I call it burning these days because that’s what it feels like: like there’s an idea inside me burning its way out. But when I was younger, I called it flying. What I really meant was controlled falling. Like there was a tornado going on and I would leap off something and ride right through the middle of it, all the way up, chasing words. Because that’s what it felt like for me, rolling on through the manic energy that comes with being bipolar.
A lot of folks equate the manic energy of being bipolar with the creative spark that drives artists to brilliance. They point to so many great artists in history who lived with mental illness and say, “There it is, that energy, that’s what made them great!”
Except for so many artists, mental illness didn’t make them great. It made them ill. And if they weren’t careful, it made them gone.DISABILITY VISIBILITY: FIRST PERSON STORIES FROM THE 21ST CENTURY
Do you know why we have the sunflowers?
She talked about Vincent van Gogh, the artist who suffered during his life from mental illness, self-medicated, was treated by doctors, and struggled to succeed despite his obvious impossible talent due to his sickness. She talked about her knowledge of his life, thanks to her art history degree, and how he sold only one painting his entire life—not because he wasn’t recognized by his What I have always been hoping to accomplish is the creation of community.Community is magic. Community is power. Community is resistance.Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century https://www.amazon.com/Disability-Visibility-First-Person-Stories-Twenty-First-ebook/dp/B082ZQBL98/ https://www.amazon.com/Disability-Visibility-Adapted-Young-Adults-ebook/dp/B08VFT4R9T/ as a genius but because he struggled to even be part of a community due to his illness.
And I thought of the flying and the hard days at the word mines. I thought about the days when I heard the tornado in my head and couldn’t make the words get to my fingers. I thought about the frustration, the depression, the difficulties talking to people about what it sounded like inside my skull some days when I could barely pay attention because of the rush of words and ideas.
Hannah Gadsby told people artists don’t have to suffer for their art, and I’ll forever thank her for having the guts to stand up and say that to the world. Because I used to believe it was true.DISABILITY VISIBILITY: FIRST PERSON STORIES FROM THE 21ST CENTURY
I got loud Flipped my lid, I always do I'm not proud Sucks the patience out of you I'm inspired I can't sleep but I'm so tired Turn me around Levitate me
Oo-ooo-ooh, ooh, ooh-ooh Oo-ooo-ooh Oo-ooo-ooh, ooh, ooh-ooh Oo-ooo-ooh
Let me out I've been waiting for so long Set me free I've been waiting passively I'm not scared I've never been so prepared Twist and shout I'll wring out all of those toxins
Fuck the crowd Eat their pain, get on my cloud Stay this way We will come back down someday Cut my hair Left the pieces everywhere Birds will care And I can hear their call And I can hear their call And I can hear their call And it goes...
Content Note: misery, suicidal ideation, drugs, If addiction is like misguided love, then compassion is a far better approach than punishment.Can You Get Over an Addiction? - The New York Times In her book Unbroken Brain,, death, doom, gloom, wallowing
While we collect research and perspective on being bipolar, enjoy this miserable music.
Being bipolar is a constant system of checks and balances. These days I fight against needing my medication adjusted a lot, against depression and anxiety, mania and hypomania. I still end up flying some days, sometimes for days at a time, because as time goes on, the body changes and you have to adjust to new needs, new doses, new medication.
Coping mechanisms change, life situations go ways you never expected, mania and depression rear their ugly heads. But the day I went on medication was one of the greatest days of my life, because it was the day my creative spark stopped becoming an excuse to keep putting up with an illness that was killing me.DISABILITY VISIBILITY: FIRST PERSON STORIES FROM THE 21ST CENTURY
Take Your Pills
Yeah you can feel the weight returning, And the burden is unliveable, unstoppable. That means you’ve gotta take your pills. Now you can feel your heart start running. And the race is unbearable. Unwinnable. Only thing you can do: take your pills. Though they make you retch and heave. Though they leave your mouth chalked and parched. Though they can offer no relief. Though they can’t change what you are.
Choke em all down, Choke em all down with pride. Choke em all down, Choke em down with your pride.
Here’s one for the highs, and one for the lows, And one to smooth out the in-betweens. A little for the ups, a little for the downs, And some to stop you slipping, now you’re slipping, Crying, screaming: Take your pills. Take your pills Yeah, sedate your useless body. Dim out those dark places, Until reality is foggy, And friends become unfamiliar faces. Take your pills Dull your pathetic senses, Shadow your shame in cloud, A lick of paint on your defenses, Before they all come crashing down.
Choke em all down, Choke em all down with pride. Feel em rotting out, Rotting out your insides.
