Illusions in Lavender was the most difficult story I ever tried to write. I must have set it down a dozen times, driven by the same reluctance I feel writing this post, now. No matter how much research or editing is involved, writing about experiencing a mental illness can never be easy--especially for someone who takes pride in mental abilities.
Fifteen years ago, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Since then, I've learned to recognize the cycles of passion and despair as complex interactions between my body, my brain, and the environment around me. To some degree, I've also learned to keep them under control. (I've been treated with lithium, depakote, and other medications in the past, but no single treatment has been very effective in my case.)
This story is not about overcoming bipolar disorder, or anything that triumphant. On the other hand, it gets right to the heart of it, and describes the struggle of the symptoms, the cyclical feelings and changing perspectives.
It's a strange thing to seem to even say... that you can change your perspective, your viewpoint on the world, at the tip of a hat. It isn't like seeing the world through new eyes, but like the world itself has suddenly changed.
At one stage, you're eager to consume to all that you see, not a feast of food, but a feast of sensation.... colors, forms, sound, feelings, information... as much as you can get. You may think "manic" and picture a mad grin, but it isn't necessarily a drive for giggly happiness. You can indulge in pain and sorrow as easily as glee...the manic consumptive desire isn't picky. You just have to feel.
But then the world turns upside down. You don't really need a reason... The trigger can be stress or something as simple as a falling leaf. The next thing you know, the celebration of sensation fades into the night. The world is left dirty, cracked, and broken. The color has drained somewhere else. You don't seem to fit, and neither do the rest of the pieces. You don't want to feel, or see how others see--you just want to hide.
The following short story is a narrative of these cycles. The scenes are fiction, but the bipolar influence is real.
Illusions in Lavender
By Karmen Lee Franklin
The walls were a terribly drab shade of lavender this morning. I used to love that color, reminiscent of ribbons on girl's dresses, or old bottles on Grandma's vanity. Coating this empty room, however, the lavender reminded me of the outlines of a bruise. A window, a painting, or some object d'art might have broken the monotonous hue, but there wasn't even a spot for such a thing to rest. Even the edges of the floor, without a rug, spread out and upwards, joining seamlessly with the ceiling. This lack of any sort of decoration caused the room to seem like a bubble-a giant, purple blister-with me trapped inside.
If it was a trap, I was unaware of how I fell in. It happened so long ago, I wasn't sure that I hadn't always been there. I wondered if the memories that haunted me inside were merely dreams or fantasies. I remember when the room turned red...
Aegri somnia... those troubled dreams.
This is a nightmare. Love wasn't supposed to be like this, was it? We sipped red wine and made love by the fire, and again, later, on satin sheets. He hadn't thought to buy flowers, so I brought the roses myself, but I pricked my finger on a thorn as I arranged them into the vase. I look at the spot of dried blood on the tip as I wrap my arms around him. I try to run my fingers through the locks of hair that dangle on his neck, but I can't help but notice the blood.
He can tell I'm distracted, and he pulls away. I continue staring at my finger, squeezing it gently with my other hand, to open the wound. A fresh drop of blood beads on my fingertip before it falls onto my thigh. There, it spreads slightly, a crimson spot on my ivory skin. My face twists in pain, not from the wound, but from my understanding. I created this fantasy, and all flaws within it were mine. Still, I felt inclined to blame him, and he is ready to fight as well, and so we do. In the midst of the yelling and anger, he picks up his glass of wine and hurls it at the fireplace. The fragrant liquid drips down the bricks of the hearth, a deeper hue of red splattered on red. I scream, and the pain in my head washes over my vision like a curtain of blood. Oh God, this can't be real.
De profundis... I return to the room.
Vivid images, of family or choices or struggles, of decisions and pain, would come to me at the oddest hours (not that I had any way to track hours,) leaving a lump of helpless panic in the pit of my gut. Were there things I was supposed to be doing? My eyes searched that dull, lavender surface, trying to recall if these whispers of neglected responsibilities were veritable, or simply imagined, as when, with a burst of orange...
Aegri somnia... those troubled dreams.
I'm in a city, somewhere on the coast, I think... I can taste salt and ozone in the air. Skyscrapers stretch into the sky all around me, outlined by a hazy, rusted glow of the sunset beyond. The street would be dim, if not for the neon signs scattered around in immodest attempts to entice the stomach or the libido. A strange alpine glow is also reflected onto the street, for the sun still shines on the high tops of the buildings and the dense clouds of pollution above. The city seems to be in a sort of transition, between the bustle of commerce of the day, and the hustle of temptations and diversions of the night.
