Confessions of a Shattered Mind

Here is a chapter of a memoir I insted to write about having bipolar, and about my life in genr

When you are slipping into mania it feels like the inertia of the world is pulling you forward, catapulting you into a state of blissful chaos. You feel unstoppable, filled with enough creativity and energy to fill a room.  The world is your oyster and you are forced to follow through and rise to the occasion. I become filled with a sense of wonderment “I wonder what Angelia Jolie is doing right now. Is Kim kardashians ass real?” I have written some of my best poetry and songs when manic, cranking out poetic prose like its nothing. My brain becomes a motor, fueled by creativity, my mind is open and the world is my vessel. I am unstoppable, unable to slow down, but then again why would I want to? The feeling of floating and simplicity of the world is fleeting at best, but it is like a drug. The crash however is the worst.

Just like a pendulum swinging back and forth, what goes up must come down. People like to complain about being sad, and being in a funk once in a while, claiming to be “depressed” Unless you have been to the down and dirty depths of despair and depression, staring down a barrel of a gun to end the pain; you don’t know what it is like to be depressed. When I am depressed I become a former shell of myself. The once, bubbly, humorous, quick witted sassiness is erased, and painted over by a numbness and detachment. Bathing becomes a struggle, isolation seems like the only option, and asking for help seems out of the question.

So many times I have felt completely hollow and empty. I have contemplated suicide, although I have never attempted I considered it many times. When depression sets in you toy with suicide.I have found myself Switching back and forth between the will to live and the lack of energy to continue. The world becomes drained of color, a blank nothingness, an endless chasm of despair.

I stare at walls, and imagine a world without me. Sometimes that brings you peace, when you are in such a desperate state it can be calming to idealize suicide. If I wasn’t alive I wouldn’t have to worry about anything.  No more bills to pay, I wouldn’t have to face the fact that I am a failure who can’t keep friends or a job. A burden would be taken out of my family’s life. I won’t be a disappointment to anyone any more. Everything is solved.

The closest I have come to attempting was on new year’s eve 2009. I was on Christmas break during my freshman in college. After a semester of being socially ostracized by my 10 classmates I was severely depressed. I remember locking the door in my parents’ house, sitting on my bed with a bottle of pills. I didn’t want to commit suicide but at the time, I didn’t see another way out.

I have always had problems keeping friends, and making long- lasting relationships has always been a struggle. The crazy thing about being suicidal, for me anyway, is the feeling of wanting to reach out. At that moment, and other times I was suicidal I felt this urge to purge myself, and absolve my inner anguish to someone. Like seaweed in a lake I so badly wanted to reach out and connect with someone. But on the other hand, the part of me that kept to myself wondered what would happen if I did tell someone what I was feeling and thinking.

Visions of the Hollywood versions of mental hospitals flooded my head. White fluorescent lights, a doctor asking me “how do you feel,” probing me for the reason as to why I feel the way I do. I pictured myself rocking back in fourth, wide eyed and crazed, going over my life history with a stranger who will never understand me. I saw the nurse checking on me every hour like in girl interrupted, making sure every hour that I didn’t strangled myself with my shoe laces.   These are the thoughts that stopped me from telling someone how I felt. In retrospect, I am sure I would have been hospitalized that night, had I come forward with how I felt.

I often question, what stopped me? Why didn’t I do it? I suppose the simple answer is, I somehow found the tiny light in the inescapable darkness that assured me, someday, things would get better. Someday I will have a stable job, be in a loving relationship, and just be happy. Although that contradicted everything I felt at that moment, I still had some hope.

Recently I was talking to my dad on the phone and I stated “ I feel like I am drowning in this ocean called life.” (Dramatic but true. When I said this it was  directly ripped from a song I wrote about someone telling a friend to “hold on and wait it out”- an anti-suicide song I wrote to imagine someone who cared about me telling me not give up.)  I will never forget what is response was, he said “yes, but you are a strong swimmer.”

Although I coudlnt do a back stroke to save my life, or tread water for 4 minutes, in the metaphor of life being an ocean, I am a strong swimmer, a Michael Phelps if you will. I’ve seen some shit, avoided suicide attempts, experienced heart break and all the while I have come out on top-still breathing, still encountering awkward, funny and dramatic situations.

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