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The Wave Begins


The Wave Begins

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It begins with a sense of uneasiness, my life suddenly transforming into something it’s not; I have no control over it. Depression entrenches me like a wave, secretly gathering energy before unleashing its great force upon the frightened townspeople.

Elizabeth Wurtzel, author of Prozac Nation, describes it so intensely well: “There is a classic moment in The Sun Also Rises when someone asks Mike Campbell how he went bankrupt, & all he can say in response is, ‘Gradually & then suddenly.’ When someone asks how I love my mind, that is all I can say too.”

A tsunami overtakes the island that is my ideal reality. I watch, terrified, helpless, curious as to how long I will survive this relentless attack on my mind. The identity of my attackers? My own mind; my own, psychotic, frightening, marvelous, inexplicable mind.

I feel like a failed science experiment, my inner mechanisms going so haywire that death becomes the most appealing thing in the world. Wurtzel describes it as being “like a defective model, like I came off the assembly line flat-out fucked.” My brain does not operate like the average brain. Everything is more intense, often to the point of a disconnect with reality; my reality shrinks, & the narrow perspective is extremely dangerous.

My mind filled with buzzing blankness, I am unable to focus or even formulate an intelligent thought. Memories shrunk into little tiny boxes, misery blown up in my memory, invading all peace & sanity. Hillary Clinton refers to depression as “a sleeping sickness of the soul.”

This depression began at age fourteen. Six years ago, I journaled: “Silence burns my ears like I have lost all ability to think. My mind draws a blank. I go insane. Usually, the morning floods me with a million thoughts. This morning, however, I think of nothing. It’s as if I am a sleep walker, functioning properly without a thought to my actions, robotic in every sense. In my mind, only white fuzz exists, & instinctive orders are typed into my actions as I continue on with my average, daily activities” (22 August 2008).

Little did I know then that this was only the beginning of a painful yet fascinating seven years, concluding with my diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

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