on bipolar, mania…

Oh, God of Dust and Rainbows help us to see that without the dust the rainbow would not be.

Langston Hughes

When I first read this poem back in high school, I thought of it as nothing more than a poetic way of saying that you have to take the good with the bad in life. But, what if the author was talking about bipolar disorder?

Manic depression, as the illness was once called, is often associated with creativity. And, many people who experience mania don't want to do anything that would stop that feeling. Having experienced a taste of mania, I understand why. It is amazing!

When I was hypomanic (a low-power version of mania), I got the sense that I understood things at a deeper level than ever before. I saw connections where there were only coincidences. And, I wanted to explain it all to anyone who'd listen. Best of all, I felt incredibly creative.

Truth is, though, that it didn't last. And, when I came back down, I became deeply depressed. So much so, that I would miss work and stay in bed all day.

I've not had a hypomanic episode in years. I'd love to have another — if, that is, I could skip the corresponding crash. But, since the crash is at least as low as the high is high, I'll stay on my meds...

So, no rainbows for me. But, no dust, either.

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