I can't help but feel like I'm supposed to be someplace else and so I press against the revolving doors and enter the nearest tower. I've been here many times before, it seems, and so I hardly notice the gift shop selling key chains and packs of cigarettes and little statues and shot glasses. I make my way to the elevator, where several others are waiting. They are carrying suitcases, and we exchange a polite nod as the doors slide open and we all step inside. I think for a moment that it seems strange, such a large hotel as this, not sending the bellhops to carry luggage, but then I realize they only have one bag each. Perhaps they are simply businessmen on an overnight trip, too sensible or cheap to tip a bellhop for a single bag. Before I can speculate about their business, however, the doors slide open again. This is my floor.
The elevator lobby for this floor is empty, and as the doors slide shut behind me for the last time, I feel suddenly alone. I'm still not sure why I am here, or exactly where here is, but I seem to know the way. The hallways are long and wide, and I guess that the rooms beyond are quite large, as the doors are few and far between. I can almost imagine the posh luxury inside, where travelers like the men in the elevator kick off their shoes and check their reports, while reclining on light brown leather chairs. I turn what I assume to be the last corner, but instead of another hallway, there is a closed bridge, crossing to the next building. I glance through the glass across the way, and watch for a moment as the reflection of the sunset is covered by shadow. I'm running out of time.
I hurry across the bridge, and find myself in the other building, where the hallways are narrow, and the carpets are the color of rust, and rather than luxury, I sense age and decay. I arrive at my room, and start to fumble for my key, but I notice the door is ajar. I barely raise my hand before it swings open, and I can see the room beyond is a wreck. I have to step around the heavy tan blankets and quilted bedcovers that have been carelessly flung on the floor; there isn't much free space. As I pass the television, I swivel it around to see the screen filled with static. Someone left it on, probably one of my roommates, carelessly leaving a movie to end by itself before leaving for some unknown destination.
I can't stand these people, I think, as I find my corner of the room, the bed still neatly made from the housekeeping service earlier in the day. I can't recall how they convinced me to come on this trip in the first place, or even who they are. I lean over the dresser, looking into the mirror, I can hardly recognize myself. I realize I don't want to do my makeup and I don't want to join them for a night out on the town... I'd just like to crawl into bed and escape this strange place. So I do. As I curl up under the thick layers, I imagine a room, bright and clean and empty. That's it, I think, perhaps this is all an ugly, dirty dream and I'm sleeping in there...
De profundis... I return to the room.
It was so easy to indict the images in those dreams that I once fancied that I could lay blame on them. Parents made easy targets for this exercise. Surely, it seemed, they were responsible for my failures, or indeed, for bringing me into this drab existence in the first place. At once, with a warm wave of yellow, I knew better.
Aegri somnia... those troubled dreams.
I'm only 12 years old, but I'm aware. I already know what I am to know for the rest of my life, the yellow sun is shining, and I feel quite content. I'm riding my bike through the field, and the wind is blowing my hair behind me, as if each strand is loosened by a tiny comb. The breeze is also combing the tall grass, and the field looks like a rippling flag. The air is dry and crisp, but the scene flows like water. It seems like I'm in a movie, following some epic script. I turn to the imaginary cameras that film me, and I begin to narrate.
"There is something secret and special here," I explain to my unseen viewer, "which only you and I can see. And that is why I am here... to be your guide, to explain what it is that you are seeing. I didn't create this story, but it is up to me to record it. I am the writer, and this is what I do... I write." I stroke the air with an imaginary pen and punctuate the sentence with a smile. My hands return to the handlebars, and I pedal on. My invisible words hover for a moment over the grass, until they are caught in my wake, and float away, joining the fragile yellow blossoms falling from the amber stalks.
This seems to be a perfect cut away from the scene, as if a director had called, "that's a wrap." I am so young, everything seems perfect and possible. They haven't told me yet that my dreams are a disease. It will be several years before they come into this field to take me away. The beams of sunshine here are still gleaming saffron... I haven't yet taken the pills that turn them a dull pastel hue. No, the world is still bright, full of hope and promise. If only I could stay young and certain forever.
De profundis... I return to the room.
