Mania can be pleasant
It can be pleasurable and free
I can finally feel everything
It’s as if my body is one big nerve ending
I can feel what happiness is
My feet hit the ground running
The wind tangles my hair
But I don’t care for I am free
I think I’m me.
But it has its downsides
I can get so radical and out of control
My mind will encourage me to do things
Things that I know I shouldn’t be doing,
Spending money I don’t have
Things that could hurt me,
Like jumping out of moving cars
But my mania lives for the thrill
The thrill of getting caught, the rush that’s sent through my body
The obsessive need and impulse to do whatever comes to mind
I feel like I just shotgunned six red bulls.
It is scary
I am not in control
I sit and wonder what it’ll inspire me to do next
Go off my medications?
Crash my car?
My throat starts to close and I can no longer speak
I can only do
My heart and mind race
And I’m moving too fast to even realize what I’m doing.
The smallest thing can set me off into a blind rage
Blood-boiling anger, nothing to do but punch a wall
Because I know I don’t want to physically hurt someone else
I will say all the things you’re not supposed to say
The judgments I think about others get verbalized
Nitpicking every little thing about someone until it hurts
Twisting and poking until it hits the heart
The smallest thing can send me into a euphoric meltdown
I will get so high up that the only thing I can do is fall
Then I cycle
I cycle into depression
A better term would be crash.
I crash face first.
Depression is my oldest friend
Deb, I like to call her
It was the first friend that doctors told me I had
I know Deb like the back of my hand
I almost find comfort in her.
The way she lets me sleep
Oh, the uninterrupted sleep
But she’s great—
Until she’s not.
She will get mad at me,
She will tie cinderblocks to my feet to prevent me from leaving
She will jump on my back and follow me around
Her constant weight pushing me down
Her need to mark my body to see if I can feel anything other than sadness she inflicts
Her need to disconnect me from life, and say goodbye to the ones I love
She’s trying to push me into an early grave
Deb’s endurance and perseverance are astounding
What she wants she’ll get
By any means necessary.
Then I spiral deeper
And reach the depths of the black hole
Deb makes friends with Sam and Sue
So by default, they become my friends too
But I don’t want them to be my friends
Yet I become complicit in their dangerous games
I try and push back
But it’s three against one.
Having bipolar disorder, my life expectancy drops 10 to 20 years.
Nearly half will attempt,
with 1 in 5 dying by suicide.
Will I end up being a statistic?
Or will I just pass this on to my children?
Bipolar disorder is not something to take lightly nor is it something to ignore. It could have serious effects on your life just like it has on mine. Yet, there is hope for a better future. You can change the course, you just have to move forward—one step at a time. If one of those steps is backward, don’t let that discourage you. Sometimes you fall in order to figure out where you need to go.
I fell, hit close to rock bottom, and was hospitalized as a result. But from that, I was finally diagnosed correctly, and that’s what changed everything for me. That simple diagnosis has brought me a sense of comfort because now I know why I feel the things I feel, why I think a certain way, and why my brain is the way it is.
Your diagnosis is not the end of your story. You are capable of living with bipolar disorder. Healing is still possible. We encourage you to use TWLOHA’s FIND HELP Tool to locate professional help and to read more stories like this one here. If you reside outside of the US, please browse our growing International Resources database. You can also text TWLOHA to 741741 to be connected for free, 24/7 to a trained Crisis Text Line counselor. If it’s encouragement or a listening ear that you need, email our team at [email protected].
This was beautifully written. I think it’s great that people speak up about mental illnesses and that we break the stigma. I also appreciate that you give hope to others and encourage them not to give up.
I felt seen reading this, and it also made me feel something I don’t feel often these days. Hopeful.
Thank you for sharing your story