I had a good Christmas! Well, I think I did anyway. It was certainly better than last year. I couldn’t have been more miserable last Christmas… and this year I was busy, had fun and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
But I’m confused.
Truth be told, my behavior over the holidays was completely reprehensible. I drank too much, I drove when I shouldn’t, and was completely irresponsible with my dating. I know, it sounds like I’m manic. But I don’t feel manic. There are no racing thoughts, my energy level is stable, I’m getting plenty of sleep and just generally feel ‘normal’. So what’s going on? My behavior is totally inconsistent with my mood. It doesn’t feel like it’s escalating either. I’m just being a pig, which is totally out of character for me.
My thinking is clear. But at the same time I’m completely unorganized and undisciplined. I’m getting a lot of work done, which is a good thing as busy as we are. But I jump from task to task with no sense of priority. I’m finishing one task before I go onto the next, but what I move on to next may not be what I should really be doing. I’ve also been very undisciplined when it comes to writing. I’ve had plenty to say, I just haven’t been able to take the time to sit down and actually write. My house is picked up and neat, but I haven’t really cleaned in weeks. My focus is good; whatever I happen to be doing I can stay on task and get it finished. But I’m not always doing what I should be.
My dating is out of control too. Well, I’m using the term dating rather loosely. I’ve been with four different women in the last eight days, three of which I have no intention of seeing again. That is WAY out of character for me. I’ve always been one to be with just one woman at a time, and before I’d sleep with her I’d have to develop some kind of connection first. I’ve never been into one night stands. At the time however it feels right. I don’t feel like I’m just having sex for the sake of sex; I’m thinking that maybe it could turn into something more. But then when it’s over I have no interest in seeing her again. But I don’t feel guilty about it either. It’s totally bizarre behavior for me.
My short term memory is shot to hell. I’ve got an exceptional memory when it comes to remembering the past. And the day to day events are usually crystal clear. Now I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night, much less anything else. That’s one of the reasons I have been able to sleep around. The next day I don’t remember much other than I had been with someone. It’s even takes an effort to remember what they looked like. It’s been making work more difficult too. I have to go back and review from the beginning what I’ve done the previous day to make sure I follow up with what I should. It’d be nice if I could blame this on my medications, but what I’m on doesn’t have this as a side effect. It makes no sense.
All this tomcatting around is totally unfair to the one lady I’m becoming involved with. This lady is something different for me. I really enjoy her company, but I’m not infatuated or obsessive about it. I can see her today, and be totally content not to see her again for several days. It is completely comfortable and feels natural. The way we interact with each other is what I’ve always thought a relationship should be. I haven’t swept her off her feet, and don’t feel like I need to be her knight in shining armor. We talk; we laugh and share affection without being overwhelming. She’s a lady in every sense of the word. Needless to say, she’d be mortified if she known I’d been with others. And that would be the end of that. I don’t feel guilty about the others, but I do feel very guilty about it with her. I’m not saying I want to get married or anything (God Forbid!) but I do want this to work.
I’ve had my alcohol consumption under control for a while now. Lately however that hasn’t been the case. I’ve stayed away from my usual scotch, but I’ve really been putting down the wine. One of the ladies I was seeing was a true wine connoisseur, and I really enjoyed some very good bottles. That didn’t last however. I’m not seeing her anymore, and I’m buying the $10 magnum bottles. Every night I can just about kill the whole thing. But I’m not getting drunk, which is not good. My body has gotten used to all the drinking and it takes a really large amount to have any effect. Or at least that’s how it feels. I’m sure that when I drive I’m not nearly as sober as I think I am. That kind of attitude is a dangerous place to be.
I know what it sounds like. I’ve become overtaken by a full blown manic episode. But this behavior is not my mania though. When I’ve been manic my energy level goes through the roof to the point of being physically painful. I lose all focus and can’t ever get anything finished. I become obsessive about cleanliness and keep my house and car spotless. My thoughts are out of control racing from one thing to the next. I get angry; really angry. My driving is beyond aggressive. I seek out conflict with others and incite confrontations. I become really dissatisfied with my job, thinking that my superiors are idiots and that I’m so much smarter and able then they are. I get crazy.
But that’s not the case here. I’m fully aware of what I’m doing and in spite of the out of character behaviors I feel fully in control. I’m not angry; I’m in a good mood all the time. But my mood isn’t too good either. It’s appropriate for my environment. I’m a little scatterbrained, but still able to focus. I know what I’m doing is not right, but it’s been a choice. I tell myself that I’m just living the life to its fullest, but I also know that I’m just kidding myself.
So what do I do? Being aware that my behavior is totally contrary to my mood is a good sign. I just need to make better choices. And I know I can. I don’t contact anyone now other than the lady I’m seeing. I’ve stayed off the dating site I joined for days. I’ve answered the emails I’ve gotten from women I’ve been corresponding with just to let them know I’m seeing someone else and am not interested in moving forward with them. I have no scotch in the house, and I’m not buying any wine to take home. I’ve spent an hour or so this morning laying out my day at work; prioritizing my duties and organizing it in a way I can be most productive. It’s going to be a good day.
I do feel like I’m in control and will be able to curb my inappropriate behavior on my own. But I’m not an idiot either. It’s time to talk to my Doctor. I may not think that I’m manic, but I’ll bet she doesn’t agree. This is not my usual mania. But it’s not my typical behavior either. I’ve got a lot on the line now… my job, my finances, my budding relationship. I can’t afford to mess any of this up. If I’ve learned anything at all the past year, it’s to be aware of my signs and take action before it gets out of control.
I feel really good. Now I just need to be smart about it to stay that way.