Mania, depression, mixed episodes, and ultra-rapid cycling circle around me like the music notes of a wind ensemble. Mood swings cycle through my head in crescendos and decrescendos. With psittacotic waves of psychotic encounters, on most days I either have hallucinations, delusions or paranoia.
In the wind ensembles of mental illnesses, mania sounds like the trumpet, the oboe, and the piccolo dancing together. They dance to exhaustion. The bass clarinet and trombone play together note by note painstakingly a dirge as my depression swells. Their voices as one echo down the hall into darkness. Ultra-rapid cycling’s effects on the musicians are tiring. The ensemble’s different sections take turns bouncing off each other: the flutes give way to the euphoniums, the bassoons give up the limelight to the percussion. Finally, my mixed episodes of mania, depression, and psychosis sound like the chaotic music rising up from the from center stage as the musicians warm up and tune.