They say “making a mountain out of a molehill” is expanding what is, in reality, a tiny insignificant issue into something monumental and dramatic. An overreaction. An over-exaggeration. A histrionic response to something that doesn’t warrant such theatrical feedback.
I’m known for this.
A spilled cup of coffee is The End Of The World. Spill a cup of coffee and the ground cracks in a violent zigzag that spits forth red-hot molten earth. Spill a single drop and the skies open up, a foreboding, gaping hole revealing heaven itself, and the only result is torrents of rain that send floodwaters rising too high to fathom. Spill, and the apocalypse is surely coming.
It works in reverse, too. When I wake up and the sun is shining it means Life Is Amazing (so long as every other star has aligned itself with the sun so as to create such a perfect condition of Amazingness). When I have a fun night out with my friends it means, for some reason, that I Am Invincible and if I wanted to go for a run I could make it across the country without needing to stop (particularly if this happens several nights in a row, but providing that nothing happens during the days between the nights that could fuck it all up). When I’m driving and a song shuffles on that accurately fits my mood it is a Sign From The Universe that everything is perfect and nothing can go wrong and incredible things are going to happen and and and and (just as long none of my thoughts go rogue, because just one gone wrong could sabotage the whole thing).
And I guess there are more than a few people who fit into the category of blowing things out of proportion. But of those people, even fewer experience it in the same ways I have.
We’re called bipolar. And we come in different degrees of crazy, to phrase it in a probably-offensive way but one that speaks to how I personally feel about it. But what I mean is we have differences in the nuances of our illnesses. We’re all different. Our symptoms manifest in different ways, and we experience different degrees of those oh-so-stigmatized monsters called Depression and Mania. Some travel up and down faster than a slingshot roller coaster, ascending to deranging heights only to be dragged back down to earth accelerating faster than the 9.8 meters per second squared allowed by the laws of gravitation. Some fluctuate slowly, the wavelength between highs and lows longer, like a photon of angry red light as opposed to calm, collected blue.
I would love to analogize by using the snowflake comparison, but I think that one should permanently retire; people are all unique in and of themselves, and unnecessarily comparing our species to a form of precipitation just, for some reason, fucking pisses me off me. Like, WHY? That now-hackneyed characterization of human beings doesn’t make sense to me because the fact that everyone on this planet is totally individual should be as clear as day. But people are dumb so it isn’t.
Oh but look, I’m being melodramatic again. Unintentionally proving my point. What was my point again?
Right, I’m so used to “making mountains out of molehills.” It’s second nature. Or perhaps a more appropriate description is that I go to step over a molehill and suddenly I’m looking up at a mountain, its dizzying height sending me into a panic because dammit wasn’t this thing so much smaller a literal second ago?!
Cue a little something I like to call “a proper dose of a medication that actually helps.” And suddenly the idiom is reversed. The mountains I am so accustomed to, the ones I’ve had no choice but to expect after years and years of begrudgingly climbing them, they’re becoming smaller. And I’m beating the phrase to death, but I’ll use it one more time in this reversal: the mountains are becoming molehills.
Yeah, so the obstacles are still there. There are still days when coffee spillage is upsetting, even overly so, and on those days I might crawl under my covers and hide for a while. But the earth doesn’t split open at its seams and I don’t fear for the end of existence as I know it. And there are definitely good days. Ones where I wake up feeling hopeful, go about my morning routine with a smile, hit every green light on my way to work, and actually getting to work doesn’t ruin that specific brand of inner peace that the day has brought me (or perhaps that I have brought myself). On those days I still know that I’m in control. Under the layers of my consciousness, in the far reaches of my mind, no panic bubbles to the surface. Nothing hisses at me from the corner “this is too good to be true,” and I don’t respond with “oh shit you’re right.”
It’s weird, actually. I’m still partially anticipating the worst. But I’m not consumed with worry. That’s the weird part. I’m not living in fear as a result of every hill I hike through. I mean, that’s a good thing. I know that’s a good thing. So why am I somehow scared of it?
It’s change, I assume. Or maybe it’s having to learn how to live life without making those molehills mountains. The two are probably related.
Well, either way, I’ve gotta get used to it. Gotta focus on scaling the other problems I have (I’m sure I can find enough of them to occupy myself). And whether they reach the clouds or simply rise above ground-level in a mound, I’ll survive –and live to tell the tale dramatically.