Eventually, I played through the part of the parent for myself. This revealed that my parents had dreams of their own, as I grew, and as clichâ as it sounds, really did want the best for me. Since it was never their choice to send me to this room, they were innocent. So, I sought to lay the blame on those who had chosen to know me. Friends and lovers alike were often with me as I made the wrong decisions. They stood aside as I walked to the trap, and looked away as I fell in. They made no comment when I lied about the color of the walls. Such apathy was a crime... wasn't it?
Oh, how I laughed and cried at that paradox. This illusion was so tightly woven that even I couldn't see the intricate threads that held it together. If I could never see it; how could they? So the sky is blue, and hope, like sunshine, is yellow. See, my friends, how it shines all around? With that happy, deluded glow, I embroidered my dreams with silken garnishes, escaping reason and objectivity. When I began to admire the delicate threads and the complexity of the weavings, I gasped, as a flood of green washed over.
Aegri somnia... those troubled dreams.
It just stopped raining. The damp earth, in response to the slight change, seems to reach out with green arms, as if to embrace me in forest. This one is my favorite; I love the smells of the soil and spicy pines. I never want to leave here. The mountains, although tall and steep, seem to be gently rolling hills, rounded by the dense canopy of trees. I cross the road, which is simple black asphalt, but sparkles with dew, as if it were pebbled with gemstones.
There is a light fog, but not chilling, blanketing the valleys, and I think to myself, this is a magic place. On the other side of the road is a ditch, dug for drainage from the heavy storms, but teeming with life. An ancient tree sinks roots into the soil on the edge of the ditch. I think it has probably been there longer than I, perhaps longer than the road and the ditch itself. The roots of the tree hide a small pond, sheltered from the currents of the canal, shallow and green with algae. As I look closer, I can see tadpoles swimming beneath the surface. Some have legs already; they will soon be frogs. It strikes me as strange, that a single type of life can cycle through so many different forms. Have I changed as much?
I look back up at the trees, seeing how the patterns of branches seem to repeat themselves endlessly in each leaf. For a moment I can see myself as a child, having climbed with a friend to the highest branch of a particular tree. Looking at myself looking at the leaves, I remember this moment, and as if on cue, my companion turns to the small me in the tree and asks, "Do you dream in color?" The young me shrugs, but I want to yell out and answer. As I summon my courage to shout, however, the vision disappears, and all I can see are the branches and leaves and patches of sky beyond.
I wonder how humanity, however young, could have ever chosen to abandon a lush home like this, to build civilizations in the dry, dusty flatlands. The croak of a grown frog, deep with wisdom, reminded me how near the answer was. Change... the only true certainty. And, it seems, even as I watch, the world does change. I can now see houses, tucked into the hillsides, surrounded by carefully manicured and terraced lawns. One house seems to draw my attention, and I walk up the long steps to the door. I reach for the doorbell, but I catch my reflection in the tall panes of glass surrounding the door. Beyond, I can see elegant chandeliers and fine woven rugs, where separate staircases lead to the living and dining areas. It all seems too big, too extravagant, too much change, but then I realize, we still love to climb...
De profundis... I return to the room.
Stuck inside this place, trying to lay my accusations and blame, I cried in frustration. It proved to be futile to accuse anyone I knew, or anyone with whom I had shared bits of the best dreams. So, in vain, I pointed to the establishment. If those close to me were not to blame for the way things were, then some greater authority surely was. Their claims of responsibility seemed sincere enough-to care for, to support, and to guide the morality of the people-naturally, they were the cause of any failure of the people as well. I was unable to ignore the flaw in this charge, however, and so let it rest. I have seen many works of art in these dreams, the grotesquely beautiful, and the beautifully grotesque. No one can credit the clergyman or the politician for these creations, so how could I credit them for the aberrations?
What was this, then? Paradise or a trap? Were these walls concrete, or was this all an illusion? Without a cause or an answer, I was filled with a dark cloud of uncertainty, a fog of the deepest blue...
Aegri somnia... those troubled dreams.
The sky is a brilliant azure, and I can see small white discs of light, dancing like pixies on the air. Everything around me is an explosion of sensation... It isn't just the vivid colors, or the calls of the finches and sparrows mingling with the endless mutter of traffic into a strange but harmonic symphony. It isn't the warm fingers of sunlight stroking my skin, or the heady scent of marigolds. It is as if I can feel the pulse of the Earth itself... The rhythmic beating of all that is, as if this world was merely a cell in a giant vein, surging in step with a million others, like the little white discs of light before me.
