Game Over. Start Over? | Living with Bipolar

Nearing the final level,

A coinless Sonic is hit,

No lives left to revive him. . . 

Game Over. 

Start Over? 

Yes / No


Losing a game offers a choice:

Quit completely or start over?

No option to continue what you were doing,

One decision with two opposite objectives.

You have to decide if trying again is worth it,

The same quest towards a different outcome.

Can you copy the moves that worked,

And replace the ones that killed you?


Bipolar’s an endless game of Sonic the Hedgehog:

Mania tries to collect as many coins as possible,

Creating an outer protection from the enemy.

Alas you’ll run too fast and too reckless,

Knocking into what you’re meant to avoid,

Coins scattering as depression takes hold.

Recover a handful while most flee from grasp,

It’s not over yet — you can still make progress,

Until an enemy attacks from off-screen.

Coins spill with no hope of retrieval,

You’re forced forward with no shielding,

The next mistake will turn deadly.


Life’s not a game of Sonic the Hedgehog:

It wasn’t coded by software developers,

With a specific storyline to complete.

Time is an arbitrary measurement,

As real as a well-designed video game.

It’ll fool you into following the structure,

Instead of orchestrating your unique path.

I planned to publish this poem last month,

But as my invented due date drew nearer,

Everything I meant to say already left.


You don’t have to make New Years’ resolutions,

You can decide pertinent goals as needed.

You don’t have to praise love for Valentine’s,

You can hold it within your heart ev’ry day.

You don’t have to wait until there’s no life left,

You can pull the plug and start the game over.


Author’s Note: This poem really asks the age-old question: Did you play Sega Genesis’ version of Sonic the Hedgehog? 😉 This is the second part of a two-part poem. Read the first part here.

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