Growing up my dad had a saying “Don’t be afraid to say no when the others say go.” It stuck with me throughout my life yet sometimes in a manic state there is this tiny voice in my head that tells me to go. Recently I was in Boston for a wedding and was out having a good time. On the last night I found myself at a fork in the road. It was nearing midnight and I was either going to go back to my hotel, go to bed, and get up early to catch my plane or, I was going to continue on my wild journey throughout Boston.
I’ve been in this situation before, where I have a decision to make, and I am pulled one way (the safe way) or the other way (the unknown way.) I was just about to return to my hotel when the thought of it being my last night in Boston turned me around. Somehow I ended up across the bridge to Cambridge with some guy I just met and next thing I know I am at some party with a bunch of people I didn’t know and, had a blast. But when I stumbled home early that morning just in time to catch my plane I thought about my choice. My old wild times before medication should be over. I shouldn’t feel the manic voice inside taking over. Maybe I missed that manic blood but there have been too many times in my life where I have found myself walking home with the sun rising. Too many times I have ended up in a place that wasn’t known to me, or with someone I barely know. Those times have been curbed with my mood stabilizer, but sometimes I still hear that voice. I get that defining moment of decision that will define the future of my life and experiences. This is not something to take lightly and I thought about it on the plane back home.
Next time I feel that manic urge to go, I am going to force myself to sit down, literally, and not just think of the potential consequences of my actions, but how the unknown is just that: unknown. For someone that wants to be present and know themselves, it might be best to say no when the other says go. “Other” meaning that manic spirit ready to take charge and down the path to the unknown which sometimes can’t be good.
That voice becomes a defining moment, and something not to take lightly.