Found an old notebook of mine, and was struck dumb by a moment of clarity sketched on it. I remember writing this to a friend, 6 years ago.
I suddenly realize that I fear dying. The realization dawned on me, during an idle moment, while my mind was preoccupied with my usual psychotic obsessions. Dying — death, not necessarily of the body, but of the mind. Nothing is scarier to me than the inevitable death of my thought, my memories. Whether these things fade away, or drift into the communal ether is something that even religion can’t (or won’t) answer.
So, why the sudden fear of such a thing? Perhaps because I am starting to realize the fragility of that thing we call “mind.” Whether I can blame chemicals or something more fundamental, the result is the same. I can’t escape it — my mind is failing. I feel it failing — like a weak heart. I can feel my own sanity slipping away from me. It’s absolutely terrifying — every psychotic episode seems like it brings me closer to death.
Assuming, then, that my time as a functional human being is quickly coming to a close, my dreams and aspirations suddenly develop a new sense of urgency. The threat of becoming unable to fulfill my dreams weighs down on me like a cloud of dread. I absolutely cannot afford to stay idle.
Whether I’ve ten useful years left in me, or even five, the clock is ticking, and I must achieve. If I don’t, all of my struggles to keep a hold of my wits will be a complete waste.
I was a senior in college when I wrote this, and suffering from near-crippling bipolar disorder. It was easily one of the worst years of my life, and yet one of my most important and formative. I’m no longer anywhere near that unstable and haven’t been in quite a long time. I sought treatment by a professional, and came out okay.
And yet there are certain aspects of being in that place, that very dark place, that I miss. First and foremost is the sense of direction, the drive, the panic-induced aspiration. It’s been so long since I’ve been on the brink and worried about losing my mind. Stability has robbed me of this, and complacency has set in. Maybe “complacency” is too strong a word, but I’ve most certainly lost the fire in my gut, replaced by a vague sense of unease and discontent.
I’ll be spending the next few months trying to get that back.