I'm not alone... people are walking by, oblivious to the living masterpiece surrounding them and within them. They are surging along, too, but they don't notice. A child pauses before me... he seems to see it, but he is hurried along by his parents. As he passes, I feel a stirring in my abdomen, a light quickness, as if to remind me of the potential within. The children know this is a dream, don't they? If I had a child, could I see through his eyes? But the quickness passes, and my womb feels empty. Wasn't I a mother in a different dream? No one passing by seems to know.
They are wearing masks... Plain and ugly, these masks all have the same expression of a grim determination. None of them is real, they are all pretending. I wait for one to stop, to pull off his mask, and reveal himself. But I can hear them thinking, I'd like to stop and share this with you, to tell you who I really am, but I've got to get to the grocery store, or, I need a moment to stop and smell the flowers, but if I get this report in by four, I can get a drink with that new intern. They each hurry on their way, as false as the last, embodiments of childhood dreams forgotten. But they aren't real. I can tell... they don't feel alive... they're just figments of this dream.
There is a man nearby, carefully trimming a hedge. He is different, somehow. He's not acting in some role, as if someone told him to be a landscape technician and that was what he was supposed to do. No, he's a gardener, a true gardener, and you can see it in the way he clips. The hedge responds to his touch. Rather than leaving it bare and freshly cut, he seems to reveal some hidden beauty. A branch doesn't seem out of place until he removes it, leaving a perfect frame around new shoots. It is art in progress; the gardener sculpts potential.
He is talking to me, telling me about his ex-wife, about how she took the house and the cat and left him stunned and bitter, but doesn't it seem like it was for the best in the end? She'd been cheating on him for years, he says, but he doesn't seem to really care. He is telling me the details, but I'm not listening; all I can think about is the way he clips the hedge, stroking and encouraging it, rather than causing it pain. He's cutting with the pulse of the world, adding necessary notes to the symphony. Clip, clip, falling leaves. Clip, clip, falling leaves. He is in perfect sync, and I suddenly realize, unlike the passers-by, he knows. He knows this is all a dream... and he is smiling about it.
De profundis... I return to the room.
I gave up searching the illusions for answers; that was when the walls turned lavender. This ambivalent state sickened me with a nausea reflected by the pale hue. Things used to be so simple-just live and love, and let the world sort it out. That blind simplicity seemed quaint to me, as I stared at that ugly shade. Life, love-these things were merely figments of some fading dream. I could barely remember that spectrum, the deep crimsons and cobalt blues of passion, or the viridian brilliance of spring. All the memories of these colors were washed out by the mauvish shadow, as, reaching for understanding, I grasped nothing.
No one held the key to this prison. Without a lock, or even a door, how could they have put me inside, let alone even know I was there? The unbroken purple hue seemed a constant reminder of my helpless state. Only when my despair turned to anger, did I even catch a hint of intensity. From the corner of my eye, as I shouted at the barren walls, I saw brief glimpses of fuchsia. How did I get in here? I cried, with a sense of luminosity behind me. Why am I here? With a scream, I clutched my fingers to my eyes, but not quickly enough for that bright glimmer. Oh, how I hated it. But what could I do? Return to the dream?
Perhaps it could sense the spectral shift, caught in the wake of my emotional tides, but next, the vision began to tease. Spinning before me with a violent spectrum, I saw scraps of memories, both unkind and sinfully pleasant, weaving amidst strange possibilities. Even as dull and sick this pastel hue around me, how could I abandon it for this bizarre conglomeration of unrest? I pitied myself for being faced with such a choice. Nothing there was real, anyways, nothing that turns out like you expect. Chaos. The vision shook, and the room, as impossible as it seemed, became more lavender. Yes, I thought. Chaos.
But now... what was chaos, and what was reality? And where was I? Caught in between? I paced endlessly across the shapeless room, not searching for answers, for fear of what I might find. Eventually, my feet and my patience grew tired. I sat down on the floor, crossing my legs before me, and stared at the wall. Facing that pallid surface, I realized I could no more stay than I could return to the dreams. But how can one escape a room with no doors?
I knew suddenly, with another flare of fuchsia behind me, that I must search for a way to destroy it all. Since the room would offer no tools, I began to look within the dream. I must have been distraught, for I quickly thought of an answer, although obscenely extreme. I knew this was a nightmare, I told myself, as I imagined myself standing before it. A childish voice played in my ear, from somewhere within. "How many thermonuclear warheads would it take to unscrew this light bulb?" I was horrified to hear myself respond. "No worries, they have more than enough... It is all a matter of time, right?"
