by Jolene Raison
I Hate Bipolar It’s Awesome
There are dog days and there are dragon days.
Dog days are the down days, when the shadow hound prowls at your heels, wolfing down the sun. Dragon days are the up days, when you’re flying high and breathing fire.
There are no something in-between days; bipolar is life in the extreme.
I have planets orbiting may head
I keep them spinning using just my mind. It’s a dragon day! The planets make music. There’s an orchestra in my mind-space, exquisite but loud! It’s hard to hear anything over the music.
It’s hard to keep the planets spinning, keep them from crashing down and shattering like cosmic glass. The effort hurts my brain. But now I hear angels singing over the orchestra.
Hey, maybe I should make angels! Giant angels made of concrete and glass. I can’t sleep. I’m planning my angels and conducting the music of the spheres.
Colours are all acid bright. Flavours explode in my mouth. I feel beautiful. I feel brilliant. I’m burning up. I’m a comet. I’m a flaming goddess of the word, and I can spin star systems, like candy floss, from the tip of my pen.
Then the sun dies
The planets hit the ground like crumpled tin cans. The colours drain and the world is a washed out water-painting.
I sleep and sleep and sleep, but I can’t eat. I can’t write; the words clot in my lungs. I get angry that the stupid people are breathing my air. All people are stupid!
And I’m cold. It’s like there’s ice water under my skin, and I imagine that if I can let the cold blood out, maybe I’ll feel warm again.
I have a divine revelation: life is meaningless. Every day is a replay of the day before. Life is too long. I focus on making it through the day, the hour or even just the next few minutes.
I uncouple my low from labels like good or bad, and think of it as just another experience to be explored and mined. I remind myself that there are spectacular, glowing fish, that thrive in the deepest deep. I am that fish. The light this heavy darkness can’t crush.
Medication saved my life
I keep my meds in a tin that says: My Happy Things. On meds the hound is just a puppy and the dragon is a firefly.
The medication softens the ragged edges of the world, and life doesn’t cut as deep anymore. It stills the noise in my head. Instead of vicious ups and downs, there are ebbs and flows that are easier to navigate.
The cold still pools under my skin sometimes, but I can bleed it out through the nib of my fountain pen. I garden, almost obsessively, proving to myself that there’s something about tomorrow that’s different from today.
I choose life! Some days I feel like I’m broken, and I’ll never be fixed.
But most days I feel extraordinarily blessed, to look through the cracks and see a world most other people can’t even imagine existing.
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