November 23, 2015

My manic lamp

(In which I reflect on mania)

This is my version of a magic lamp.  My manic lamp.

I've had one long lasting mania with euphoria, grandiosity, distractibility, sleeplessness, and heightened activity.  It was immediately after Jacob.  That's the one I ended up hospitalized for and getting my diagnosis.

Anyway, during the mania I think I "saw" things in a way I'd never seen them.  I had never really liked this lamp.  I have a vivid memory of lying in bed on my side looking at the nightstand and seeing this lamp.  My wife knew I needed to get some sleep.  I was exhausted yet completely wired.  There was no way I was going to fall asleep.

As I started at the lamp the pendants hanging from the lampshade looked stunningly beautiful.  It was as if I was seeing the lamp for the first time.  I just laid there and marveled at it.  I commented to my wife how I had not appreciated it before and how pretty it was, but there was no way to communicate at the time how captivated I was.

It was one of the few moments I remember where I slowed down.  So much of the time was a blur as I rearranged furniture, hospital papers, and everything else around the house.

There's no real significance to the lamp itself, except to remind me that I can't dismiss everything that happened while I was manic.  Yes I wasn't sleeping, volatile, doing all sorts of pointless activities, and eventually becoming near psychotic.  But at the same time I was seeing the extraordinary in objects that had always been around me.  I was hearing the sublime in music I had listened to countless times before.  It's thought provoking to me that we are all perhaps neuron firings away from being blown away by the beauty of the everyday.

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