So upon further consideration, I realize that lately I have been in what would be considered the “Manic” phaze of a bi-polar disorder (if I had one, which seems unlikely since I’m able to function in society without traditional treatment). I have more energy and motivation to start new projects and get good work done on outstanding projects. I re-arranged my living room furniture all-of-a-sudden the other day. I painted two new paintings (though I have a couple hours work left to do on one of them that I need to go to an art supply store to get a certain supply before I can continue) Sunday night. I wrote a 2500 word treatment Monday night for the short film I want to produce, and have only been having more ideas and details about how I want to re-write it since then. I have posted as many words on this site so far this week, with who knows how much more yet to come.
Also, I haven’t been making entirely rational decisions, including the sorts of decisions that maximize my waking hours to the detriment of my health. Still smart enough to take my vitamins in the morning though, which is better than I can say for myself when I’m on the “depression” side of the coin, but I still need to get rest. I think that my exhaustion stems not just from my lack of sleep, but from my extra exertions from trying to get so many different things done. I’m just glad I’ve been able to keep myself from riding my bike all over town. Who knows what state I would be in if I’d been riding for hours/day for the last couple of days?
So, as always, what I need to do is manage myself more carefully in any phase. The real “bi-polars” are dispensed medication that manages their mania and depression for them, usually leaving a very flat emotional and creative landscape. I have worked for years (successfully, in my opinion) to keep myself from pushing myself too hard when I am manic, and to keep from pushing myself over the edge when I am depressed. Still, I do what I can to make as much use of my mania as possible, usually making detailed plans for continued production that I can carry out in any state and managing a creative explosion so that I produce many/brilliant works without allowing myself to neglect my other responsibilities. I also do what I can to make as much of my life as I can while depressed; I continue my work on the plans I set forth while manic (like continuing to produce comics intermittantly during October after the manic burst that created nearly 100 comics in a couple weeks in September, for instance), though often at a slower pace.
In either case, I have introduced certain elements to my life that make every day and every week routine to a certain extent. I work a job where I am scheduled for the same hours every day, and the same days every week. I attend Beer Club most Thursdays. I do my laundry on the weekend. I eat breakfast every day. I prepare and eat dinner most days around 6. I select primetime TV shows on every day of the week but Thursday to watch, so that even if I’m feeling to down/lazy to get up off the couch, just getting to primetime everyday begins to bring me back into my routine, and back on track. I know that they’re simple things, everyday things that many people have in common, but I think that is part of what makes them so easy that I can keep doing them even when I feel like it isn’t worth the effort to go on living my life. They ensure that I’ll have clean clothes to wear and something to look forward to at the end of the day besides just going home and passing out. They ensure that no matter what day of the week it is, no matter what time of the year it is, I know there’s something to look forward to, some small reason to go on. Also, they mean that I’ve got a regular routine of things to do that interrupts my manic activity and brings my overactive mind back to reality for a little while.
Well, my mind is wandering now, so I don’t feel that I should continue to try to be coherent on this topic. Still, I know I’ll go home at 3 and come back tomorrow by 6. I know I’ll eat breakfast in the morning, even if something all-too-pressing keeps me from sleeping tonight and I wake up late tomorrow. I know I’ll do what I can tomorrow night to attend Beer Club, though I may end up bringing pads of paper to jot down ideas while I’m there. And, I know that eventually I’ll come down again, the mania will dissolve and all of a sudden I will find myself barely able to move. And my life will still go on.