Staying calm on the roller coaster

I’m a rapid cycler. No, that doesn’t mean I ride my bike real fast, nor does it mean I go to a spinning class. Come to think of it, I’d rather do either one of those instead of what I and many others go through.

Here’s my non-clinical and unprofessional description of being a rapid cycler: In the morning, I climb onto my own personal roller coaster. If I’m lucky I’m on the one designed for little kids. It calmly goes up and down, maybe a few curves and then gently stops. The kind of daily ups and downs to which “normal” people can relate.

Every now and then I get on the white-knuckler. Imagine the scariest roller coaster you’ve ever seen or experienced. The one that goes up so high people look like ants, and comes down so fast your heart is pounding up in your throat. It goes up and down, around and around, more times than you’d like, then without warning ejects you from your seat at some random point in the ride and you crash on the ground.

Some people seem to be able to accomplish quite a bit when they have manic highs, but I generally cannot. When I’m on the high part of the roller coaster, my mania generally manifests itself as agitation and an inability to focus on one task, with a little side of bad decision making. This is when I plug my mp3 player into my head, and pull out my colored pencils and pens. This usually helps me to become calm, rolling slowly down the tracks, and then I can get a few things accomplished before the roller coaster takes off once more.

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“All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring.” Chuck Palahniuk (1962 – ), Invisible Monsters, 1999

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