Monday, March 10, 2008

The Perpetual Summer of 2004

It is that time again. What time, you ask? Time to let go of everything familiar and venture alone into the unknown. Melodramatic? A little. But you try living with bipolar disorder and severe anxiety disorder and see how stably you handle change.

Earlier tonight I was wishing everything could stay as it is, but then I realized I'm not happy with things as they are. So I wish things could stay as they were. As they were when? I should like to return to the summer of 2004 and stay there forever. My job was boring but it paid well, the hours were flexible, and everyone at the company adored me. I met Shaant after work most evenings, once or twice a week we had cooking lessons, and many nights we spent hunched over the photomosaic puzzle that took us all summer to finish. Ted would meet us at whatever ungodly hour he got off work. Sometimes the boys would ditch me to do something together, but I would make myself dinner and watch the Red Sox, so the evenings alone were usually enjoyable. That summer felt so complete. I felt so complete, connected, settled, wanted. My pleasures were simple, my friendships fulfilling, my worries few. Granted, at the end of August my world came crashing down, shattering into millions of tiny pieces, and nearly four years later I am still finding shards hiding in corners of my mind, waiting to prick or cut me, drawing blood that somehow escapes my body through my eyes in the form of salty clear liquid instead of thick red stuff. But that detail aside, I spent the better part of the summer in pure deluded joy.

Delusions are a symptom of the manic episodes that occur in bipolar disorder. In an abnormal psychology class (that I dropped after the first week) someone asked why people with bipolar disorder often refuse to take their medications during manic episodes. There are several reasons. My personal reason is that mania feels so good most of the time. You have so much energy, and sometimes you are even deluded enough to believe that you have found true happiness.

I want my delusion back! Or at least I would like a new best friend who will meet me after a long day at my boring job, so we can cook dinner and pore over a difficult jigsaw puzzle and watch a Red Sox game together. *sigh*

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