Managing My Mania
Well, I’m going to have to stop updating this blog everyday, I’ve got a job, well, potentially multiple jobs. And I’ve started a new sound production company that seems like it’ll make a lot of money. Oh, and I’m starting a magazine on the local music/art/film scene. And this has all happened in….. 2 weeks… actually less than that.
Anyone think I’m looking manic yet?
Well, I’m actually not manic, nor am I completely hypomanic. I actually discussed this with my psychologist and we came to a consensus. I would be manic without all my prescriptions. I’d be seriously screwed without them. But with them, I think very clearly, plan ahead (no impulsiveness or wild spending or anything), but instead I’m creative with almost limitless energy. To give you an idea of how much energy I have, I worked 3 days with 23 bands. That’s nearly 8 a day. A typical night is 2-3 and those are typically exhausting. Instead, I got to bed at 1pm (no changes in my sleep cycle), then up at 7 the next morning, and by 8:30, I was mastering the recordings from the last night up until I had to go in and run the next 12 hour show. Essentially, I was working 16 hour days for 3 days and though I felt tired, I just kept going. This energy has extended into forming a new magazine and my new mastering company all at the same time. And the heat was breaking over 100 degrees everyday and I had just recovered from heatstroke. I felt exhausted, but I never felt tired.
But I have managed some of it by carefully planning how I’ll do these things. The long work hours are good because it keeps me out of trouble and focused on a particular thing. But the creation of new companies and organizations is a different matter.
All to often it’s easy in this state to just do everything yourself and badly micromanage it all. It’s a bad idea, and if and when this cycle goes bust, then the pieces will fall apart. Instead, I’ve set myself as an instigator. I use my energy to translate my ideas and possibilities to other people in the new magazine that I’m forming. I’m also not doing it with just one or two other people, I’m gathering twenty odd people to help out. Then, if I have to disappear, it won’t fall apart behind me. Same thing with my recording and mastering services. I’m only buying the bare minimum of components through ebay, and then as the funds roll in I’ll upgrade. Plus, it’s freelance, so I can do it as I please. Hell, I can do it in my underwear for all it matters. It’s hyper flexible which is what I need right now.
But the key thing that I’ve discovered is that I need to keep things very flexible and redundant. I cannot count on myself so I don’t put myself in that position. Instead, I use my energy and enthusiasm to get other people to do it. More reliable people that is. And it’s working wonders. Before, the magazine was just a “what if…” or “wouldn’t it be great…”, but no one in the group ever looked into getting it started. It was simply a nice idea that nobody was ever going to act on. But after my energy took hold, I talked and talked to a lot of people and found free webspace and got a lot of people involved. That was my role, getting it going (which took a lot of energy). After that, I have 4 other great people who can manage the site.
Giving up control in this state is really hard because I do still have that “I’m better than everyone else” mentality. In getting rid of that mentality, I’ve found myself to be position in a way that I can do the things that others simply don’t have the energy to do so. I have become the instigator rather than the regulator. I’m creative rather than detailed. Other people can take what I think and change it to make it more realistic. I keep myself only in the position of starting things and spit balling.
On the flip side of all that, being charming and energetic is great for business. I’ve already drummed up $30 from a canceled show and if I keep doing it, I’ll clean up $90 a night for about 6 hours of work the next day. Plus free beer and music. And that slightly pretentious and arrogant attitude where I act like I’m better than everyone is excellent for selling oneself as being good at what I do. Even my humility is arrogant. But if all the deals come through in the next month, I’m looking at around $600 of work for about 25 hours put in. Mastering makes mega bucks and I’m selling myself at about 1/10th of what other people do. And if it continues to expand at even a slow rate, I’ll be looking at around $800 a month while working in my spare time that would be spent watching TV. I’m ultra excited. And on top of that, I might be setting up the beginning stages of a new venue here in Madison which would come out to another $200 a month for going somewhere I’d be anyways. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but for a college student working highly flexible hours, that’s a load. After all, living expenses plus niceties comes out to around $800. Which means I can save $200 a month. And if my parents continue assisting me, then it’s about $1200 a month that I’ll save. It’s more than what my roommate makes working odd jobs over the summer.
And at the end of the summer, if my “mania” wains, then I can cut back and change my workload accordingly. I might have found the bipolar job mecca with mastering. There are no real deadlines. I can do it at home when I feel like it. It’s really the golden job for me right now. And I can do it in grad school to offset the pittance that they give as a stipend.
Finally, I was also informed by my psychologist that it is not uncommon at all for manic predominant people like me to get locked into mania after going on lithium. Apparently, it can last for years and years with only some dips here and there for a month or so. Let’s hope that happens, I wouldn’t mind remaining like this for a while after the past two years I’ve been through.
If you’re interested in what I do, you can see the hack job I did on Lost City and the beginning stages of Boss Keloid’s master over on jwilliamsound.bandcamp.com. Bare in mind, this was all a test run done on a $150 palm recorder:
Posted on July 15, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged audio, bipolar, bipolar disorder, drugs, health, lithium, mania, mastering, mental health, mental illness, personal. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.