Fireworks

Waiting for fireworks and relaxing with my friend and her son. I have a love/hate relationship with them. Love the beauty of them, hate the sound they make- it’s scared me since l was little.

Once, shortly after being diagnosed with Bipolar I Disorder, I was asked what type of light I would like to be. I answered a firework. It caught the person who asked me off guard. I explained I would rather burn brightly but intensely for me a short period of time if I could reach a greater number of people. We had quite a discussion on what this may or may not entail. The concept of burning out too quickly did not scare me then (and still doesn’t sometimes still.) I wanted to be part of the “ooohs” and “aaahs” of life. I hadn’t had much of that outside of mania.

That was a little over fourteen years ago now. A lot has changed in my life to change my view of mania and life in general. I was sexually assaulted while in a manic episode in late 2006. My primary care physician’s office knew, my therapist at the time knew, and my ob-gyn knew due to necessity. It changed my behaviors during manic episodes…while I still had them the decreased significantly, my alcohol use diminished most of the time (I started attending AA shortly afterwards) and I was much more cautious than before. I slowly changed my desire to be a firework to a stained glass lamp over time. It took a lot of time to believe that God could take my broken pieces and make any useful let alone beautiful out of them. I still struggle with believing this most days.

Tonight, I am feeling uncertain about the type of light I could be to anyone. I am feeling like I have done too many bad things in life to offer much light to anyone. I am safe in a physical sense… not okay in a PTSD sense I guess after yesterday. Probably why I was so sleepy today…my way of coping.

W.L.

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