UPS & DOWNS

I knew someone who was manic-depressive,
which now is called bipolar depression
and controlled, more or less, with lithium,
.
and she would often vanish for months,
you wouldn’t hear from her or hear
about her, and then you’d get a letter,
.
she just finished writing a play
and revising her novel and sending
twenty-two new poems to magazines
.
and painting her house and applying for jobs
and proposing articles to the local paper
. . . so you knew she’d been very far up
.
for at least some of the missing weeks.
I can’t say I ever envied her life,
as far down as often as up,
.
and I didn’t envy her husband, who may
have been mean to her in between
compassionate caretaking,
.
but now and again I’d ask myself:
Would it be worth the subsequent pain
to set off by rocket for clouds of glory?

.
Lithium, in case you didn’t know,
was an essential component of
the original formula for Seven-Up.

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One comment

  1. Those who pursue creative careers wind up experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder, with or w/o a formal diagnosis. The work is like that.

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