name of Jesus. May the things of the past no longer hold you bound and may you walk in the newness of what God has for you.

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  2. Mania was my normal. It took a few bouts of depression in my early 20s to figure out I was actually bipolar. I thought manic was normal. After they got me on the pills and I started leveling out, I remembered how everything just seemed muted. Everything was slower, less exciting and I was more tired. I remember telling the doc who prescribed my meds (not my regular therapist), “I don’t know why you’re giving me pills to bring me down. You need to give the rest of the population pills to bring them to where I was.” It took me a while to appreciate being on an even level. I just try not to romanticize it because me off the meds now is not a good scene.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t think his mania had anything to do with the Lewy Body Syndrome he developed, but he did have a history of bipolar and drug abuse. I actually didn’t like his standup act because it reminded me of the constant chatter going on in my brain, but damn was he a gifted actor.

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        1. He was such a good actor. I’ve noticed many people who begin as stand up comedians, then do comedy TV and movies, then serious acting. And they’re great actors. I saw something with Steve Carrell where he was really good

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  3. Thanks for sharing

    From the other side I run a mindfulness group for NAMI

    PTSD, depression, and bi polar disorder are common

    One person with bi polar disorder improved the most. Paying attention to how she felt, eliminated manic for four years.

    One day she kind of went silent, no contact

    It did not end well and there were no outward signs

    As you say one manic episode can ruin your life or take it

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Back in 2001, I hooked up with some random out of state guy I met on line and went over the moon manic. I didn’t even bother telling them I quit my job, I just didn’t show up and took off for the East coast with him. 6 months of this, both of us hooked on ephedrine and drinking gallons of booze. We spent every penny we had. And then one morning I woke up and realized the cat had torn open the trash I’d been too lazy to take out and I had maggots crawling on the carpet, the mess was so bad and I had neglected it so long.
    Gross, embarrassing but it happened.
    I landed splat on my face, about to lose my apartment, and told him things had to change.
    He went back home to keep doing the same old, same old.
    I got a job and kept my apartment, then my disability was granted after years of denial. Had I known all it took was nearly dying from a med interaction that nearly killed me to get approved…
    It wasn’t until 2006 I was diagnosed as bipolar 2, given mood stabilizers, and got off the manic machine. Now it’s brief bursts of hypomania and mostly depressed but…
    The way I lived during my manic episodes, running up $50,000 in credit card debt, sleeping around, alienating people with my ‘grander than thou’ notions only to end up in the bathtub bawling because I had no clue what was going on with my mind…
    I miss the energetic aspects of mania but if being a slow moving lump means I no longer behave in ways to hurt myself and others, it’s worth the loss.
    Having my kid really helped put things into perspective,too. I’m the only parent she has so I take my pills like a good girl even when every fiber of me screams, OH JUST FOR ONE MANIC EPISODE!
    But even that one episode could be fatalistic so…Nope.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing so honestly. I can relate to everything you described (except for the maggots). I have found myself in some nasty, dirty, God awful places. And hanging out with (not judging) people who are just bad people. They’d stab you in the back and steal all they could from you if they thought they could get away with it. After having people like this in my house I always noticed things missing. And looking back I’m pretty sure each of them had one kind of serious mental illness or another but not getting treatment. Many folks like this grew up with abuse, neglect, abandonment. Parents who were in prison. One guy had never made it past the 6th grade. I’m pretty sure he didn’t know how to read. So these people start with small crimes then it gets more serious and they end up in prison. I think every one of these “friends” of mine had served time. Once you have a felony, it’s almost impossible to get a job in Texas. Or benefits. So you get out of prison, you’ve got no money, no car, no nothing. It’s no big surprise that they turn to selling drugs. I feel sorry for them. I wished I could help them all but they would just take all of my money and God knows what else.

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