But I realized, even in a dream, I couldn't stomach an end like that. I needed something smaller, more suited for this room. And so, I searched the trove of memories within the dream, until I came to Grandma's sewing basket, filled with lavender ribbons. There, as if they had been waiting for years, was an old pair of scissors. The cold metal weighed heavily in my hands as I pulled them from the basket. For a figment of a dream, they felt incredibly solid. I feared for a moment that they wouldn't last if I carried them into the lavender room. I thought they might dissolve into mist as soon as I left the spinning dream, as the memories themselves always began to dissolve. To my surprise, I was able to lift them with ease. And so, I cut the thread of the dream, noting with a strange delight how like Atropos I felt.
I must admit, now, that I was wrong... that vibrant dream wasn't chaos, but reality, or as best as we'll ever know it. This room was the chaos, reality and I within it. And really, that lavender wasn't so bad-it could have been worse, as I discovered when I cut the thread. For, while the thread continued to spin, the last thing I saw was those horrid walls, turning to an immutable black.
(Originally written on 6/15/2005)
When I wrote Illusions in Lavender, I knew it wouldn't have a pretty ending. Most of my stories have a dark twist, but this one seemed especially bad. As I said in the introduction, it is not about a cure. In some ways, writing the story helped me to deal with my struggles. Not only did it give me perspective, but it helped as a way to discuss the struggle with others. One of the most important things I've learned is that I'm not alone, and to accept that there is nothing "wrong with my head", making me grossly abnormal.
I believe that we should never be ashamed of bipolar or other mental illnesses. The causes and influences are so deeply tied into our personalities, our very beings. They make us who we are. The hard part is, we have to face our troubles to learn from them... and it is never easy to face them alone. Ignoring the struggles of a mental illness will always take its toll, not only on the person suffering, but on their loved ones as well. We need to talk.
Notes: I posted this once before on my old site, but neglected to give it a proper introduction or conclusion. I'm glad to finally set it in the proper context. Also, in case anyone was wondering, I titled the fractal posted yesterday "Illusions in Lavender." The colors, the waves, and the seemingly random patterns in the fractal seem to illustrate this story better than the cover picture.
"Everything around me is an explosion of sensation..."
Your ability to convey every last nuance of these sensations in every modality is, to put it mildly, striking. I will have to read this story a number of times before I can truly appreciate it; for now, I am left with the impression that someone possessed of your manifest level of empathic appreciation for troubled souls has a limitless amount of goodness to offer to those with similar afflictions, because you can't fake what you've ostensibly set forth here as fiction. Thanks for sharing this and making today incrementally more...real.
Really lovely writing. My sister-in-law suffers from bipolar disorder and has experienced some of what you describe, although everyone's experience is unique in some way, I'm sure. Thanks for sharing, and giving me a glimpse into how she and others like her experience the world...
You know I've already commented on this story. To me it is beautiful, in a hard kind of way...
Back then, I mostly commented on the way the content and the style were beautifully interconnected.
And now, with the extra info you have added, I don't think it's any better or worse. It's a great story, period.
Maybe I understand a little more about where this story came from, but that doesnt change anything about my feeling that this story has a general meaning, a meaning that everyone who is reading it from the heart can appreciate, and learn from.
Personal stuff: My best (girl)friend was diagnosed as a borderline case (self-mutilation, self-starvation, depression, and a bunch of other symptoms).
When I met her, I didn't know anything about this. We spent a great weekend together, sharing a very absurd style of humor, and being able to talk about anything.
At the end of the weekend, she felt obligated to tell me that she had been in an institution for the last six months. My only reply was : "Okay". She leaned back against my legs again, and that was that.
It was good and brave of you to give us the context, but when I read it, I also went "Okay", and then picked up the train of thought that was started by your story.
That, for me, is the sign of a great story: It comes from a very personal place, but it can also strike people who have no idea about its original context, who interpret it in their own way, and still find meaning in it.
Thank you for this great story,
Ah, no wonder I feel a kinship with you - bipolar here, also. For me, lamictal is the wonder drug - no more depression, no more mania, no more nuthin'. It's been a true blessing with zero side effects, and I love it. I talked my shrink into prescribing it before it was even approved for bipolar, and a lot of my friends who are bipolar take it now.
Blogging helped me a lot in overcoming my problems with bipolar disorder. I think it is really helpful for us to be able to get those feelings out there, and if others are troubled by it, oh well. You are right, we are not alone.
