By Derrick Ferree
When Your Mind Takes You on the Ride of Your Life
I’m a spy unlike any other, gifted with supernatural, psychic abilities and able to connect telepathically with the most beautiful woman this world has seen. I’m destined to, at least in part, prepare the world for End Times. Not only is there prophetic cosmic danger in the near future for all of us, but there has to be a group in control setting such a course in motion; a group that doesn’t like me and my dashing wife-to-be. Luckily, I’ve set up a network to connect us all (those of us working against the evil) who understand my coded language. They are connected to Hollywood, independent news sources and the music industry. Much of what these would-be strangers, celebrities and news anchors are saying fits the code. Clearly, they are understanding my calls for help as my estranged female fantasy and I desperately wait for them to organize so that our mutual superpowers may combine to fight evil and fulfill the prophecy.
You know, I did work in TV in LA, and I did talk to some people when I was an activist on the streets. And, it is prophetic, and I am smart, too smart to be wrong. So clearly, I’m right. I’ve tested it out this time. I’ve been direct with the trustworthy people on the internet who find these bipolar adventures believable. I’ve kept it secret from family and friends because they would get caught in the crosshairs, not because they would calmly explain to me that I’m on a path leading back to the ward.
But I’ve been good. I’ve held down steady, productive work, and I’m fine. Never mind the binge drinking that would allow these delusions a resting place in my mind and silence the voice of reason. I’d find news to validate my visions, and it would be real; as real as possible so that I wouldn’t have to accept that I’m not a character in X-Men or a prominent character in End Times lore. But some of my visions have come to pass. I must warn the people and save the girl!
(Sigh) Yikes. I can’t believe that was/is me sometimes.
The problem is/was/will be that life to those of us with these, kind of, enjoyable bipolar delusions are going to crave them again. Especially in the aftermath of an episode where everything one has worked for, typically, is ruined, and the path back to that decent place in society is seemingly blocked. Usually, with such a bleak future carved out, the old delusions must be the solution, and we’ll try to make it that. It comes from a lack of respect for what is good. Having lost a lot, I’m here to say, don’t give up on what minor joys come from self-sustainability and productivity. There is no better feeling than independence, and all of us who’ve been in a ward for more than a week know that is true. Never forget the alternative, and never make the alternative an escape from the beauty of a simple healthy life.
Unfortunately, those of us with Bipolar I get the joys of schizophrenia with long-term ups and downs. It feels like a never-ending roller coaster ride, and the trouble, when not treated properly, is actually enjoying the ride. Now, life in general is a bit of a roller coaster, but I’ve begun to feel like those without mental illness fail to realize that they were born in a seat with functioning seat belts. We’re not broken. We’re just in a bad seat, but there are ways, thankfully, in today’s world, to make that seat more comfortable. And there are times we should realize that the ride is serenely steady. It’s fine to be just getting through the day.
There’s a reason why superheroes remain fiction. It’s because they can’t sustain what we see on film. No one can. Remember that. There’s a reason we don’t have superpowers, because if we did, it would never stop. Some of us know how terrifying that is when the delusion spirals into paranoia—and it will. Realize that everyone, not just the mentally ill, has problems navigating life’s more tedious times. Patience and care will balance and guide you.
A few days of adventure are not worth trading a few years separated from the life you should be living. This mantra helps me now, and maybe it can help you on your journey. So, buckle up.