A few years back, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. I fight it with the help of my meds, and oftentimes I write about it. Different people have different symptoms.On the mild, people with bipolar disorder can have their normal emotions as a roller coaster ride of wild highs and devastating lows.
I have had quite a share of the dark times. The plugging out of the light and sinking in the pangs of depressive episodes. Losing interest in everyone and everything I ever loved. I forget all the little things that used to make me happy. I question my faith, tenacity and character. The voices in my head get louder and the gentle lion on my feet is now a demon bear that haunts me in the night.
I get lost in the pool of emptiness.My feet dangling on the edge of the cliff. I can feel anxieties lurking at the corners waiting for a moment of weakness to devour. I excessively lose track of the middle ground. Is the happiness genuine, or am I just on Maniac? Am I feeling upset, or is this another trigger to put me down again.
I snap, and I’m alive again. I step up into the light .This time I’m happier and more confident. I’m riding by the storms and summoning the oceans. The breeze is refreshing and the colors are more beautiful. The music is soothing and the lips are crescent. I’m full of ideas and riding in the waves. I’m losing track of time and caught up in all the things that I love doing. I can nap for a few minutes and feel like it’s hours. I see my friends and call my family. I’m on my fifth poem and catching up with my deadlines.
I am unstoppable.
But deep down it’s sickening that these days may not last and soon I will cross over to the other side. But how do you try to bail out a sinking ship with a thimble? It’s so hard to explain how you’re walking around with all the pain and emotions bulging inside you. How a sick brain can take over and ruin your life. There is no escape.
I’m a self harm survivor. The meds I shoved down my throat, closed my eyes and wished to die.
The blades that slit my wrists.What’s more suffocating is the endless panic attacks.The heart palpitations and sweaty palms. Like something bad is about to happen except that this time, nothing happens. To get over this, I try to focus on my breathing rather than wash my face and constantly remind myself that this too will come to pass.
My parents are Christian bound. They ask me to pray, but still, the bad days don’t go away. It can be for days or weeks that join to feel like an endless hole of misery. The nightmares when I trip over insomnia, crying myself to sleep, wondering when will it ever stop. But it never stops.
For all days, for all nights,
I’ll keep fighting. I’ll stay alive.
Courtesy of the author
Emily K Millern is 22 years old, she was born in Kenya and currently lives in Nairobi where she pursued a Bachelor of Arts. She is a writer, poet and a spoken word artist. In 2020 she published her first ebook, Black Girl Magic, which she hope will be released in paper soon. She has been awarded with such prizes as Integrity Tribe Kenya (2020) and Most promising artist – Spoken HeArt Maseno (2019-2020).
She talks openly about her mental health issues and actively raises awareness on the subject. “I write because the alternative is to break”, she says.
In her words, Black Girl Magic, a collection of 15 poems, “is the sleepless nights of insomnia, the darkest nights that seem to never end. And having to blend them with a ray of light, and hope translates to healing. Trying to explain the position of a black girl in this world that is so vast and diverse. Finding a safe space I could fit in and creating more seats at the arena for all women to join in. Basking in the magic of existence.“