What it’s like living with bipolar disorder.

Cool, crisp air encompasses the fall day. Leaves crunch beneath my feet, and the smell of burning wood fills my nose. The air is still and calm. A casual stroll along a straight path helps keep my mind clear.

Out of nowhere, the trail begins to curve. It starts to twist and wind with no sense of direction. This is much more exciting, so I continue to follow. Without warning, a gust of wind sweeps me off my feet. Rather than falling, I start to float higher and higher. Soon enough, I’m flying above the Earth within crystal blue skies.

So many possibilities; I soar in one direction, testing how fast I can go. As a split decision, I abruptly turn toward a new direction. Soon enough, I’m zig-zagging through space and time. I fly higher toward the sun, nearly in reach of it. My hand is outstretched, and it’s nearly kissing my fingertips.

Just before it’s in my grasp, everything stops–the stars stop twinkling, the sun quickly dims, and the once-blue sky turns black. My body goes numb, and I begin to fall. I descend faster and faster toward Earth–everything is a blur. Before I know it, my body crashes into the cold, hard ground. Everything is black and empty behind my eyes.

After a non-restful sleep, I awake and take in my surroundings. The sky is a dark grey swirled with a murky brown. The grass is dead, and the trees are bare. The air is still–not even one sound pierces it.

I’m stuck, nearly paralyzed. I do what I can to drag myself to a nearby bench and crawl up it, grasping for anything I can. Eventually, I manage to pull myself up, but I have no more energy or will to do anything else. My body sits there, slumped over like a zombie, staring into the abyss that is my life. I am alone. No one can pull me out of this purgatory. I begin to accept the fact that this will forever be my future: a lifeless, paralyzed, useless nobody.

When all seems lost, faint music dances through the air. Its lullaby puts me in a daze until I inevitably fall into a slumber. What seems like a lifetime is quickly interrupted by rays of sunshine.

I open my eyes; the skies are blue, the trees are still clinging to leaves, and the sun shines bright again. My body is no longer in stasis. I stand up, brush the dirt off, and realize I’m where I was at the beginning of my walk. All is well, so I gladly resume my travels.

I am calm, and my mind is clear.

Then, out of nowhere, the trail begins to curve…


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