Wouldn’t it be Nice


brian wilsonI’m listening to Pet Sounds again.  Last summer, that signaled I was in a madly, creative, manic phase. I’d put it on repeat, listen to it until three in the morning.  My neighbors, at first, called it charming.  By early fall, they called it annoying.

I’m listening to the Beach Boys again, trying to recreate this past summer’s insanity and inspiration.  And while I don’t want to live through the sleepless, wine guzzling evenings again, I want to harness the good parts: the high energy, full-throttle ideas and fearless grandiosity.

Bipolar doesn’t work that way.  Wouldn’t it be nice if it did.


3 Responses to “Wouldn’t it be Nice”

  1. Well, then you need to trade your manic depression in for plain old depression and anxiety. It’s much less fun, or at least I’m under that impression, but I’ve found that I can pretty reliably induce a creative phase with the proper application of upbeat bubble gum pop combined with some very loud energetic hard rock or punk – the right throbbing beat to make me forget my worries.

    The upside to anxiety and depression, if you can call it up-anything, is that the moment the music stops you come right back down.

    It’s funny, I think for years doctors had a hard time diagnosing me in part because that fact that I was an artist almost automatically made any doctor think “bipolar” at first. Then, when that diagnosis didn’t fit, they’d be a bit flummoxed. It wasn’t until about a year ago; I wound up in the emergency room and the psychiatrist on call came in and asked me how I felt. I had big streaks of mascara running down my face and I looked at her and said, “I just want to crawl into a hole and hide away from everything.” Almost without hesitating, she gave me a prescription for Zoloft, something no doctor had tried before, and I’ve been slowly getting better ever since. It’s funny, I didn’t realize how much anxiety I really had until I started taken medicine for it. I guess I just thought it was normal to be slightly nervous all the time. I was so used to it, I didn’t even act nervous and other people would have never picked up on it.

    Maybe you need to figure out both what gets you up and what brings you down. Maybe you can plan on writing for a certain length of time and then know that after X hours you’re going to put on some mellow music, try to relax and think of something else. Or force yourself to watch television or whatever changes your focus. You could even set an alarm if you lose track of time. Sorry if they sound like stupid ideas or if you’ve tried stuff like that and it didn’t work. Just trying to brainstorm ideas that could be useful.

    It’s funny, when I had a bipolar boyfriend, I could deal with his depressive episodes, but his manic episodes just totally me nuts. Sometimes, I thought it was too bad that we weren’t millionaires. If we had a mansion and I could avoid him when he was manic it would have been a good relationship, but we were in a small apartment and he’d come home at 4am after going out dancing. He loved dancing when he was manic.

    Music helps me a lot with painting. Frequently, I’ll listen to the same album over and over while working on a painting. However, I rarely find that it’s the same album two paintings in a row. Maybe you need a new record (giving my age away). I’ve found Lou Reed to work a couple of times. Also, a Canadian musician called Jean LeLoup. This is one of my all time favorite songs. One day, I should make a creatively hypnotic mix tape for those moments that I can’t paint.

    • Great suggestions (especially bubble gum pop. They have that????) I just haven’t connected with anything yet, so I should explore my horizons. It’s like inspiration…it just HITS. Wish I had more control over it, but alas, I don’t. Though, today is a more upbeat day than I’ve had in awhile. I’ll check out your link, too!

      Wonderful, thoughtful response. Thanks.

  2. I’d like to have some of those high energy days too.

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