The unraveling starts slowly, but surely. From my earliest
memories, I’ve been trying to find meaning amid the chaos. I still get the
“pictures,” as a recovery friend likes to say. As I continue my research, I
discover that psychologists today call those “intrusive memories.”
At times I wonder if the whole world is wrapped up in this web of
dysfunction. If we’ve been marching toward this boiling point for some time
now, and if we’re about to face a reckoning.
What does it mean to have bipolar disorder?
I was diagnosed with Bipolar I in college. After a clear manic episode while going to Temple University, a psychiatrist working on the campus prescribed me a mood stabilizer, along with the depression and anti-anxiety medications I was already taking.
Here’s a short story that’s my attempt at a horror story, or weird fiction, at least. I’ve been reading about pagan mythology for a novel project lately, which inspired some parts of the story. Enjoy!
How can you know what perfect harmony is if you’ve never suffered?
It was like that for Adam and Eve, as they strolled through the Garden, bathing in sunlight and fresh air, at peace with all creatures.
A few years ago, I began keeping a journal in a Microsoft Word file, in addition to the handwritten journals I keep.
It was interesting to go through the Word Doc and see the ups and downs from the past few years. I decided I wanted to share some paragraphs from the journals in a segment I’m calling “Notes to Self.”
Some of the paragraphs are inspirational, and most of them are written in second person, as that helped me through the hard times.
I didn’t realize how I much appreciated silence until my late twenties, after another mental health breakdown. A bad breakup had sent me running to another self-help group and, unknowingly, into a deeper search for God.
The soul-snatcher glared at me from the dusty street corner with fiery orange eyes, his hands cupped over his mouth because of the early morning cold.
I had been out late that night, and I was returning home a little tipsy.
“Hello there,” he said. “Looking for your fix?”
We wallow in the cathedral, sell wisdom by the ounce.
Sleeping on a bed of soda cans and condoms,
next shot could be the last;
eyes closed, mouth foams, we melt into the hardwood floor.
Father, forgive me.
We came from the county;
grew up on farms, riding horses.
Sitting in the derelict pew; this used to be a spiritual haven.
Maybe it still is?
Father, forgive me.
We’re in the here and now, and now, we want a shot,
filling us like cheap unleaded,
let us lie here in our twisted peace.
Father, forgive us.
See the silver moon through the trees,
but don’t open the gates that lead to the dark forest.
I forget what the outside’s like;
in the twilight, hear the groans of the dying.
They claw at the gates, fingernails breaking.
They are not supernatural or beasts or animal-men,
they are just the unfortunates.
In this commune, this aged mansion of the lucky ones,
we pray for the outside.
“Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that
cause changes in a person’s mood, energy and ability to function. Bipolar
disorder is a category that includes three different conditions — bipolar I,
bipolar II and cyclothymic disorder.” -American Psychiatric Association
Madness seems like such an old-fashioned term,
much like “insane asylum.” However, I’ve known madness in my life and, when
going through the mental twists and turns, it can be difficult to recognize
just how mad I am.