Days of Manias Past

Went to see my shrink on Saturday. In explaining my rage and disgust with myself over my current financial predicament, I told her the reason for my intense feelings is that this isn’t the first time it’s happened. The difference between then and now is I hadn’t dug myself in so deep I couldn’t dig myself out.

So I started regaling her with some of my past exploits while manic. Like how I ended up with FIVE full-length fur coats. While I was still commuting, in winter it got seriously cold on those train platforms. When the 7:15 AM express came whipping through, it was like you’d been plunged into the Arctic. It occurred to me that a fur coat might make my commute more bearable. I bought one. It worked. Then I slipped into mania and bought four more. Oh, they’re beautiful, all right. I pay handsomely to keep them up. But I stopped commuting to work in 2008, and I haven’t worn any of them since Obama’s first inaugural in 2009. Yeah–they’ve been sitting either in my closet or at the storage place since then. I also have a gorgeous sterling flatware set, service for eight. Tell me, why would I need something like that? I don’t entertain. Hell, I don’t even like PEOPLE. And then there was the time I went crazy for loose colored gemstones. I had a grand plan to have them made into custom jewelry. Problem is, I don’t wear jewelry. I have pierced ears, but I rarely wear earrings. Oh, yes–can’t forget the gem rock collection. I even mentioned it on this blog. Emeralds, lapis lazuli, sapphire, and a whole lot more. I could go on, and on, and on.

Sometimes I drop by a website for bipolar folks, kind of like a therapy group, or if nothing else, a means give each other support. There was this one guy who was 31 years old, had four bankruptcies from failed business ventures he’d gotten into while manic, and was currently living in his parents’ basement. I understand. I’d be in the same place had my business ventures gotten past the planning stage. Like, I had an idea I’d start a helicopter ferrying service in Washington, D.C. It would mainly fly political types to the regional airports. Problem is, D.C. is a no-fly zone except for military aircraft. So my plan was to lobby Congress to get a private law passed to allow my business to operate. Seriously. I had it all mapped out–where the helipads and other support buildings would be located, and all that. Another business venture was to start a barge company that would ferry cargo from Baltimore to places where it’d be impracticable to park a ship. I even had a name for it, though I don’t remember now. Anyway, I’d gotten it mostly together when I went to see an admiralty law professor at one of the law schools here about my idea. He thought it viable but there was just one problem–the Mafia. They control the docks in Baltimore and might not like the idea of competition. Though he didn’t come right out and say so, he hinted that should I try such a thing, I might wind up at the bottom of the Baltimore Harbor. In a third venture, I’d planned to buy an apartment building that had something like eight stories. Anyway, I was going to gut the thing and sell living space by the square foot, with a minimum purchase of one-quarter of a floor so there’d be no more than four apartments on one floor. I’d take the entire top floor for myself. I’d planned to put in an exercise room and all kinds of other amenities. I started researching. Fortunately, the building was sold before I got too far in my planning. And there are more–so many more. For all of these schemes, the only thing lacking was money. Thank goodness.

For me, the fallout from being bipolar might not be as crushing as it has been for others but it’s still crushing. Making it worse is I can’t tell when I’m slipping into mania, or when I’m already there. It’s like I go to bed suicidal and wake up knowing the gods are smiling because I’m one of them. And then the crazy starts.


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