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Category Archives: Mania



Sometimes when I’m lying in my bath,
Water as hot as I can make it
Coloring pale skin red,
I fixate on the shower head
To turn off my thoughts –
They chase me everywhere
Often bigger than my control of them,
They’ve never taken to leashes or cages
Though there are a few medications that quieten them.
Some days I wish I were simpler,
Possessed of smaller, shallower musings…
I repeat to myself it is what it is
And fix my gaze on the shiny shower head,
Avoiding the inward looking
As well as window dreaming.

Avoidance by Karen Ballou, 2012©


My thoughts are poison


I want to rip my tongue out so I will never speak again, I want to stop these feelings, this trembling, the anger, the fear and please please don’t tell me I just need to pray and count my blessings because life is beautiful and only I can make myself happy.  Just stop reading this right now if you think how I’m feeling is something I can just control without processing it and this is how I do that processing and maybe I should not do it publicly but I do and that is, yes, I realize, MY problem not yours, because you are so freaking in control of every feeling and reaction and oh yeah your life is prefect anyway!  I’m sorry I’m not more like you! 

I’m shaking, my heart is racing and as the anger and irrational hate I’m experiencing subside, the tears come and the children are being so loud, with my older child screaming at her little sister and I want to disappear.  I don’t know who I am right now.  Every thought crossing my mind is violent and toxic.  I need a break or maybe something to break or maybe should not be living the life I’m living at all.  And now I can’t stop crying.  And in my tears are prayers too but I know many are still just going to judge me, maybe I’m evil, eh, because I’m not perfect, because there is something broken in me.  There will never be a place on this earth where I fit in.

Let’s Just Say Your Intentions are GOOD


To anyone reading my blog who knows me in “real-life” I make this plea:  Leave your intentions, or motives or whatever (& I’ll even give you the benefit of the doubt & say those intentions were good, the motives pure) at home, just as I go to work every day & do my job, quite well if I do say so myself, and keep my issues separate just as well as anyone else I know.  Remarkable for someone as disturbed as I am, isn’t it?  (Oops, sorry, there is a little bitter sarcasm, but I’m at home right now & last I checked, off the clock)

So.  Just do me this favor.  Respect me enough as a human being if you’re so concerned, instead of talking ABOUT me, try talking TO ME!  I’m not one of your consumers so you probably don’t need to have a consult about my “case” – rest assured, I’m doing what I need to do to take care of myself!

My Twisty Path


I think I recall a few times like this as a child, a few days like the one I had today.  It left me, quite honestly, feeling completely mad.  I realize for the past couple of weeks, that I’ve had this awful climbing-up-the-walls energy, I’ve been prickly and snippy.  It’s hard to parent at times like these.  It took an observation from af friend to tell me what’s going on, and of course I don’t see my psychiatrist for another three and a half weeks.  I’m experiencing mania, not t he kind that lets me clean for hours on end with boundless energy, but the evil twin, which bounces my leg when I’m forced to sit still, which makes my eyes feel buggy because all the thoughts racing through my head are threatening to pop out in all directions – what a mess!  I’m hyper-critical, overly sensitive, easily pushed to panic mode and I keep forgetting to breathe.  So, this tells me that my antidepressant continues to work, but I think my friend who pointed out that this is mania is right, it’s time to look into a mood stabilizer.

This doesn’t feel as awful as being depressed.  However, I’m not a nice person when I’m in this state.  My words tumble out without my permission and I say hurtful things, I can’t focus on my children because my thoughts wander and wander.  This is fine at work, where multi-tasking keeps my leaping mind busy, but at home I just can’t stop to pay close attention to the little ones calling, “Mommy, Mommy,” and I feel a terrible guilt, because what sort of effect will my inattention have on them in the long run?

Then, there are the thoughts themselves.  They don’t make sense.  If I were to speak aloud these thoughts as they occur to me, everyone would think I was off my rocker.  For one thing, the words I’m thinking are a jumbled mess, but a rhyming jumbled mess, which is even worse.

