When I miss Mania.

“I simply did not want to believe that I needed to take medication. I had become addicted to my high moods; I had become dependent upon their intensity, euphoria, assuredness, and their infectious ability to induce high moods and enthusiasms in other people … I found my milder manic states powerfully inebriating and very conducive to productivity. I couldn’t give them up.” -Kay Redfield Jamison
“Sometimes I don’t want to swallow my pills.
Sometimes I miss the high:
An addict missing her fix.
I get itchy…I lick my lips…
Trying to remember what madness tastes like.”
-An excerpt from my journal
Right before my brain kicks it up a notch to batshit crazy mania, it shoots out just enough “happy chemicals” to experience what Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison calls “white mania.” This euphoric high is probably why so many manic-depressives stop taking their meds (or don’t start in the first place.)  It’s hard to describe…probably because it’s a lot of things all at once.  I’ve never “popped molly” or taken “E,” but I’m pretty sure it’s a high similar to those drugs.  Every sense you have is heightened.  You feel a divine, pulsing connection to the world around you.  You begin to hear colors, see sounds, taste textures. Honestly, it feels like you are super-human.  It’s a state of mind: “I CAN DO ANYTHING.” It’s like walking around in the most magical dream. Poems seem to leap from your pen to your journal, the right words flow from the tip of your tongue, and you dance with the energy of the people around you.  Sometimes I miss it.  Today is one of those days.
This is kind of what white mania feels like.
Dreamy, right?
But kind of scary?
That’s exactly what it’s like.
At the time, it’s an exhilarating feeling of being out of control,
of going with the flow of whatever comes.
You feel invincible.
But I’ve come to find that those white manias
are not worth what follows them.
You’re running, barefoot, through a forest,
on top of a mountain.  The wind blows in your hair
and whispers to you, “Keep going.”
You run, and run,
never loosing your breath.
Your lungs fill with the colors of the setting sun.
You run and run,
your clothes start to tear
as the branches whip you in the face
and claw your arms.
You don’t care.
You’re flying.
You run and run,
straight off a cliff.
You fall.
You crash.
You break.
You sink.
Those depressions that follow my glorious highs are not worth going off my medication.
I would rather feel “normal” than sink into those deep darknesses.
So yes.
Today I’m missing my white manias.
But I swallowed those pills anyway. 
ps. images:

Lisanne de Jong by Viviane Sassen



  1. oh my god. this is unreal. i am crying and laughing and inspired. you are the most amazing human. such beautiful words to describe such an intense experience.

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