features of mania

One of the most common features of my bipolar mania were religious delusions. In the throes of a severe manic episode, at one time I came to believe that I had been immaculately conceived and was on Earth to announce the return of Jesus. At another time I believed I was the Anti-Christ. Both of those times, it made complete sense in my head. The universe was directing me for my special purpose. Luckily at no point was I able to perform any miracles. It’s interesting that my delusions were specifically based in Christianity, the faith I was raised in. Both of those delusions fell away as I verged into psychosis, with my thinking becoming increasingly scattered and incoherent, in 2010, during the worst mental health crisis of my life. Not that believing you are a prophet is coherent, but the place beyond that in terms of insanity is amazingly worse.

Another feature of mania, and a most common one for me, was aggression and anger. This was unfortunately directed at other people at times, and it was not good for everyone involved. Other times, it was directed at the invisible, external forces guiding events, allegedly. I still sometimes rage at the absurd farce that is humans being cruel to other humans. I sometimes rage at the inherent unfair nature of existence. Obviously, as a mostly reasonable and sane person today, I have to set aside those problems I have with reality. Firstly because I need to accept the situation of existence on some level in order to function. Secondly because there’s nothing I can do about any of it. Naturally, I find the whole state of affairs that is “reality” quite ridiculous and upsetting (and really it deserves the air quotes). I’m sure at this point I sound petulant, but that’s tolerable. I simultaneously view my opinion of reality as a character defect while also being mostly correct. Unfortunately for me, when I’m manic, this character defect tends to go off the charts.

I think it was maybe 2006, summer time. I had some friends over, I made a camp fire. There was weed and alcohol involved. I don’t remember all the details because I was losing control. I was at home with parents. There were arguments, me with them, my friends with them. The fire. I threw some makeshift, symbolic cardboard sign I made into it. Everyone left or went to sleep and I was still wide awake. I was in my clothes, in blue jeans, jumped in the pool anyway. I started shouting angrily at nothing, cursing God, cursing Satan, daring them both individually over and over to kill me, letting them know they wouldn’t do shit. Informing the nothing I was shouting at that I didn’t believe in it. Just raging. Probably at nothing, because I’m still alive. I’m still here and would still like to file a complaint with the management of this universe. It was a long time after that when I would finally be okay for a moment, here and there. That happens more often today. I’m okay, some of the time. It could be a hell of a lot worse, because it has been, before.