If you stop and think about it, it will make you sick. All the talk surrounding Robin Williams and the topic of art, acting, music, and manic behavior over the last few weeks has gone to the extreme. So why add my two cents? Because I write from a place of pain, and this is just another stop along the way.
I’m Troy, and I am manic too. It may be no accident that my most recent book is titled Confession. Creatives in general tend to be a bit manic, or even bipolar, and often remain undiagnosed. After all, the excuse rules: “He’s a writer. They’re all like that.” My highs are high, and when I am in that place there is little you, or anyone else, can do to bring me down. But when I am low…
If you don’t know me well, you will think I am just being quiet. You might even see me being positive, especially in the realm of social media. In fact, you may never know I’m down at all, except I will seem a bit irritable.
Depression looks different than you think. When in that down place, I speak out of frustration and anger. Sometimes it appears justified, other times it doesn’t. But anger, frustration, and depression flow from the same emotional well. They all tell you something: my mind is not okay right now. It’s like a mental virus. It needs to run its course.
Not everyone needs medicine. Not everyone can cope without it. It’s a simple fact. Some episodes will just run through you, but other times you need fluids and other medication to fight off the illness. In short, you need help. And just like a virus, help will not always come in time, or be enough. Sometimes, despite the best medical efforts and most noble of intentions, people die.
Look around at those who surround you. The ones who always seem upbeat and high on life? They probably have the lowest lows, and deep pain you may never see. So don’t be afraid to reach out, but know sometimes we’re just too sick for you to help. It’s not that we don’t love you, but we’re just in pain, like an injured animal.
If you are in a low place, and need help, get it, or ask for it. If you think someone you are close to may need help, offer. The worst they can say is no. But at least they will know you cared when they were in the middle of another manic Monday.