Episode of mania

In a rage I pulled the bathroom lamp off the wall and felt the violence go through me but not yet out of me. “For Christ’s sake,” he said, rushing in – and then stopping very quietly. Jesus, I must be crazy, I can see it in his eyes: a dreadful mix of concern, terror, irritation, resignation, and why me, Lord? “Are you hurt?” he asks. Turning my head with its fast-scanning eyes I see in the mirror blood running my arms, collecting into the tight ribbing of my beautiful, erotic, negligee, only an hour ago used in passion of an altogether different and wonderful kind. “I can’t help it. I can’t help it,” I chant to myself, but I can’t say it; the words won’t come out, and the thoughts are going by far too fast. I bang my head over and over against the door. God make it stop, I can’t stand it, I know I’m insane again. He really cares, I think, but within ten minutes he too is screaming, and his eyes have a wild look from contagious madness, from the lightning adrenaline between the two of us. “I can’t leave you like this,” but I say a few truly awful things and then go for his throat in a more literal way, and he does leave me, provoked beyond endurance and unable to see the devastation and despair inside. I can’t convey it and he can’t see it; there’s nothing to be done. I can’t think, I can’t calm this murderous cauldron, my grand ideas of an hour ago seem absurd and pathetic, my life is in ruins and – worse still – ruinous ; my body is inhabitable. It is raging and weeping and full of destruction and wild energy gone amok. In the mirror I see a creature I don’t know but must live and share my mind with.

  • Pg. 113, An Unquiet Mind, ISBN – 978-0-679-76330-7, Kay Redfield Jamison

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