Here’s one for the highs, and one for the lows, And one to smooth out the in-betweens. A little for the ups, a little for the downs, And some to stop you slipping, now you’re slipping, Crying, screaming: Take your pills. You raging cunt of disappointment, Suspended in an air of discontent. A dying fly in the ointment, Sucked down the drain of supplements. If this is how it’s gonna be this year, Then let this year be the last. If this is how it’s gonna be once again, Pop the lid, spill em out, raise your glass. And choke em down Choke em down. Choke em down. Choke em all fucking down.
I need something or someone to keep me sane Otherwise I'm gonna waste another day Stare at my fucking phone Think about everyone and everything I fucking hate And how life is never gonna change I'm not sure what I look forward to anymore But I welcome sleep And only will smoking weed kill the dread and anxiety I try to recognize privilege present And I'm thankful for good fortune I don't want to sound ungrateful like I can't see the good going But I can't help what my head is telling me I can't stop myself from listening Manic depression Yeah Endless obsessions Yeah Manic depression I can see everything you've shown me, but you don't say anything I'm so fucking over indirect vagueness If you lack passion, just stop trying How can I justify complicity? You're standing right in front of me I can see you, and I can see, and that needs no apology
I need something or someone to relieve the tension and anxiety
Give me sex or drugs or destruction
Some kind of excitement please, even if it's terrifying
Shake or smack the shit out of me
Turn me upside down otherwise
I'm gonna drink and drink and drink
'Cause I can't help what my head is telling me
I can't stop myself from listening
Endless I don’t know who invented the phrase “special interest.” Probably some researcher. Autistic people don’t really love the term because the term “special” has become tied so closely with terms
I'm so happy 'cause today I found my friends, they're in my head I'm so ugly, that's okay, 'cause so are you, we broke our mirrors Sunday mornin' is every day for all I care and I'm not scared Light my candles in a daze 'cause I've found God Yeah, yeah Yeah, yeah Yeah, yeah Yeah, yeah Yeah, yeah Yeah, yeah Yeah
I'm so lonely, that's okay, I shaved my head and I'm not sad And just maybe I'm to blame for all I've heard, but I'm not sure I'm so excited, I can't wait to meet you there and I don't care I'm so horny, that's okay, my will is good Yeah, yeah Yeah, yeah Yeah, yeah Yeah, yeah Yeah, yeah Yeah, yeah Yeah!
I like it, I'm not gonna crack I miss you, I'm not gonna crack I love you, I'm not gonna crack I killed you, I'm not gonna crack I like it, I'm not gonna crack I miss you, I'm not gonna crack I love you, I'm not gonna crack I killed you, I'm not gonna crack
Lithium by Nirvana
Lithium Rescue me Give me only pretty dreams Lithium Under my skin Pull me over And tuck me in One pill, two pill You're my new thrill One pill, two pill You're my new thrill
Lithium Bad my brain Be my water And by my friend Lithium Don't forget 'Cause I ain't done Ain't done for yet I want to feel high Will you let me down? I want to feel high Will you let me down? 'Cause I need an answer I need an answer Right now 'Cause I need an answer I need an answer Right now
It’s White Rabbits Everyday
I've been running for so long Searching for something I've been waiting in the dark I've been hiding for so long Sleeping in shadows I've been waiting all this time To let it out and take it down Tear it apart Turn me around I'm underneath And up above I am complete I don't feel anything at all I could swallow the whole cage Rusting inside me It's white rabbits everyday I don't care about the pain I serve it up gladly In the end it's all the same I'll let it out and take it down Tear it apart Turn me around I'm underneath And up above I am complete And I feel everything And I feel everything And I feel everything And I feel everything And I feel everything-everything-everything
My Name’s Blurryface
I was told, when I get older, all my fears would shrink But now I'm insecure, and I care what people think My name's Blurryface and I care what you think My name's Blurryface and I care what you think
Wish we could turn back time to the good old days When our momma sang us to sleep, but now we're stressed out (Oh) Wish we could turn back time (Oh) to the good old days (Oh) When our momma sang us to sleep, but now we're stressed out We used to play pretend, give each other different names We would build a rocket ship an' then we'd fly it far away Used to dream of outer space, but now they're laughin' at our face Sayin', "Wake up, you need to make money!," yeah We used to play pretend, give each other different names We would build a rocket ship an' then we'd fly it far away Used to dream of outer space, but now they're laughin' at our face Sayin', "Wake up, you need to make money!," yeah
Stressed Out by Twenty One Pilots
Get Out of My Skin
Get out of my skin, get out of my skin Get out of my skin, get out of my skin Get out of my skin, get out of my skin And now you're embarassed get out of my skin I try to fight you but you always win It turns out the medication only makes you tough You were so damn mean but I've had enough Get out of my skin, get out of my skin Get out of my skin, get out of my skin Get out of my skin, get out of my skin
Am I Getting Better?
