[To listen to an audio version of this blog, please click here: http://bit.ly/2tbMAnQ]
I tell everyone about Moodscope.
Well, okay, it hasn't got quite as far as me hunting down perfect strangers and holding them down while I expostulate on the therapeutic benefits of this wonderful app and how it's helped me feel totally sane...
I'm not quite sure that would have the right effect, somehow.
But I do tell a lot of people. In fact, I wrote a blog about it (Out and Aloud, if not Proud – 10th May 2017). Most especially, I show them my graph. When people comment on how well I look these days; how settled; how steady; I whip out my phone and show them my graph.
Because it's really rather dramatic: I've gone from looking like a cut-through diagram of the Alps to something more closely resembling the Fen Country where I live. Yes, from 6th February, when the therapeutic dose of my medication kicked in, things have been – well, really rather boring.
In a good way, I hasten to add. Oh yes – in a good way. Let me remind you of that Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times." Give me boredom any day of the week.
But – I do kind of – miss the 3s. Because now – all the red cards get a 2. Every single time. (Well, occasionally a couple of them might slip down to 1s if I'm tired or stressed).
The creativity is there. The drive is there – in fact my business has taken off in a way I haven't seen for nearly ten years and I can now tend and nurture it properly.
What isn't there, is the urgency; the single-minded focus that would galvanise that creativity so I could write fifty thousand words in a month or go from nowhere to being number two in a sales team of 80 inside six months.
What isn't there now is that sense of flying, of invincibility, of god-like immortality.
On the other hand, what also isn't there is the price paid by friends and family when I was off on one of my highs. It was they who suffered the selfishness, the arrogance, the intolerable rudeness and insensitivity... I am not a nice person in my mania phase.
So, I miss the feelings and, to be honest, the results – plugging away at my novel a thousand words at a time is not as exciting as writing a chapter every night; going as fast as my characters could keep up. Slow and steady is not as thrilling as the awe I generated when I shot through the roof with my sales.
But those feelings were like those (I imagine) generated by cocaine. They were illusory and destructive, and the unsustainable productivity was inevitably followed by a crashing loss. I was playing snakes and ladders where the snakes were longer than the ladders and the serpents always won.
So, I'll take the 2s and be grateful. And the zeros on the blues. This is one case where flat-lining is best.
A Moodscope member.