I step inside Mrs. Dalloway’s mind:
it twists, turns – I’m lost in the maze,
as she spills thoughts on the page –
a link to her consciousness;
it’s a stream that overflows,
breaks embankments, floods my psyche
‘till I put the book down,
lest my mind goes manic and
doesn’t come back.
(Photo credit: A portrait photo of Virginia Woolf from Britannica.com).
Note: This poem was inspired by Mrs. Dalloway, the classic novel by Virginia Woolf. I’m reading it now, and I love it, but I’ve had to put it down a couple of times because I felt like it was triggering a manic episode.
Soon after the pandemic began, I could feel my mind starting to speed up. I was reading too many news stories about what was going on. I was doing what some people now refer to as “doomsurfing,” which is reading all the negative and almost-apocalyptic predictions about what’s going to happen in the world because of the virus.
As I’m writing this, the 24-hour news cycle is practically in hyperdrive because of the global coronavirus pandemic. Many people are worried right now, but I wanted to talk specifically about those with a mental illness.
Most of the times that I’ve had bad manic episodes, I was somewhat triggered by reading the news too much and “connecting the dots,” so to speak. Reading the news can be scary for anyone, but it can be especially scary for someone who has ever had delusional thinking episodes.