It's difficult for others to appreciate the depth and intensity of what we can feel and see, isn't it? And to find others who are awake and aware in this world, ah that is a rare and wondrous thing indeed!
Thank you, everyone, for your kind words of support.
Kim, sometimes, "okay" is all you need to say. I imagine that everyone experiences these sorts of cycles to some degree, that is, feel passionate about life one day, and less the next. Sometimes, we enter a new cycle, and things are different; friends have changed, our goals have changed. I think it becomes a disorder when it interferes with our careers, our families, and close friends. That's when it is important to say "okay", accept the situation, and reach out for support if we need it.
Donna, I'd planned to write you and say a personal thanks... you helped to inspire me to write about these things. As you might imagine, I've kept it hidden for a long time. I realized recently that I had nothing to lose by seeking a little help. I'm not sure if I'll end up on medication or not. I'm looking into something called dialectical behavior therapy. It was originally designed to help borderline cases, like Kim mentioned above, but it has been shown to help with bipolar, as well. I'll likely report back on it, as I learn more.
My remedy of choice is found in rigorous exercise. The gym/dojo saved my life. That, alongside the occasional foray into mind-altering substances, is how I manage to keep it together.
Ironic it is that we already possess the tools needed to manage our depression all around us (in most circumstances)and yet systematically fail to be sufficiently rational enough to consciously apply them or to make the connection between these existing mechanisms and our psychological makeup. Running, bicycling, boxing, etc. were a regular part of my life long before I knew I was living with depression. Maybe we just need to go back to the things we already know how to do.
The best part of any therapy is coming into self-awareness. Applying these mechanisms in a conscious manner, by following the causes and effects, has a stronger and lasting influence leading to long term behavioral changes.
Beautiful piece. It brings art to pain and pain into pleasure.
"Depression is anger for lazy people." (Steven Wright)
Thank you so much for the link on dialectical behavior therapy, both from me and my friend. I mentioned it to her 30 minutes ago, and she was very interested, and probably reading the article now.
Wow. I always knew you could write.
This story is extremely powerful, particularly within the context you provided. You have the skill to make prose into poetry. Rather like a talented gardner pruning for potential, you have the ability to take a blank slate and make it grow into something beautiful.
It is interesting how life is like that!
"The gardener sculpts potential"
Still one of my favorite sentences ever.
Just to be sure, "Kim" and "Kim Boone" is the same person. I saw someone at Panda's Thumb also using the name "Kim", so I'll use "Kim Boone" only from now on.
Kim, I hope the link is helpful. As far as having more than one Kim around, I'd always know it was you.
Shlomo, thanks for your thoughts. I think there is a lot to be said for getting out and exercising to combat depression, especially if it is outdoors, in the sun. Walking my dog twice a day helps me quite a bit.
Dad, I'm glad you got a chance to read this one. It isn't exactly a story I'd pass around at a family dinner. Yet, it also describes some things that would be difficult to share, otherwise. Thanks for taking time to comment!
The link is very helpful. We met last week and had a serious talk about it (she did indeed read the article right after I mentioned it).
She's seriously planning to take this therapy,after a talk with her therapist.
Thanks again, both from me and her.
Hello all. Its beautifull what you've write. I would like to know if this Bipolar Disorder is the same thing as the brilliant story in the movie A Beautifull Mind in wich the scientist suffered some illness. Thanks!
I too am bipolar and a friend just sent me your story. It brought back some wicked memories of another time. Am glad you gave your story the proper introduction and conclusion because both shared words of hope. After living with this ilness for a dozen years, I have more appreciation for the possibilies in life now. Also, here is a link to a very informal bipolar group I belong to at MSN. Like minds sure have educated me about where I've been and where I want to go. http://groups.msn.com/BPlateniteclub
Congratulations on a beautifully written piece of writing. I appreciate the hardships one has to go through to compose a good piece, especially if one wants to make a piece that has universal appeal. The use of colors was especially fascinating and novel.
I'm not sure whether you have checked the Stephen Fry documentary titled The Secret life of the Manic Depressive. One quote that stands out from that is (paraphrasing) "it is enough to have walked with angels. Everything else is a small price to pay. Do watch the documentary if you haven't. It is available on the Mind Hacks blog. the link is http://www.mindhacks.com/blog/2006/10/stephen_frys_secre.html
Thanks for sharing this amazing piece of literature (and experience)
This is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read.