A Rapid Cycle

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A Rapid Cycle
Photo by Ian Espinosa on Unsplash

I wake up in the morning and find myself shining with a ray of hope for the day. I am ready to take on the world. No army can assuage me. I make some eggs since that seems to be all I can afford to eat for breakfast right now. Then my typical morning starts. I have a cigarette where my pains burn away in the cherry. I taste the sweet coating and burn of a Camel Crush Menthol and try to say, "Fuck it all", as I blow out the smoke. I feel my heart start to burn with passion and ambition and put on my favorite song Eye of the Storm by Ryan Stevenson to get myself going for the day. That's when I get sucked into the rabbit hole by daydreaming of what could've happened and what could've been in the past.

Now I'm starting to fall and drown in tears. Sometimes they are happy, wholesome tears. Other times, they are painful, heartbreaking tears. I don't know why I am like this. I begin to wonder who I stole these traits from in my family. Now I am on a mission of self-diagnosing, nicotine, protein, and caffeine. Was it my mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, or even all of them?

I begin to feel dread and sorrow that I will never see, hear, talk to, hold, kiss, or hug my mother ever again. The foggy haze falls over my brain and I don't know who I am, where I am, or how I got here. It's as if nothing is real and nothing ever really happened. I am ethereal. I see myself play through a never ending movie screen. I don't know what reality is anymore. I broke from it. I'm dissociating.

Once I come back to Earth, I feel exhausted and drained of energy. So I run to my fiance' where he holds me close in his arms. I breathe in the sanctuary and feel safe. I feel confident and not afraid anymore. The way he pulls my lips to his makes me melt. The way he wraps his arms around my waste makes me feel like a woman and not just one of the boys. The way he smiles his crooked smile when I say something dumb makes me feel energy leaving my eyes. He is my favorite person in the world. Then I get one ounce of lack of attention and my favorite person is now a f***ing idiot that doesn't understand me. I can't imagine how hard it must be for him to love me on the daily.

Now I feel unworthy of anything I ask. A dark cloud hovers over my head and sets in surrounding me. I am falling and drowning farther and farther into the rabbit hole. I can't stop crying. I can't stop screaming. Why can't anyone hear me? My world is dissolving. Help, help, help-- but it never leaves my mouth. These words just bounce off the walls of my cranium driving me insane by this hour. It seems like it'll never end. So I take my concoction of pharmaceuticals to quiet the pain. I am calm for a couple minutes, so I self-sabotage by triggering myself. It's been so long since I've been regularly and genuinely calm that it feels strange to not be on edge.

Now I'm back to feeling on top of the world and making it mine. Welcome to 24 hours in my life with rapid cycling bipolar 1. I'm just going to keep going on my carnival ride and make the best of my life.

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Taylor Schalk
See all posts by Taylor Schalk