The deceptive allure of being manic

I’ve been a pretty stable, responsible person for quite a while now. I’ve accomplished a lot of things I never thought I would be capable of. I have a house, a husband, I’m in school, and my family and friend relationships are pretty solid. I am very proud of this. And yet…

I used to have so many adventures. I was always trying new things and going off on crazy trips. Most of the time, they ended terribly for me, and I took a lot of stupid risks. I could have easily died many times over. I was miserable during that time in my life, and I was using adrenaline highs as a coping mechanism. So why does my brain feel nostalgic for a time when I had nothing to be happy about? It doesn’t make any sense. But I do miss being the wild adventurer and always doing exciting and dangerous things.

How can I remind myself that life is better now? The only reason I was able to take such risks back then was because I honestly didn’t care whether I lived through them. Now, I have a life I like, and I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize that. I’m not going to do anything stupid, so don’t worry about that. But how do I reconcile the person I once was with who I have become? They’re both important parts of me.


I had a bachelor teacher who lured me because he had the personality that could have been an axe murderer. Like you, I don’t think I cared whether I lived or died then. And, like you, I look back at that time with nostalgia. I’m stable now, but I suffer from the wounds he dealt. The only difference between our experiences is yours was travel, mine was a man.

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Well, it was also men. And women. And tons of life-or-death situations. I think I miss the freedom, but I only had freedom because nobody cared enough to keep me in line. Everyone thought I was a lost cause and just gave up on me.

If you had adventures, you had fun and it’s okay. You can try it again.

But if you had “adventures” (meaning that you just was naïvely in danger), it’s better not to do it again. For example, it’s not a good thing to walk on the streets at night in a dangerous neighborhood. It’s not adventure.

Having adventures is okay. It’s fun and makes you more alive.

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My friend helped me to figure it out. Adrenaline rushes were my coping mechanism for so long. Whenever I felt like a failure in like, I would do something dumb and dangerous to feel better. Now, I feel like a failure because I didn’t get into grad school, but I can’t fall back on my old coping mechanism, because I actually have something to lose. So I need to find a more healthy outlet for my feelings of inadequacy. Any suggestions?

Maybe you can find a way to have more controlled adventures. To experience the excitement and wonder without putting your life in peril. Road trips are fun. Seeing new places, exploring.

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adrenaline junkies have a large list of possible adventures where the risk is actually small but due to the nature of the event no matter how safe it actually is your body will auto assume its in a life or death situation… I mean some are def more risky than others those squirrel suited crazy fools that glide down mountains 20 feet off the ground are nuts… but you could say go sky diving tandem style or bungee jumping or repelling off something stupid high… those are pretty controlled activities that should get the ole heart pumping… the last thing I did that made my adrenaline spike was swim out into the ocean…but im scared of the open ocean if I cant see the bottom and im not in a boat I don’t wanna be there…was fun…

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I so recognize that! I too used danger and adventures of all sorts and taking stupid risks to run away from feeling bad. I did mountain climbing and hitchhiking through remote places in Asia and drugs and adventurous with guys (which resulted in me having a child out of wedlock and PTSD with psychoses) and all sorts of other things…but underneath I just wasn’t satisfied with my life and not building up something more valuable, like a genuinely loving relationship.

To be honest, most of the time I miss my old friends more than those adventures, but sometimes I have this flare up of wanting something exciting to happen. I recently did something stupidly “adventurous” again and it only made me feel stupid, guilty and empty and it had some bad results as well.

What does help for me is doing small positive new things, like joining a dancing course, or taking my son to a childrens museum where we can both explore all sorts of things, or going on a climbing holiday. I can’t feel as much joy from it as before meds, but it still gives me a boost.

I hope you find a positive outlet of your sense of adventure! And I hope you appreciate all that you built up, I’m “jealous” of you (meant positively)!


I think there are phases in life I guess? I am in a similar situation like you and have nostalgia of being extremely happy.
The only way I convince myself about my life right now is that ’ the only constant is change’ not sure who told me this on the forum.

So now it is a phase too and soon there will be another phase for you… things change.
Maybe some even better adventures are ahead of you and you can also plan goals ‘as a couple’ adventures together, traveling, trying new things.

You have something to cherish though, which is amazing. Some people do not even have that :slight_smile:

You are alive, safe and on a good path… so enjoy that to the max, you know? :slight_smile:

I feel like this illness turned me worse than my grandmother though ;(


I agree with @anon73478309, my life right now is all about adrenaline and adventure right now. But, back in my mind, I think if i’m in a stable relationship with kids I can grow distance from it all. It’s not that weird that you reflect to your “old self” so to speak. Those are exciting too but once you settled, I think, you have to focus on the “new” you and that of your children. I imagine that, what I did not experience, my kids will experience. If, off course, you are able to let them to.

i was entraced until i saw “manic” not magic… XD i’m hella funked up… i read it … still. MAGIC

My memories from hitchhiking are really special and important to me but I still wouldn’t do it again. But-- I loved that time in my life tbh. I don’t feel a need to reject the experiences, but I know it was dangerous . . .


mental illness, instability and dependance keeps me from taking risks. Which I always almost think of is the right thing. :slight_smile:
If you are happy in your relationship - and love your partner, than it is something too valuable to lose.


Can’t believe everyone has done it… i mean well most… i can’t imagine it… because i would always end up in the woods near this place

I also had to think of something I read today. An article of a wife&mum who wrote that she was rather bored and annoyed with her life, until her single friend pointed out to her what she didn’t see anymore. The loving glances and touches of her husband, her children’s excited look and wish to be near her, cuddling with them, them running around, and how he missed all those things. I think it’s really important to appreciate the value in such moments. I’d love to have a loving relationship like you do and solid friendships! And right now I’m really trying to see the moments with my child…his cuddles, his fake-fights, his funny remarks. I secretly think even one of such moments is more important than all the adventures, and the same is true for a solid marriage or friendships like you have. I personally believe I only threw myself in such adventures by lack of something better, like a truly loving relationship.

Good luck!


I agree with you @anon73478309, there goes nothing above a loving relationship. I settle for that than the adventures I have planned for myself.

My best friend is bipolar and she loves to be manic. I just don’t understand this at all. I don’t see the fun in spending more money than I have and going into debt. I don’t see the fun in hopping into bed with every Jane, Dick and Sally in sight and getting venereal diseases, sorry. I also don’t see the fun in speeding around town in my car and getting traffic citations and getting into car accidents. What’s fun to her, is simply horror to me. So, she skips her meds every once in a while, while I take mine like a religious addict. To each his own.

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All those consequences are the things I need to be remembering right now. Thank you for reminding me of them.


My god you sound so familiar :tired_face: Where are you from???

It’s okay you just sounded like someone