Everything–at 21–was ruined, and I was a wreck. I inhabited the same body as the girl I had know before my illness, but I wasn’t smart or good or pretty or sweet anymore. I was tolerated, derived from pity. I wasn’t what anyone would have looked up to or admired. I chain smoked and ate sugar from the bowl. I slept every hour I wasn’t working. I threw enormous fits in public, ruined almost every get together my family invited me to. I couldn’t count, and customers would literally ask me, “Are you stupid?” I remember thinking, I didn’t used to be. But maybe I am now. Is this all I’m ever going to be?
I’ve been reading Kay Jamison’s Night Falls Fast. I have to mete out my readings, because they are so close to me and mirror back to me so many painful truths that it is impossible to absorb it all at once. I stopped short when I read this passage: Patients who do well socially and academically when they are young and who then are hit by devastating illnesses such as schizophrenia or manic-depression seem particularly vulnerable to the spectre of their own mental disintegration and the terror of becoming a mental patient. For them and many others there is a terrible loss of dreams, and inescapable damage to friends, family, and self . . . (pg. 84).
For myself, this was the case. I wrote one piece depicting myself as a harbor filled with sunken ships, upon them every one I had loved and every dream I had believed I would live into. Reconstruction seemed ludicrously impossible. I was a shadow, a ghost of the person I had been. But, if I were to live instead of kill myself, grow instead of rot, I had to dream a new dream.
Read the rest of the story by visiting Bipolar Mama: Hold on to Your Deepest Dream | Red Vine Spirituality.