Thinking Engine in Overdrive

Most of my friends and family are aware that I am bipolar, and have the not terribly usual rapid cycling variety. So rather than extended highs and lows that can last for months, I can have a few of each throughout the course of a day, although most often I’ll be at one extreme or the other for a few days at a time.

I tend to be very creative during my manic phases, brain firing at a million miles an hour, dreaming up all sorts of wierd and wonderful things that are way beyond my capabilities and talking nineteen to the dozen in very long sentences andneverquiteknowingwhentostopforbreath. So I try to sketch my ideas down, wildly annotate the (crappy) drawings and hope to discern something wearable and more importantly makeable, when I’ve slowed down a bit.

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Did you see the BBC’s recent adaptation of Sherlock Holmes with Benedict Cumberbatch (EPIC name, what WERE his parents THINKING??? Or should that be drinking? Absinthe, I suspect, or copius quantities of gin) and Martin Freeman? I loved the way they depicted Sherlock’s thought processes on the screen, little flashes of text, an image, faces, ideas. So far it’s been the best comparison to my own thought processes I have come across, although I don’t pretend to be anywhere near as clever. There are, I’ll admit, times when I THINK I am, but mostly that’s just bollocks.

And then there are the lows. I just hibernate, barely functioning until they pass. The duvet monster eats me in my entirity. I don’t want to think, speak, interact or create. My sense of taste goes funny. I become super sensitive to smell. I snap, I growl. No fur or claws appear, and it’s not invoked by lunar cycles, so I’m pretty sure I’m not a werewolf. Although I eat my steaks practically raw… These times are just horrible. I’m horrible. The shed just sits, patiently waiting for a better me to emerge, squinting into the daylight. And I always do. It’s the one certainty I can cling to, that this will pass, well, that and the total, unconditional love of the important people in my life.

Occasionally I am in between states, so am not a total nightmare to live with. This seems to be when I am best at rationalising the ideas and designs. I can clarify, hone and start thinking about how I am actually going to MAKE the thing, whatever it might be. For example, I had this great idea of texturing a piece of silver to look like vintage, distressed, lined paper and then creating some lovely copperplate handwriting from wire to go on it. Not quite got a method together for that one, but leave it with me…

Our experiment is progressing nicely, by the way. No abstract teasing photos to show you tonight, I’m sad to say – components are still curing; but it will be worth a little wait, we promise!

So this post isn’t really about anything shiny, just a gentle stroll around my mind. I’m a bit of a soppy tart deep down, so I’ll dedicate it to Scroticule and Beardy. They really do have their hands full with me at times…

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