Pulse

Like stampeding miniature elephants

Pushing from behind your lips,

Pressure builds until it feels

Like your mouth is going to explode.

Your mind morphs and stretches,

Pulsing blood flows like a river

Being released from a dam,

Until it ruptures in an eyeball.

This is hypomania, with all

The glitz and glitter,

With the impulses throbbing,

Screaming to be released,

Flexing at the heavy chains

Of shame, guilt and anxiety.

The conscience is like a cowboy,

Riding atop the raging bull,

Pulling at the reigns,

Wriggling across its back,

Struggling with all his might,

To reel in and wrestle control

Of the maddened beast.

Oh, the stress of it all.

To burn the wax of insanity

From the candle of truth,

To purify, to disentangle, to free.

But the answer, alas,

Is to become one with the beast,

To strive to hold on tightly,

Until its energy is spent;

Or, to spring off like a grasshopper,

Surviving the maelstrom

Until another day.

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Jingle Bells

Do you feel

The coming tide

Pulling us out

Away from shore?

Do you feel the raindrops

Pelting my head and shoulders?

The candy canes

Are hanging on the

Christmas tree.

The egg nog

Is in the fridge.

The presents are wrapped,

The house is decorated,

And I’m taking less Prozac

So I don’t get manic

Next week.

Soon to come,

Visits with friends

And family.

Parties and church,

Luncheons and dinners.

Cookies and milk,

Next to the fireplace.

I’m saving up

To buy gas.

Looking forward

To celebrating.

Jingle bells!

Connections

Did you, too?

Have you been there?

Do you, really?

Thank you.

I’m glad you’re here.

I’m glad I’M here.

This is work.

I want to get better.

I wish I could sleep.

I sleep too much.

I’m ready to commit to that.

I’m ready to quit.

I trust you.

Thank you for being there for me.

A Light

A light twinkles

In the distance;

It is my hope,

Fragile, yet strong.

Will a big gust of wind

Blow out my candle?

I am protected

By many walls:

Meds, doctors,

Counselors, family,

Friends and helpers.

That gust of wind

Can blow if it must,

But my light will not

Be extinguished.

I will use

The tools I’ve been given.

I will continue the struggle,

And I will win.

Strong

Experience.

A light bulb turns on.

Words flow like breathing.

Comfortable.

Fellow warriors

Keeping each other company.

Along for the ride,

Together.

Be there for you,

Whenever you need someone.

Any time, any place.

Trust me.

I’ll hold out a light

So you can see your way.

Brothers and sisters

Of mental illness.

Strong.

Weatherman

Filled

To the rim

With anxiety,

Like a rising tide,

My feet don’t reach

The bottom.

I cannot get a sense

Of where I am.

Everything around me

Seems to happen

In slow motion,

While my emotions reel

Like tossing waves.

My mind tries to balance,

But is tossed about

Like a little boat.

Gravity plays with me

Like a child

With his toys,

Crashing them together,

And zooming them around.

I am natures plaything,

In the storm,

I am the storm,

I am a bystander,

I am a weather man,

Like an idiot,

Standing outside

In the wind and rain,

Talking to the camera

Until I can barely stand up.

Time to take my meds.

Perseverance

A Normal Day

A “normal” day

Is an unusual occurrence

For those of us

With bipolar.

But if our meds

Are doing what they’re supposed to,

And drama is kept to a minimum,

Occasionally,

We might find ourselves

Having a normal day.

I had a normal day today,

And it felt good.

Not so stressful

As a typical day,

I wasn’t anxious

Like I usually am.

I was just me,

Living life,

Almost like a normal person.

This Dark Thing

In the maze of my mind,

There is this dark thing

That follows me around.

It changes hats, periodically.

Sometimes it’s anxiety,

Sometimes it’s depression,

Sometimes it’s hypomania.

All of the time it feels like

A heavy weight pushing me down.

It cringes at new experiences,

Full of worry.

It wonders if I will make it

Through today.

It hurts and it cries,

And it whines and complains.

Oh, how lovely

To have a mental illness!

Both Ways

Sharing smothered thoughts,

Restricted feelings abound.

Hesitation rules the imagination,

Hiding from the truth,

Although it tortures me.

Yearning for stability,

Some kind of consistency.

If only I could have it both ways!