My brain is a finite resource. Well, the grey, gooey thing in the skull is finite for everyone. But my brain’s ability to think reasonably is a finite resource. When I write it thinks, thinks, thinks, and then there is a dramatic thud.
My brain then stops thinking.
My Intellect is my Value
As it happens, I have to think for a living. What I do is write. What writing requires is thinking. Fast fingers and thinking. And coffee.
So I think pretty much all day long. It’s not that other people aren’t thinking, they are, but I’m producing a whole lot of thoughts and then have to write them down in a coherent fashion. It’s sort of a special kind of thinking. And as I do it from my guest room; there aren’t any water-cooler chats or board meetings to break up the day. It’s pretty much just wake, coffee, think.
And I’m pretty good at it. I’m a decent thinker and a decent writer. My fingers are fast and I make sure there is coffee.
But the thing that I know, that other people don’t, is that at some point my brain will hit a wall. I want to say a metaphorical wall, but it feels like a really real wall.
Bipolar Makes My Intellect Disappear
Unlike your average folks who can cram all night for an exam, or stay up late finishing that annual report, I know that my brain won’t last that long. No matter how hard I push, and I push pretty darn hard, there is a moment in the day when not another thought exists in my head.
It’s the oddest thing, and it never used to happen to me, but literally, I can’t think another thing. I look at the computer and I know how it works but for the life of me I have no idea what I think. I do not comprehend what I’m reading. The commas all appear to be in the wrong places. But then I can’t remember where the right places are. And then I can’t remember why I’m using a comma in the first place. Meaningless commas.
I Can’t Make my Brain Reappear
At that point I know I have to stop. At that point I’m so worn and so tired that there is nothing left but reality TV watching. I don’t have the neurons left to do things like cook or clean or phone a friend. I go from eloquent turns of phrase to semi-conscious grunting.
Bipolar: My Brain is Off, or My Brain is On
To the best of my knowledge, once my brain turns itself off, the only thing to do is to wait for it to turn itself back on. I have to sit there. And wait. And rest. And wait. And just hope that tomorrow morning the neurons will fire again.
I’m not really sure why this happens. I know I used to be able to think consistently like other people. But now, no. My only thought is that the bipolar takes up space in my brain. It takes up thought cycles. It overruns neurons. When I’m not paying attention, when I’m proofing content, when I’m writing articles, the bipolar cycles in the background. Stealing little parts of my brain that I’ll need later, but that I won’t have.
It shocks me that bipolar can steal thoughts without my noticing. But I’m pretty sure that’s what’s happening.