Symptom of the Sickness #2: Narcissism

As much as it feels good for one in the thralls of mania, it is something I personally carried to some extremes that were really selfish, under the surface. On the outside you would consider the items “normal”, and relatively purposeful. Shopping. Drawing. Running. Talking. Writing. But, it feels, to the manic mind, like you’re discovering a whole new world. A new world full of adventure, eye-candy; a high for the soul. A new world created by, the One and Only, Me.

Suddenly, I am accomplishing things that no one else was created to. And my gift to creation is my creativity, and innate sense of originality, coming up with things to say, write, or do, that otherwise, I would be status quo about.

For example, shopping. I was original, thinking outside-the-box when I took time to stop in the country store where my grandma was their target audience. I was entranced by the woven images on the blankets they marked down to $15. I was being thoughtful to buy one each for both Grandmas, one for my mother-in-law, one for my mom, one for a cousin, a friend, an aunt…and I think a couple for my own home. My cup brimmed over with giddiness.

Those purchases and more like them dug a hole in our wallets, that has taken a longer time to recover from than we ever thought it would. I blew our budget by far. I meant well, but I was following my heart, unwittingly letting it lead me into debt.

The heart of my own private world of discovery turned into a narcissistic view of that world revolving around me, especially in social media nation. Twitter was great. In mania, I got into a Twitter binge and 15 tweets in, 15 minutes had passed. But you really have to pace these things.

Finding Nemo Tank

The narcissism began to reveal itself when I was watching Finding Nemo one afternoon. Chris and I had just bought a fish tank and I realized it looked just like the one that was in the movie. Then I began to interpret the characters in the movie as people I knew. They seemed just too familiar. I began to write down who represented who in my life.

By the time I got into the hospital, God was halting history just to help me out. Honestly, I had a little bit of an identity crisis it got so bad. I was Katniss at a training compound for the Hunger Games, later I was Bella in Twilight, with an aching back from thinking I was prego like her. Thereafter, I could be St. Peter, or maybe Paul, depending on what book of the Bible I was reading.

Though the setting I was in didn’t help – sometimes it was fun to believe I was the star of the show. Even Michael and Gabriel were commissioned to watch over me. That I believed, until Michael made a concoction of Ambien and 4 other drugs, that had me sleeping with my eyes open, and he clearly couldn’t have been an angel after that.

Narcissism looks innocent from the outside, but when you’re in a Bipolar frame of mind, it’s starts to consume your conscience. Until, like I was, you find yourself in a world of troubles that begin to hurt you and your loved ones, you don’t realize how unhealthy it is becoming so self-centered. Social media and blogs and tweets and all the selfies we enjoy taking are alright in moderation, but it disposes us into a world that accepts a norm that smacks of being our own idols and gods. We’re slowly becoming a culture of “lovers of self”. 

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