Bipolar Disorder

Hello darling, let me buy you a drink! I feel like I have known you all my life, I have a sudden urge to kiss you and feel your body in my hands. I know you find me attractive, I see it in your eyes; and if you don’t you will once you hear me pour out my heart to you. How can you not! I come like a gust of overpowering energy and charm that you have never seen before . You will not be the first woman to fall in love with me tonight, and you are the not the first girl I have bought a drink for today. I love them all. Every girl in this room has my attention, I want to buy them drinks and flowers and make them laugh all night long. Where do I have all the money, you ask? Well, that’s what they made credit cards for. 

I could fall in love with myself tonight. Look at these perfectly articulated sentences I create out of thin air. I conjure up stories and jokes without a pause. My stories sound so plausible that I almost believe them myself. I could be born in Mexico, or maybe New York City, or maybe I was born to the daughter of a concubine in Lucknow. It doesn’t matter, as long as the story is interesting and I have your attention. I want to call every single friend I have not been in touch with the last month and tell them how much I love and miss them. I have already called my mom and reminded her that she will always be my favorite woman in this world; I think I made her cry with emotion. I wish everyone could see me right now; how wonderfully charming I am. I  have the perfect comeback for everything today, and the answer to every question you have. I have so much poetry coming out of my brain, that I keep jotting down lines on tissue papers and on the backsides of drink bills. 

Three hours later I find myself on the terrace of this bar; I am with a girl, I can’t remember her name. When did we come here? How long have we been talking? Her face reminds me of my ex-wife, and my daughter that she (my ex-wife) won’t let me see. I feel the air leave my lungs, how dark this night has become; I look down the railing and see the ground stare back at me, waiting. I am suddenly aware that there is nothing holding me back, nothing holding me back from making the jump. I look at the girl that is (not) my daughter and my ex-wife and I plead “please don’t let me jump”.  Her eyes go wide and I am conscious of every single eye in this room looking and judging me. I want to get out of here, but what a long way till home and how tired I am. I look down again and realize how much closer that ground is to me right now, and how easy and quick it will be. I close my eye and try to think of my mother’s face and count till 20 and wait for this nausea to stop. 

 

If you’re unfamiliar with Bipolar Disorder, the NIMH site is of course a good place to get a basic understanding on it. But if you really want to know what it means to live with the disorder, consider reading this book by Kay Redfield Jamison, the wonderful writer and psychologist who has herself lived and thrived with (and despite) being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder since an early age. It’s beautifully written and I think will be an interesting read even if you’re not interested in mental health. 

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