Raquel Baranow CC
Folie circulaire is bipolar in French.
I turn the word over in my mouth,
when in reality the word turns me over.
Folie circulaire has more syllables than bipolar but still not enough for me.
A hurricane of light and energy is pretty enough until it crashes through your house.
—and that needs more than 15 letters
Spending 9 months building another brain out of ice with a toothpick, being given a slightly larger toothpick when you agree to take medication that makes your hands shake, only to find that global warming is about to melt your new icy neural network anyway,
—needs more words.
I need more than a medical dialect to speak to my fiancé.
I need them to tell her that I think I’m the titanic, right before the moment Leonardo Di Caprio makes you cry.
I can’t say: I woke up this morning and I can taste shades and hues in this coffee you’ll never imagine.
I can’t say: I will never be the right kind of happy, sad, or be patient enough to deserve you.
I can’t say: you’re the only person that makes me feel coherent enough to be alive, I just don’t want to live with my brain anymore.
Instead I stutter: ‘I have bipolar disorder’
When I was 5 I built a pillow fort to keep out the monsters under the bed,
today my unquieted heart beats against a tempered rib cage built by a crowd who will never know their significance
They’re the junior school teacher I who said I’d be a scientist one day,
the parent of the friend I hardly knew who taught me how to cook the perfect family dinner,
my best friend at 17 who taught me the only card trick I know and laughed and cried with me, sometimes at the same time.
the ex who taught me the meaning of mutually assured destruction, but introduced me to foreign genres of music that haven’t sounded foreign for years,
the friends that were ever patient and kind as I made a mess of their native language,
the chorus of poets on Twitter most of whose names I’ll never know but whose hearts I print out and stick on my bedroom wall,
-they have all gifted me with mosaicical shards of glass, reflecting moments I can’t pollute.
Their frequencies are entwined with my consciousness so that these days I don’t need a pillow fort —I have a greenhouse.
Thank you for letting me grow.
Jack studies psychology and lives in Wales. He has published academic research and literature on mental health, focussing on the power of shared lived experience. Jack loves libraries and the smell of old books, and you can find him reading poetry in the woods or at his desk surrounded by coffee cups and hastily scribbled notes. He thinks out loud on twitter at @ex_solipsist
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.