The Rise and Fall of the Fairy Queen: My Bipolar Journey, a Prose Poem


People have inquired about my personal journey through the extremes my illness brings.
Let me elaborate.
Right now, in this moment, I own success. My feet are grounded upon the Earth I was born.
Yet, often I desire to be more than myself, to be better, grander — magical.
The only caveat is I must let the elixir of strength and wellness seep from my daily cup.
Only thus — seemingly so, so simple, yet profound.
This temptation to ascend to the high places, to cast away my mere humanity, eats away at my resolve, bit by bit.
Until, one day, I give in and set aside my daily pill.
At first, nothing happens. Why would it? Who but the sick need to take such bitter daily droughts?
More days pass — elixir forgotten, resolve long chipped away until it exits no more.
Soon, life’s toils are easier to bare, smiles easier to wear.
Feet no longer on meager ground, but standing in the clouds;
I succumb to the glorious promise the elixirless world offers.

And I transform into the Faerie queen,
Glittery Green and sparkling Gold.
I ascend to my lunar throne, gravity no longer pulling me down.
My magic enables feats of super fae proportions —
Novels appear, ideas and plans reproduce into grand schemes.
They go off into my land singing my praises,
“Look, see this shining soul? Isn’t she the picture of health? She didn’t need the soothsayer’s cure after all.”
In a short span, these bright birthed plans have assembled a court of sentient admirers, clambering for my presence,
offering hedonistic experiences and endless resources.
I look down upon the Earthly realm and revel in this weightlessness, this ease of creation.
All is perfection.

But, my own admirers, my well-formed schemes, start jealous whispers —
rumors of cracks and faults in my pearlescent walls.
I attempt to banish them, but they clasp on, one by one, until I cannot see above them or around them, and I must be hypervigilant of their barbs.
Minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day; no rest or succor in sight.
No escape from the schemes and plans and seemly courteous thoughts —
Now abandoned of sentience and clamped upon inch of coppery skin.

Until —
I fall from this gallant throne,
fall not to Earth
but past it, beat upon meteors and rocky rivers,
Until my feet crash through Jupiter’s atmosphere.
This hypergravity strips away my wings and fairy crown.
I now must swim through leaded air as a mere mortal —
Nay, a sub-mortal with empty sycophant schemes dangling from ashen skin.
My eyes only see a few meters beyond myself in this graphene muck and mire.
Gravity, who once lifted my wings and helped me soar above in the lunar land,
now adds a triple weight to every breath.
Every action, every motion forward is stolen by this massive weight.
Until, I can move no more.

Alive, but deadened in this Jovian Hell.
Not free to escape, but free to ponder my release.
What release is possible?
What path may lead back to Earth,
back to the human realm?
In this moment, my once grand courtiers, schemes and plans reanimate;
they scream devious paths, knives and chemical concoctions.
“Cut us off — dare not take a breath, End this leadened rule!
Stop this existence;
You must – you must!
You abandoned all; you are alone.
Hope is lost.”
And I close my eyes.
Still… Still… waiting for the nothing.

Yet, I hear a faint jingle penetrating the Jovian air.
A soft hand lifts my head and I open my eyes
to find the order of white knights, snake-crossed and succor full,
offering soft words of wisdom and capsules of elixir.
I drink and a doorway appears.
Dare I enter? Dare I cast off this beastly burden?
Hands appear from beyond the crossing —
hands of friendships forgotten and valiant mental warriors
beckoning for me to just lift my arms and grab a hold.
Do I? Do I trust the help unlooked for?
Do I continue to drink the elixir
and allow the hands to carry me through?

Yes, I grab hold.
Inch by inch, step by step,
I am pulled through the passageway.
As I cross through the portal,
these hands pluck off the misguided plans, schemes and sycophants.
Wise words guide my bleeding soles to Earthly soil
and a glint of hope kindles,
blazing away hyper Jovian gravity.
I am just me, yet again.

And I declare my promises to stay grounded.
To accept the Earthly realm as my only home.
Not to stray — to listen to Wisdom;
not to quit the elixir mending my heart and soul.
In this acceptance is solace.
For without, I shall surely rise to greater and greater heights complete grander and grander feats,
and fall further and further
until I disintegrate and there are not the pieces to patch together into a whole.

I choose hope over dazzle,
Strength over magic,
And wellness over-exuberance.

I choose me.

Hear the author read this poem aloud below.

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