I even only had two cups of coffee today to try and decrease the bounciness, but it didn’t seem to make a difference.

So to my friends and family, I apologize now.  To those of you whose blogs I follow, I am reading, I’m just too much of a mess to articulate responses.



Unsettled, always shaken
Into total misunderstanding of myself,
I feel terrorized, demonized,
Demoralized and victimized,
Always always left with a bitter bile,
So dark, so vile,
Bubbling to the surface I try to hide,
Taking all inside:
The doubt, the fear, the deepening
Feelings of abject violation,
Victimized no less by subjection to
A place that frightens me so now,
After all these years,
A situation in which daily
I feel I easily fall once more into
This role of powerlessness,
No less I say than that to which I was subjected
As an innocent child of four years age,
No less than the jaded girl aged eleven;
I’m not as stupid, though, as you may guess,
Despite my lack of education and
Apparent appearance as filthy white trash from where you sit.
I wonder at your
Propensity to draw near to you
Those you know
Suffer in one or another way a lack of balance.
Every bully has a favorite type,
A legal perpetrator penetrating
To the heart of the matter
Shattering any small semblance of balance,
Until day appears night to me,
Until it seems I am always wrong,
Until I am the child once more shaking in fear
Of what comes next.
I believe I’ve let it go too far, too long,
My own children one too many nights
Have seen Mommy cry and wish to die.
I cannot speak for anyone else,
But this nasty darkness in my soul
Consuming me is no longer worth meager reward,
An occasional “atta girl”
Tossed in with veiled threats
And barely-hidden contempt.
I feel sick, sickened in so many ways.
Paranoia has once more taken root;
Soon this must end,
If I am to survive,
Maybe not to you,
But my life is worth more than this,
My family deserve better from me
Than the leftovers I am becoming.

SANDSERENE: A Website with Insight

Check out my friend Sandy’s website for more information about bipolar disorder.

Splat. How do I distinguish between mania and anxiety?


Both come out of the blue, mania and anxiety.  I feel like I haven’t been honest with myself about the mania.  I don’t really recall many episodes of feeling manic, but not remembering doesn’t mean they didn’t happen.

When I am depressed, I can hardly remember any other feeling, it’s so overwhelming.  It engulfs me, becomes all that I am, somehow, and feels like it will never end.  It’s in those all-or-nothing, black and white, long-lasting times of bleak starkness when I contemplate suicide.  Any energy I have when I’m depressed comes from either anger or anxiety.

So, have I experienced the flip-side of depression that is part of a bipolar diagnosis?  I find that I have, more than I had realized.

In the past, when I’ve been unable to sleep but still felt fine in the morning… this is how I know it’s mania and not anxiety, the lack of sleep from mania comes for me from excitement, from feeling creative and like I need to be doing something important.  I awaken in the morning and I’m not tired.  I’m the grips of anxiety, when I can’t sleep because of it, my mind is racing not with wild, creative, grand ideas, but with so much fear and worry that when I finally sleep and awaken, I feel like I’m wearing a leaden suit and the fear is still with me, like a presence.  I almost expect to hear the strains of music that accompany gruesome murders in horror films.  I can’t breathe and I feel exhausted.

Right now, I can’t seem to shut off my mind, but it’s not filled with fear.  I suspect that today, I’ll be a little too talkative, but I will be very productive.  I know I will have to take care not to be too impulsive.  And when I next see my doctor, it may be a good idea to ask about a mood stabilizer.  Evidently, the antidepressant is doing its job!

If you’ve read this and are now scratching your head, wondering what message I even attempted to get across here… Well, splat.  That is what it’s like when mania hits me, too many different thoughts and ideas fighting for expression all at once, and at the end of it I will feel drained like my ideas abandoned me and left me to fall to the ground in a heap of quivering jello.

I realize that probably makes no sense, but if I ramble any longer, I’ll be late for work.