A few nights ago, I was having a lot of symptoms of mania. I’ve been struggling this year. I have to say “this year” now because I can no longer say “this week” or “this month”. I’ve been struggling since February. So, I was intense, disconnected, and not fully rational. There was no talking to me. And so my wife asked, “Are you beyond that point?”
This is her fear, now that she understands. Mania is an altered state. It fucks with your brain and causes you to perceive the world inaccurately. I can’t help it when that happens, but I can be aware that it is happening. I’m like a lucid dreamer except that I can’t really fly. But there’s a point at which I’m no longer lucid. My altered reality becomes the only reality I’m aware of. I begin to speak and behave as if that is my reality. That’s what crazy is. Crazy is when you are behaving normally within the context of an abnormal perception of the world.
The reason this is my wife’s fear is that when I reached that point in the past, I did lots of hurtful things. She essentially lost her husband for awhile. She’s worried that she will lose me and that I will betray her again. It’s like those werewolf movies. He’s in there enough to tilt his head when you say his name, but he might kill you anyway.
The truth is, that I don’t know if that point still exists. I haven’t reached it since my treatment began. I wonder if perhaps I’m so much more self-aware now that I will always be aware enough not to do harm to my marriage or anything else. But I don’t know for sure. I feel that I have to live under the assumption that I’m fully capable of returning to an altered, deluded state.