Excerpt From "A Man With Glasses" - It Starts At Home

After just over a month I was released, and free to go home. From that point on journals I kept beside my bed were filled daily. When I looked in the mirror, I knew more than ever who stared back, and how he thinks. My reflection was making sense, and it was that of a man, vulnerable at times, but stronger than ever at others.

I was proud of who I was and I liked the man that I was becoming. I still never lost the intention of writing a book, though the act of writing it became more of a form of therapy and less a symptom of mania.

In 2009, three years after my previous manic breakdown, it happened again, only this time my book had a title. It was a book that reveals the mind of a person becoming a man and gaining control of his mental illness. This would be a written revelation of one’s mind who is bipolar.

At this point I was hospitalized again, and once again, for over a month, I paced back and forth in the halls with bare walls. I found God in those walls once again, and formed friendships I can hardly remember but still to this day I laugh just a little inside when I think of them.

Once again I was released. A hospital’s stay is never permanent, as the vast majority slip back into a rational state of mind, a mind whose only cure if one has a mental illness, is that of the very control managed.

Though, this time I crashed. I felt so much shame, so much stigma, and I could not accept my college peers, my friends, my mentors, my family, and the girl I had a crush on, seeing me in such a state. I crashed harder and longer than I ever have in life. The heaven I once found was now a distant figment of my imagination, something I just could not bear to accept. My life, at this point, and for two long years, lost all meaning. I drowned in a lake daily, so far from shore and so far from hope.

But I did something in the meantime. Two years can seem like an eternity, when no good end is in sight other than the end to one’s own life. I lived with depression. I stayed alive through all of it, with a mind that was unbelievably self-destructive and self-loathing. I battled constant drug abuse, snorting my way to happy thoughts and suicidal crashes. The tattoos on my wrists, that both my mom and dad wrote, that read “Love Life”, reminded me of just how much I disagreed with that statement. Every time I looked at my most vulnerable points, my wrists, I wanted nothing more than to rip them off and watch the blood poor down my arms and onto the floor, until a last breath I no longer had. Life sickened me.

So what did I do when I wanted to die?

I took a symptom of my mania and channeled it into a symptom of depression. I wrote. I channeled that symptom into my room, with shut blinds, and barely any light. I wrote reasons. I made choices.

This is that chapter. This is my mind coming to grips with my reflection.

This is the power of words, and the potential beauty they can inspire. It starts at home. It ends with you.