Imagine you are juggling 3 balls comfortably, but then someone throws in an extra ball. It throws you off your step, but you manage to keep a hold. But then another ball gets thrown at you and you start to drop balls all over the place. This is what its like building up to a manic episode. Your tummy feels fluttery a lot of the time and you have a bubbling stream of weird excitement jogging along with you. You know its there but its like a lid is pushing down on it, and for now at least, it gently propels me along at a pace I can just about manage. I have a curious sensation of being attached by a wire to the body that is separating out in front of me. The body in front is the one that is rushy, taking at 100mph, taking on far too much work and generally being a bit loopy. The trailing body is the one that watches on in despair as it predicts the hideous crash that will inevitably happen, but feels completely powerless to intervene. The thread of connection becomes more stretched and tenuous the more I speed up.
I remember seeing my psychiatrist at the begining of May and telling him I didn't feel quite right. It was definately the odd before the storm. That little orange nylon covered chair that pushes up next to his desk is a comforting safe place. I wasn't keen on leaving after our 20 minutes, but he said, "If you have any problems before your next appointment, just telephone." Famous last words.
So during May things start to pile up. I'm trying to organise a conference for approx. 100 people, using a whole new approach (the whole systems approach) and I keep having to have extra meetings with a woman we all fondly begin to call chlamydia because we can't pronounce her name correctly. People are going off sick too, or, being redirected to other work instead of helping me. I am under lots of scrutiny from up the 3 line whip and everything is feeling a little bit unmanageable. The stress also increases as I have 2 weeks holiday booked, which will parachute me back into the chaos 2 weeks before the conference actually happens. Oh yeah, and I'm meant to be doing a workshop for 25 people with my boss as well as attending meetings and mediating between the variety of tossers who think being a strategy manager is an easy job and involves doing nothing. I ask for extra help or for someone to keep an eye on my e-mails etc. in my absence. Every ones looks at me as though I just popped a shit biscuit in my mouth. I'm on my own.