She pumped her legs to the pounding beat, stretching, bending, and swinging towards the stars. Eyes wide open she relished the universe exploding in front of her and tried to channel the energy bursting through her into the swing. She was losing herself to the ideas running through her head, this experience of invincibility. Like a spring uncoiled, she left the bars, a victorious cry on her lips, and…landed on the ground, spitting blood. Yet this was nothing, she could change the world, write a book, start a gallery, she was everything. Saturn invited her for a kiss, and like a woman intoxicated she ran, uncaring. The universe was hers…until everything started to shake. She stood still in the middle of a water-painting as the colours dissolved and mixed around her.
She awoke in a hospital.
” I need therapy, ” she requested.
“So that you can stain the family name?”
The fight lasted months. They refused her medication. Galaxies melted on the tip of her tongue and as she reached towards them she forgot to eat and sleep.
“I am going for therapy.”
Walking in was tough.Confessing how she wanted to carve herself like a Christmas Turkey was worse. The worst was mentioning how she was scared of her medicines, how she loved the high, and how she felt like nothing without it.
“You are smart not because of your illness but despite it.”
She didn’t return.
She gave in. Living was too much. Unfulfilling school, terrible art, and a world too slow. One day she was a child prodigy, the next she was empty.She couldn’t do it.
Three days later, in another therapist’s office, a band around her wrist to prevent cutting, she was ready to start healing.
It wasn’t easy.
The days stars exploded behind her lids captivated her, yet she knew that was when she needed help. It was tough to not give in. It was tougher to not stab herself when she failed.
She accumulated as many scars as she did awards, she broke down in her therapist’s office, she ran away from home and returned, she fell in love and got married, and she lived. Living through the good days, the healthy days, and the bad ones she continued her life, conquered fears, everyday till she was a grizzled old lady, giving her last speech.
“Is bipolar disorder a life sentence Doctor?”
“Sentence? It’s an agonizing superpower when you are devoted to healing.You’ll probably always be on medication, you’ll always be healing and hurting, but everyday is a victory. The smallest things are infinite joy,” she answered, “but you have to be in control. You cannot give in to the temptation and let the candle burn bright- it’ll extinguish. You have to nurture it.”
“Nurture an illness?”
“No. Nurture your mind. Nurture yourself. It’s the soldier fighting this battle, the least you can do is give it resources and then you see, it’ll change the world.”
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