I'm approaching that blissful state of normality where I am neither moving too slow nor too fast, where I laugh but not too much, where the Tesla coil of my mind only throws out one bolt of blue lightning at a time. For most people not under the influence of some drug, that's how it is every day. Anxiety can get them riled up and moving too fast, but that passes, just as they might be slowed by grief--failing an exam, missing a promotion, losing a pet, but that passes, too.
For a bipolar the mind is either filled with devils running in Dantean circles or hyperactive angels bouncing off the cranium. And those angels are not "the better angels of our nature," no, just dopamine/serotonin/noradrenaline-powered sprites.
Bipolars are often mistaken for being smarter than they are because their minds can move so quickly--think Robin Williams or Jonathan Winters, two sufferers (although Williams has not come out of the closet). These high-octane comedians can only do what they do because they have the gene. If you overwhelm someone with information at high speed, they're going to think you're bright.
Beware: there's a big difference between bright and quick.
Although tomorrow is "Poetry Thursday," I'm going to post a poem today that, like "American Zen," tries to capture that neutal plane between depression and mania, retardation and hyperactivity, that has been so hard for me to maintain in life--why I take multiple medications and once had to undergo electroshock.
Other folks take drugs to feel different; I take drugs to feel normal.
Here's the poem:
Nothing to Say
I have nothing needful to say,
no comment on the glittering bay
or the dark, snow-topped wall
of the San Gabriels.
Things used to be pulled from me,
uprooted lilke weeds from a garden.
I let the weeds bloom now.
The red-throated bird
that lives in my chipped balcony light
sings for a mate I have never seen.
I let my words run like watercolors.
Time runs only forward.
Why should art be different?
Here is the last line.