On screen: I hear this sound for thirty seconds every fifteen minutes for two hours everyday. And it drives me fucking mad.
A young man sits in a room.
I am in and out of sleep. To snooze is to deny control, but I must be in control. My brain is clinically disordered. Monthly psychiatric examinations tell me that without the nightly sedative and the daily stabilizer I will crack.
Everyday there is a warning; Caffeine: Agitation, irritation, restlessness. Alcohol: Erratic, hyperactive, destructive. Lack of or too much sleep: Ambivalent, confused, defective. Everyday is a balance of pros and cons, and happy and sad. The medicine does the labour, all I have to do is swallow.
The young man rearranges his hands.
I miss my mania, my bestest friend. A million and one ideas that would make my mind go wild. This ego-centric, creative genius. A social butterfly, captivated by life. I felt empowered with him, superhuman almost. But everyone has a darkness in them, and that’s all they remember him for. My best friend is ‘dangerous’, ‘a bad influence’ – they told me that. When he left I became stagnant, I’d loathe myself. My beautiful butterfly on death row.
Depression was the downfall and it was this never ending rabbit hole straight into a wonderland of black. And then they stole him, my beloved best friend. With his leopard print blanket in the back of an ambulance, leaving me with nothing but a riot van and resentment. He’s this exaggeration of me. But to everyone else that exaggeration is just a box ticked ‘Bipolar’, and now all I am is a statistic in the spectrum of mental health disorders, classified ill. A patient of the system medically treated each day and each night with monthly checkups to monitor my ‘progress’.
He hurt me and they made me send him away. No second chances. I crave you. Sometimes I see you, but you don’t know me anymore. They made me replace you with pills, a therapist, a psychiatrist and a recovery plan. I don’t think I’ll ever love anyone the way I loved you. You were all mine, and I was all yours. You fucking destroyed me, everyday I see the scars. I gave you all of me and just like every other man I’ve loved, I made you leave.
Maybe this medicine has replaced you with someone stricter, someone who tells me I can’t go back, who tells me I can’t trust you and people can’t trust me when you’re in my head. They told me I was crazy but love makes you do crazy things. This is my love story and it had to end with death. It was him or me, and they made me chose me. I have to kill the man I love every single day, because if I don’t…he’ll kill me.
Director: Dale John Allen
I feel that as mental health is very rarely represented clearly, and as it’s such a wide subject matter, my piece only scratches the surface. I believe that it is not a subject tackled enough and is still rarely talked about openly. From my time in recovery I’ve learnt that the best way to tackle these conditions is to talk about them, yet it is still suppressed by so many, which, in my personal opinion, only adds to the problem and stigma that sufferers are faced with. So, after much thought I decided to stop looking towards to media and society to correctly represent me and to take the opportunity to write a piece to represent myself.