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Mara McWilliams
Poetry

Life of a Bipolar

8/13/2005

I'm cruising along day by day,
taking everything and feeling in stride,
All intense feelings kept at bay.
No major depression, no roller-coaster ride

Feeling quite content, this bipolar's version of Heaven.
Seems Medications are working and no insane thoughts lurking.
Despite the side effects one has to contend with.
I can participate in life without being an extremist.
All negative behaviors have ceased and are in check.
All falling by the way side in the pursuit of all that is better.
Suicidal ideations are a thing of the distant past.
The scars I wear no longer make sense.

Affection is welcome and
Touch soothes the soul.
Closeness is invited and intimacy seems to heal all.

Then, without warning
Like the Tsunami in Asia
Everything I know gets washed away.
An uncontrollable wave of emotion crashes down upon the coast of ME.
The skies now gray and angry consuming all that was blue.
As I race to save my life.
Everything I hold dear now in strife
My foundation washed away or buried.
Are you beginning to feel why bipolar's worry?

All the tools acquired over the years,
The relationships invested in fall by the wayside
In confusion and tears.
I question if the only safe place is the hospital.

Insomnia creeps through my backdoor.
Hiding in my bed
Making sleep impossible.
My bedroom no longer a friend,
More like a distant relative.
Meds cease to work as brain chemistry adjusts and tolerances build to the
Very temporary man-made solution
To OUR organic constitution.
And you wonder why I sometimes feel cheated.

Everything within my view becomes a project I must attack and complete
My essence is slipping through and ticking by,
no time to waste.
As my mind races,
my eyes scan my surroundings
Taking note of each and every item out of place.
More projects pile up and less seems to get done.
Overwhelming every inch of my mind
And occupying all your waking time.
My mind seeks sanctuary but there isn't any.

The CONCEPT of sleep becomes a LUXURY that the manic mind
CANNOT
Participate in.
Sleeping while in a mania is like drinking a bottle of vodka while in rehabilitation.
It's not allowed. Against the indoctrination.
The guilt you feel when you manage to sneak in a nap
Perpetuates the mania making one feel more like crap.
Then depression pays a visit.
Adding to the feeling of inadequacy that is already drilled into our core
Because of our LITERAL limitations.
Gotta tell ya, I didn't much miss this shit at all.

The mind keeps moving despite the bodies desire for sleep.
Relaxation, what's that?
I haven't known that for weeks.
Forgotten in the quest to move, go, create,
It's existence is now questionable to me.

Friends and family get concerned.
All of them careful, forlorn.
Wanting to help, but not sure how.

The shrinks schedule is full,
That's nothing new.
Two more days without sleep.
Continual rapid thoughts
And sped speech.
Foggy and clumsy, bruised from bumping into walls that have always been there.
And they expect me to drive?
Is this their version of suicide?

Body itching for sleep,
Try to lay down and my mind revolts.
Eyes start to itch from stale air.
Leg starts kicking,
Fingers twitching,
Jaws start clenching,
Heartbeat rapid.
Mind racing…Gotta get up and keep moving.

Eyes dry from being open for days,
Need fake tears to ease the pain.
Get some coffee to help the body keep up with the mind.
Because nothing else is working.
You tell me, what are my other options?
You just try being bipolar.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,
I dunno.
I've been up through all of them
So why does it matter?

Tensions build as those who care
Watch you deteriorate,
While the illness is picking up pace
Now even your loved ones can see your mind race.
Spinnning like a toy top on speed.
We know you wonder if we'll make it back.
So do we.
And yes, it does add to the panic.

Waited in line in a rather serene lobby,
While reading up on my hobbies.
Saw the doctor,
Took 5 hours, I hope it's worth it.
New meds, bullshit about quitting smoking and a new.

Yeah right.
Um, in a crisis, take your quitting smoking and ……
Meds will be mailed, no need to stress
and "there's a therapy group where you will be sent"

One day goes by.
Still manic and unable to sleep.
No meds yet, still have to wait.
Wanting to stop but unable too.
Two days go by and I begin to wonder why me?
What did I do to deserve this damn disease.

My meds shoulda been delivered to my front door.
Two days ago .
Instead I am banging my head against the wall.
While my mind and body is engaged in a war.

Anxious and exhausted call the pharmacy.
They didn't mail them, like they were instructed.
Another trip to the hospital while exhausted,
They don't care just part of the process.
If you get in a wreck,
It's not their problem.

Get to the phramacy and wait in line.
Only to find the med I need
Isn't covered by my insurance
And no, there isn't a generic.
No surprise there.
This has been happening for years.
"They" say take your meds then make them unafforadable.
What kind of system is this?

At least no one ever told me that mental health is free.
Why I figured is nearly $4k a year to hopefully stay sane.
But we all know, somewhere in there I'll need another med changed.

Meds are starting to work,
For now, until they stop.
And then, we'll get to do this again.

And this is the life a bipolar lives.

By Mara McWilliams

Please note:
These original poems are all copyrighted and may not be used without the explicit permission of the author.


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