The woes of a ‘bipolar’ patient

RUNNER UP - SANDS COX CHARITY ESSAY PRIZE 2018 - MEDICAL STUDENT

Deepthika Jeyaraman

On goes my routine day, starting and ending with my folks;

A cosy blanket and a silent room keeps me awake next to my groom.

It’s yet to be daybreak and here I am, being an insomniac;

I twist and turn realising I have 6 hours to return to being a worker.

‘6 hours is plenty!’ I thought and slipped out of bed to finish my 1000-piece puzzle;

My attempt to deny the critique that I have appalling visuospatial skills.

Nothing a bottle of vodka and a pinch of confidence can’t solve,

my ruckus causing voices and lights of my house to glower!

Aye, there lies my routine for the past 5 years.

My successful boss tosses a file across the table while contemplating his choices on my pay check;

This is the sixth time in the last fortnight and my mind is racing.

He disses and dismisses me from his sight, which I silently accept;

Although I would be as good a boss, my finances are my restraint.

My restrictions brought on by myself in an attempt to please myself and my previous boyfriends;

Each leaving me worse off than the one before.

Mind you! My husband is a different type of fish;

However, even a fish will pass if things get too uphill.

Our near divorce a few months ago was a rift between us;

I do not blame my kids but myself for abandoning them for days;

While I spiralled down with indifference and snowballed to feel increasingly inadequate as a mother.

My attempt to end this once worthless life failed miserably,

With consequent reconciliation with my other half.

It was my first and hope it would be my last!

 

I gather around with my closest friends at a coffee shop with exuberance,

For I wore my yellow dress from Prada with a blue cashmere jacket and an orange Louis Vuitton bag.

It was a Sunday afternoon and we chatted for hours together,

My poker face preventing my rapid nostalgic thoughts of apprehension,

For they do not know about my ‘mind problems’ and I vow to keep it a hidden casket,

as they would definitely crack a joke about it as they are ‘normal’.

‘This is nothing new!’ I quietly thought as I have for the past 5 years.

I laughed and joked as I would have previously,

With a lot of ‘pardon’ directed at me and suspicious eyes acting as surveillance.

A comment followed, ‘slow down, you are too excited!’,

‘Well what can I say’ I smiled and brushed it aside.

 

A phone call rang through the air, with an unknown number filling the screen;

I reject the call and a few minutes later, it rings again.

I recognise the bubbly voice of my nurse who checks on my wellbeing,

After a few questions, suggested I speak to a doctor in a few days.

After initially rejecting the idea, I gave in and met the doctor a few days later,

The end of it concluding with me needing to become a pin cushion.

I blame my dislike for the compound of the third element of the periodic table.

The strands of side effects attached and its taste do not aid its appeal,

To my folk’s persistence on checking my ‘pill compliance’ I applaud.

 

My support system cradled my routine and survived my mood, which is like music;

Neither the tunes remain always melodious nor the pitch remain nice,

Sometimes loud and harsh, otherwise low and filled with melancholy.

Whatever they are, they reflect me!

The stability of my support is aided by its dynamic nature,

Back-beating on my actions that is also temperamental like Poseidon.

They can be a blessing in disguise or a trap to drag me to the bottom of the ocean,

The temperament of each lasting a few weeks before morphing into another.

 

I lie on my hammock and ponder over my possible future,

The pessimistic side of me resurfacing my woes and fears.

Will I remain sane? Will I be found out? Will they accept me?

Will my folks remain my folks? Will I get better?

Only time will tell…