We all have things that we want. Cravings, desires, they’re all part of life. Everybody wants something different though. A prisoner might wish for freedom, a lonely person for love, many people, it seems, want money or power.
One of the most frustrating aspects about my bipolar is the way that my manic episodes manifest themselves. Those with my diagnosis can respond in many different ways when their mood suddenly shoots upward. If there’s an activity with an element of risk, we’ll find it.
Gambling, drugs, hitting the highway at dangerous speeds. We can empty bank accounts overnight and drive up hundreds of thousands in credit card debt. Some of us will go hypersexual and sleep with almost anyone we see.
I’ve been fortunate however in that I almost always go hypomanic, a mild form of mania. And when my mood swings up I don’t gamble, I don’t sleep around or do drugs, I spend money, sometimes money that I don’t have, sometimes hating myself as I do it. It’s a compulsion that’s almost impossible to resist.
I have found ways over the years. I’m still not always successful, but I’m getting better. I’m always finding ways to better myself.
But this isn’t what this is about. I’m talking about an entirely different kind of want.
I was watching a movie about a primitive tribe living in the jungle. It was night and they were gathered around a fire, telling stories and communing. Some danced and some talked. Some simply stared into the flames, lost in thought.
I’ve never been the kind of person who makes friends easily. People have often described me as standoffish. I can easily talk to you guys on here because online is an entirely different animal. Were this the real world, were we at a party, what would happen?
It could be the best of times, good music, drinks and a bonfire. Everybody would be having a great time and I’d still be on the periphery. If I was lucky my girlfriend would be there. Even then, I’d find myself waiting until it was time to go.
Not because I wouldn’t be enjoying your company, but because I’ve never been able to. Not in large crowds like that. I want plenty of things. But I truly envy people who can be in crowds of their friends and have a good time.
I wish I could too.