Take a vitamin every single day Keep the thoughts away Keep the thoughts away Two pills every morning Every night Keep me feeling right Keep me feeling right Take a vitamin every single day Keep the thoughts away Keep the thoughts away Two pills every morning Every night Keep me feeling right Keep me feeling right Blank zombie Drifting in my life Empty ghost On the For me this space of radical openness is a margin a profound edge. Locating oneself there is difficult yet necessary. It is not a “safe” place. One is always at of a knife Struggle through the day on tippy toes One slip, I'm down that rabbit hole Undesirable, undesirable (a feeling from inside you) Undesirable, undesirable (Pulling my veins backwards) Undesirable, undesirable (that hard empty feeling) Undesirable, undesirable Undesirable, Un-Des-irable Am I getting better? Do you think I'm getting better? Will I ever get better? Is better any better?
Put Me to Sleep
I am out of touch, I've been gated off And I'm not sure which way's out I can't communicate and my temper's short I'm always upset for no reason You've been pushed away by my tendencies Psychopathic, it may seem I've tried so hard, but not gotten too far I'll be better in my dreams
I've told you time and time again, this is how I am I'm sick of always being afraid that you won't stick around Sometimes life gets tough but for you I'm way too much My psyche's then exhausted and I've used you as my crutch Just leave me be I feel so incomplete Just leave me be What's so hard to see? Put me to sleep Maybe then I'll regain function Put me to sleep Maybe then we'll keep on loving Put me to sleep I haven't closed my eyes in weeks Put me to sleep Put me to sleep, put me to sleep, put me to sleep
When I opened my eyes this morning There's only one thing I could say It was "Dammit, I'm awake." My bedroom walls were closing in And my chest was getting tight Tunnel visioned, there is no light Knocked out, face down, into the ground What's wrong with me? Anxiety Breathe in, breathe out, without a sound There's no air for me Anxiety A handful of pills for when I'm feeling alone Can't call my friends to talk 'cause they're not home I'll just sit here and think of why I turned out this way 'Cause everyones' skies are blue but mine are grey Knocked out, face down, into the ground What's wrong with me? Anxiety Breathe in, breathe out, without a sound There's no air for me Anxiety What's wrong with me? Anxiety
If you stare at a blank wall long enough, You’ll start to see patterns where there are none. Little flecks of paint or smears or dry rot, Little stains of what you’ve become. Spreading like a fungus Across your stinking hole of existence. Just keep staring. The fungus might diffuse, Might even produce A little bit of meaning. I just stared at the walls cause there was something wrong, My walls were beige. Plain. Plain as they come. Across, there was a fungus eating my walls. And eating my mind. I didn’t know it at all. I just stared at the walls and tried to ignore, That being alive was becoming a chore. I was breaking down. I was giving up, I was becoming the wall I was building up. We want to live. We want to ache. I want to suffer, I wanted to break., The heart ticks harshly against a beating clock. Spitting poison through my vessels and into my thoughts. We want to live. We want to thrive. I want despair. I want to die. The walls they pulse with the temples’ beat, And I don’t want to hear it, No I don’t want to hear it. But I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it spreading like a fungus, Across the whole of my existence. It’s what I’ve become, Now it’s who I am, I would try to resist it, but I know I can’t. It’s spreading like a fungus. Spreading like a fungus. It’s what I’ve become now, It’s who I am now. Spreading like a fungus. Spreading like a fungus. Now it’s who I am now. I would try to resist it, But it’s spreading like a fungus
The Most Unhappy of All Mortals
Life in Vain
Don't wanna be free of hope And I'm at the end of my rope It's so tough just to be alive When I feel like the living dead I'm givin' it up so plain I'm livin' my life in vain And where am I going to? I gotta really try Try so hard to get by And where am I going to?
Flip on your TV And try to make sense out of that If we were all in the movies Maybe we wouldn't be so bored We're givin' it up so plain We're livin' our lives in vain And where are we going to? We gotta really try Try so hard to get by And where are we going to?
Life in Vain by Daniel Johnston
I Live My Broken Dreams
She inspired a thousand songs. And, then I knew, I was an artist.Daniel Johnston
Look Up to the Sky, Sky, Sky
Look up to the sky, sky, sky Take back your own tonight You'll find more than you see It's time now, now, get ready This is your time, this is your life and This is your time, this is your life and This is your time, this is your life and This is your time, this is your life and You gotta keep on (Keep on livin!) Gotta keep on (Keep on livin!) You gotta keep on (Keep on livin!) Gotta keep on (Keep on livin!) You gotta keep on (Keep on livin!) Gotta keep on (Keep on livin!) You gotta keep on (Keep on livin!) Gotta keep on (Keep on livin!) -- Keep On Livin'