For me, bipolar disorder is addicting as hell! I’m not just talking about alcohol, drugs, gambling, buying 50 pairs of shoes (a week) or whatever other destructive habits you can think of; I’m talking about becoming addicted to virtually anything I’ve ever cared to do in my life. I don’t know how to half-ass anything. I either whole-ass it, or zero-ass it; no partial-assing for me!
Really, this is just an extension of another post I wrote about bipolar disorder being engrossing, but it’s definitely worth expanding on. Also, I’m currently addicted to Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, and if I stop writing this article I’m literally going to eat my face off (OK, figuratively eat my face off; whatever, I know).
Why is Bipolar Disorder addicting?
Imagine you’re white water rafting. Everything around you is tumultuous, and you’re doing everything you can just to get down the river, and stay in the boat. Maybe that’s holding on as tight as you can. Maybe it’s paddling like hell. Or maybe it’s something else entirely because I don’t know the first thing about white water rafting and this is just the first metaphor that popped into my head.
This is sort of what mania feels like. You’re on this precarious little boat and your thoughts are racing around you like a raging river. So you work like hell to stay in the boat. Often this involves throwing yourself into something completely to keep your mind busy; maybe you’re brewing beer, writing a blog, buying 5,000 pairs of shoes, or my personal favorite, becoming an (almost) YouTube star. Whatever it is, you become addicted to it – at least for a time.
Conversely, maybe you’re depressed, and life is starting to feel a little overwhelming. So you check out for a while – you start drinking, smoke some weed, eat 4 lbs of Reese’s peanut butter cups; really, just pick your poison!
I guess chocolate-peanut buttery goodness isn’t as bad as the war I’ve been waging on my liver for the past 10 years with booze, but still, it’s a little destructive. I was hoping the first time I was on TV wouldn’t be on My 600lb Life. My minimum goal is making the news getting perp-walked for something cool; like stealing a truck filled with Reese’s Cups.
It Ain’t All Bad
Addiction definitely has a negative connotation. It should, since usually when you’re talking about addiction you’re talking about it in the medical sense – as in “Matt drinks so much he jumped into the resevoir, then came home and ate an extra large chicken bacon ranch pizza; he did that 3 separate times last week. I think that meets section 12 of the DSM critera for Alcohol Use Disorder – do you do stupid shit at least once weekly?”.
But really, it can be a good thing if you channel it into something productive.
Here are some examples of the good and the bad in my own life:
The good: Got addicted to exercise and dieting and lost 40lbs (which is good since I was about 40lbs overweight).
The bad: Gained 40 lbs in two months after becoming addicted to Reese’s Cups.
The good: Created a successful YouTube channel after becoming addicted to Minecraft and video editing.
The bad: Became addicted to Minecraft and video editing and stopped hanging out with friends.
The good: Became addicted to work, got promoted several times.
The bad: Got addicted to work, got promoted into role that I hate.
The good: Got addicted to brewing beer, and had fun learning about one of my favorite things!
The bad: Got addicted to brewing beer, a habit which complimented my alcoholism nicely, and temporarily turned me into the most vanilla version of Walter White you’ve ever seen (I even have a chemistry degree).
The good: Got addicted to writing, and created a blog.
The bad: Got addicted to writing, and inflicted several made up ass-related words like “assholiness” and “partial-assing” to the general public.
Bonus Bad: Got addicted to diet Mountain Dew in an ill-advised attempt at a beer replacement and now my pee glows in the dark.
There’s many more examples, but it’s been 10 minutes since I last shoved Reese’s cups and Mountain Dew into my face so I’m going to have to wrap this post up.
Check out my other posts from my Bipolar Disorder Described in a Word series:
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