My youngest brother has just gotten diagnosed with Bipolar 1. His diagnosis makes sense to me. The way I see it, the kid has had a manic phase that has lasted 21 years and it spiraled far out of control this past 20 months.
Yesterday he has called me at least 9 times… the same complaint each time… “I’m bored… I’m bored… I’m bored.” I’ve been trying to be patient, but this kid is killing me.
But I have to admit, I sort of remember when I was trying to pull myself together… I was bored all the time too. The excitement of mania, the scramble of the mind, the hallucinations, the confusion, it was… anything but boring.
But then my mind grew quiet and predictable… it was boring. Just like a quiet ocean, no turbulent waves… no surfing fun.
How can mere contentment and predictable stability compare to manic euphoria?
I’m trying to remember how I dealt with boredom.
First… I guess I had to figure out what was making me bored… Some of it was due to over sedation, lack of interest and stimulation, and confusion at why I couldn’t feel that natural high again.
Then meds got adjusted just right, I ended up trying to make up for lost time…. Then I was too busy to be bored. Now I’m fairly happy with my life… that’s not boring. But it took time and healing.
Back to my bored little brother… I guess I can start trying to help get him out more, finally stop being a wall and encourage him to reconnect with the family (ie our kid sis)… I could be more patient and remember how bored I was to have a quiet mind when I had one…
Or I could go stomp his cell phone.
But I am taking boredom seriously. When I hit a bad stretch of boredom… that was when I was more likely to quit my meds and reach for other recreational substances. That doesn’t mean I needed someone around to entertain me 24-7. (send in the dancers )
But back then I sure wish I would have had someone explain to me that euphoric mania, or that energy rush just before a break for me… was a bit addicting and I had to learn to cope with it the same as any addiction. That boredom was just like an unnamed flavor of depression… like bland dry salmon and cheep badly made vanilla ice cream.