About two years ago I remember reaching out after what seemed to be like what I would assume was a hypo-manic episode. It was February and we were in the midst of yet another incoming blizzard. There was a salt shortage and I could not find a place to buy salt.
I was up super late researching for places that may or may not have salt. At 5am I found a place in Staten Island that was holding 2 bags for me but I had to be there super quick or they would sell it.
So I rushed to the ATM, got some cash, speed drove into Staten Island and got my salt. I got back home and was thriving off my adrenaline. So I decided to start cleaning and emptying out the fridge.
I was amp’d and wired.
It felt as if fire was in my veins. I could not scrub the dishes fast enough. I paused at around 7:30am and realized this was no bueno. I reached out to a friend on Facebook who happened to be a psychologist. I said I wanted to talk at a normal hour, later in the day, after I calmed down.
At 9am I was nowhere near calm but I was getting anxious because I had some business calls scheduled for noon and needed to be on my A game. The problem with breaking night, at least for me, is that once I turned 35 it was harder for my physical body to keep up with my mental stamina.
Sure mentally I was awake but my body was starting to work against me. It was as if my body was saying “GTF to bed!” I didn’t listen and I felt those small heart palpitations that made me quit coffee. By the grace of I don’t know what, my business calls were postponed and I slowly felt myself crashing into a state of delirium.
I remember lying in bed and getting a rush of guilt and shame because this was hardly the first time and I knew it wouldn’t be my last.
Like many other times I just fell asleep and woke up feeling like I came out of a coma. It was the afternoon and I had a mastermind call that I couldn’t miss. So I sucked it up, opted for the call-in number instead of video chat because I was still somewhat immobilized in my bed, and did my best to be present for the others.
I remember lying in bed, turning the phone on mute so that they wouldn’t hear my sobs and just wondered to myself “WTF is going on and is it always going to be like this?”
Eventually I got to talking to my psychologist friend and she recommended I speak to a professional, which I did. In talking about the previous 24 hours, I realized that my moods aren’t always isolated to an incident or trigger. Sometimes they occur out of nowhere.
There was also that one time, way back, when I was so amp’d that I did 6 complete websites in one day, from SCRATCH. This was before I started using templates and when one site would take me 6 hours to do (without the bells and whistles) from start to finish.
And also the time I worked a FT job, was producing a live show and managing freelancing gigs. Pushing myself physically to exhaustion was the norm for most of my late 20s and early 30s. Eventually I stopped, not because it was unhealthy but because my interests changed.
My jacked up behavior simply evolved into a different kind of workaholism. Couple that with pronounced depression and anxiety and you’re left with an entrepreneur who secretly cries during mastermind calls for not having her ‘ish under control.
It’s rarely just the amplified high though. Like clockwork, the high is often followed by a crash. It’s a crash that’s felt emotionally and mentally and because it’s so strong it often feels physical too. My way of coping is to leverage the high for as much as I can.
I don’t spend much time in an amplified high mood so when it comes I take advantage of the momentum in the hopes that I’ll accomplish things that will keep me from feeling like shit when the crash hits.
Because the crash can be a flip the switch kind of emotional from elevated happiness to profound misery or sometimes it’s a gradual crash where I go in slow motion and see my emotions flying out some car window and tumbling off a cliff into an abyss of nothingness. There’s just no way of knowing which one is going to show up or when.
If I could predict it each time I’d be able to micro-manage my life around it. I can’t so I don’t and I’m left fearing the days that are too good to be true, because often times they are, at least in my head.
The entrepreneurial welcome center doesn’t include pamphlets on these things and I can’t help but wonder if I’d be feeling this way if I had a more traditional career. Is it nature vs nurture?
Does the entrepreneurial journey come with an all-access pass into the darkness or was an all expense paid trip into darkness already a part of my itinerary?
Today was a good day and I felt great. I did some meditation with headspace. I got some sales. I found a new coffee spot. I did what was on my to-do list. There were no looming red flags or potential road bumps. And while I’d love to appreciate the day for what it was, I default into fearing what may or may not be around the corner.
When you’re in constant battle with your mind it’s hard to believe that the fight is over. The very nature of the mind is that there’s so much you don’t know and can’t control it’s not you who’s “in control.”
That’s kind of how one’s subconscious works. *shrugs*
I’d love to think I have a cordial relationship with my subconscious but with that b*tch you never know. She comes out of nowhere with stuff that she’s been holding on to for years.
So right now, I’m just going to be in the moment and give myself permission to show gratitude for the right now because tomorrow is another day and there’s no sure thing later on.