Back to the writing board

May 12, 2010 at 10:40 am (Mental illness, Writing Ranting)

Publisher A hasn’t replied yet (the ones who may or may not be sick of me), but Publisher B (“Stormhunter” and “Monster Apprentice”) has. I expected them to say, “Oh dear, has it been that long? We’ll get right on to that!” (lies, all lies) but they went one further and said, “We’re really busy at the moment with this sales thing.”

So. . .  nothing will be happening for at least another month or three.

In the meantime, I have two adult students who need huge amounts of help at the moment, so I’m working a LOT. The good thing is that they finish in a matter of weeks, so this is a crisis rather than a regular thing (I generally handle crisis far better than everyday stress). The bad thing is that when I work a lot, I tend to crash my car or make other serious life errors.

Last week, every hour was torture, and I cried a lot. This week my brain chemicals have done me a favour and gone manic – just in time for the heaviest week of all. Since I only go mildly manic, it’s a reasonably good way to cope with life (particularly since I always observe myself carefully and predict when the crash will happen – I’m betting on Friday). The worst part is not being able to get to sleep (too busy buzzing about things to do), not being able to focus on what I’m doing (always focused on the next thing, and the next thing), and of course the high risk of injury to myself/others, or suddenly plunging into uncontrollable violence, swearing, or crying.

Normally my work limit in a day is three hours with students (I quite often push to four by not doing anything else that day, by having breaks, by having two hours in one location, or by having a student at my house). Yesterday I had over seven hours with students. If you add an hour of writing, half an hour of exercise, and all the driving between students, I worked for eleven hours. Because of being manic, I handled it fine. Today I have six hours of tutoring (plus exercise, writing, and driving), and I think I can stay manic enough to handle it. Tomorrow’s just three hours, so I should be tired but okay. And Friday I don’t have students, but do have a birthday party to go to. But on Friday I’m allowed chocolate again (I’m going three days without any junk food of any kind – today is day two), so I’ll have something to lean on if things get bad.

As with many mental illnesses, someone who is manic is able to think rationally (logic just feels utterly incorrect). Other than the creeping dread of the consequences, I really enjoy being manic – it’s deeply satisfying to be able to do a full day’s work for once. It’s a whole lot like being a normal person for a while.

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