Running on Empty | Living with Bipolar

Just work your life away,

What is the harm in that?

Who has time for self-care,

When you can make money?


Nothing compares to the energy of New Years Eve,

Everyone collectively takes a breath of fresh air,

Watching new possibilities open before their eyes.

My view of the holiday contrasted:

It signifies surviving another year,

Not holding promises for the future.

January always occurs in a blink,

The lingering burnout from a Year’s end,

Topping off an already crushing weight.


So — February must be the real fresh start,

But will it differ from it’s predecessor,

Has it not been plagued the very same? 

I haven’t meditated this new year,

I haven’t answered this old question:

How do you live in the moment,

When it’s what you want to avoid?


It creeps up,

Plants itself,

Leeches out:

Energy,

Happiness,

Purpose,

Mem’ry,

Anything,

Et al.


I’ve been trying to trigger hypomania,

A useful feature when depression grips on.

It can force me into productivity,

Instead of constantly dragging back.


“I just have to get through this week,”

A thought fifty-two weeks in a row.

Coping mechanisms last as long as their quality allows,

Partially depending on what they are set up to fix.

A well-crafted scientifically-backed mechanism outlasts…

Whatever the hell I patched together across my youth.

Experts are meant to teach the proper tools,

Based off the textbooks they read during class.

Nothing helps more than keeping busy,

Nothing else hurts as much as it helps.


Acquirement plus distraction:

Unsustainable yet useful,

Makes money for a higher cost.


Achievement minus purpose:

Sustainable yet soulless,

The checklist without value.


Always working is a treatment,

Not an effective antidote.

You would never write to depression,

Inviting them over to the house.

They do not need directions,

They can stroll up on their own.

But by draining yourself dry,

You keep unlocking the door.


Author’s Note: This is the first part of a two-part poem. I’ve written half of the second poem and I’m planning to finish/post it after my meditation session tomorrow…I think it’ll turn out more optimistic 🙂

2 thoughts on “Running on Empty | Living with Bipolar

  1. I just watched the movie Soul, and it gave me things to think about. In a brief scene, you see through a child’s eyes to their parent’s smile, and that moment hits me–makes me ask myself if that’s what my children see. I’m not sure why I’m writing this–something about your poem took my mind there.
    I wish I could help you get to a happier place. I hope your meditation does.
    The line “Makes money for a higher cost” was one of my favorites. I enjoy a good paradox.

    Liked by 1 person

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