Bipolar is a lot of things beautiful being just one. It can also be quite dangerous. Below I will list some of the more common behaviors that walk the line between pleasurable activities for the manic brain and possible irrevocable consequences.
We barely touched on it in my last blog, but gambling is common with those of us with bipolar disorder. We see money like it grows on a tree in our back yard – big and evergreen. We gamble what we have and then some more. Gambling can be fun for some people when it is within their means, otherwise is can be destructive, reaching financial ruin. Whether it is in the bright lights of Vegas or in the dark in front of the glow of our computer screens, it is all the same. Some people prefer to gamble all they have on races, horses or greyhounds. As you can see, the possibilities are endless.
Other people living with bipolar disorder find the need to shoplift. It is another compulsion. For those who steal comes an adrenaline rush of getting away with something and not getting caught while also “getting” money. Sometimes we steal little things like lip gloss, other times it is an expensive article of clothing. Either way, it is a dangerous habit.
Like gambling your money away, many people go on spending sprees. I once knew a bipolar woman who spent three thousand dollars shopping on the Internet from websites like Victoria Secret. It is the grandiosity we feel that makes us act in like we have no restrictions.
When people think of us living with bipolar they often think of the promiscuity, which is a major part of mania for some people. Having sex with as many people as possible is a lofty goal, but some of us set it. So we set off into the night looking for our prey – usually the easy ones or rather we may have multiple partners keeping the others in the dark. We seek bodily pleasure instead of monetary pleasure. Some of us don’t seek it from other people or strangers but are super amorous with our partners when mania comes knocking. This is dangerous because it can damage relationships and spread diseases.
Contrarily, some of us push people away. Sometimes people get in the habit of disregarding relationships. During mania some of us can only think of ourselves. We are the most important people on the Earth. Every thought we have, every word we say is interesting and amazing (or so we think.) We need people to pay attention to us. This too can cause people to avoid us, hurting our relationships.
Putting our lives in danger, sometime we put the pedal to the metal and practically fly down roads in our vehicles. Talk about dangerous. Most of us go over one hundred miles per hour. I have. One hundred and thirty, I believe. We think we are invincible when really we are playing with our lives. We have high expectations for ourselves. It’s like being able to rock climb at the gym and taking on Mt. Everest or taking violin lessons and trying out for a symphony. This grandios thinking makes us look foolish.
Sometimes mania can almost mirror depression in that we don’t want to take of ourselves. Our health declines while we put ourselves on the back burner. No showers. No doctors. Yuck. We push people away by doing this.
Being beautifully bipolar is enough. Why aggrevate it with the things listed above. All we can do is try to keep our heads above water and keep ourselves, and our money, safe.