My writing is inspired by the comfort I feel from reading articles about living with mood disorders. That kind of catharsis is priceless, and the way that information resonates with me means the difference between giving up on life and sticking around to see if I can create a healthier way of being.
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As I walked down the corridors I remember the sticky feeling on the floor. I could hear the socks peeling up off the heathered white tiles. I remember the man who threw up on himself and then dropped to the floor to do push-ups. I remember the woman I was rooming with who started talking to the ghosts at five a.m. I remember the old woman, white and frail with skin that hung slightly from her muscles, who was terrified that she would be kicked out of her house and ostracized by her daughter’s husband. She was just crying. She was inconsolable for days and then she was moved to a different ward and I’ve never heard of her since.
I try to keep company with people that are aware that they are crazy, because I don’t have qualms with admitting that I am, too. But more importantly than self-awareness, I look for the person that cares how their crazy effects the people around them, and persistently ventures to build a healthier way of being.
I write and speak out even when it hurts, even if it means being judged, because it is far better than atrophying inside from silence and denial. And who knows? Maybe someone who reads one of my stories will finally find the courage to free themselves, too, from whatever blanket they hide under.
Imagine feeling that while lying in bed, immobile, seeing nothing with your eyes wide open. You are not sad, you are simply defective, like a toy whose power switch is turned on but someone cut the wire to its outer circuits...These time periods make me feel like the atmosphere has thickened into a hyper-stimulating suffocating fume of numbing panic because I can’t put my finger on exactly what is wrong or what’s happening to me, but I can’t shake that my whole body feels dysfunctional. Every part of my day becomes affected. Every part of me shuts down in response.
Something that was not immediately apparent was that I, too, would inevitably develop the same bipolar symptoms my father had and they would eventually become exacerbated by a lack of steady emotional foundation. Around the age of sixteen it occurred to me that my behavior was not typical and other people do not experience the same intensity of roller coaster emotion that I do on a regular basis.