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  • Writer's pictureNima

"Bipolar in a cocktail" A journey through Bipolar Disorder-Part 4

Looking back now, it feels like a debt that’s hanging over my head, waiting to be settled. Makes me wonder, is a life saved once really worth living if it feels like you're trapped in a personal hell? How do you even begin to repay such a debt?

After my failed attempt and subsequent rescue, I was drowning in depression. Those pills made me feel nothing, and all I craved was that electric energy from a manic episode. At that point, I barely knew a thing about bipolar disorder or its phases. My doc labeled me as 'bipolar 1'. All I knew was that I had experienced something completely surreal, and no one around me got how monumental it felt.

The aftermath of my actions led to my divorce. With nothing left, and with my grandfather's support, I moved to Cyprus to study. I stayed on my meds and, surprisingly, did pretty well academically. Even though I was trying to move forward, I still had ties with my ex. I blamed the downfall of our marriage entirely on my meds. There was this notion in my head that if I ditched the pills, I could start fresh and build an impeccable life. Well, time proved that was just wishful thinking; I truly can't function without those meds.

A semester into my Cyprus study, I popped back to Iran in the summer of 2005 for a break. And that's when the idea of ditching my meds took hold, and I just stopped them cold turkey. Everything seemed smooth for a few weeks, except for this one time during a photoshoot in Bandar Abbas. I was capturing a few gypsies performing at a wedding. Their music, the vibe... it all got to me, and I found myself dancing along. That project? A total wash. I still have some snaps from it though.

Next, I headed to Europe and managed to showcase a couple of my pieces in a group exhibition in Vienna. That play, it was still on my mind. Off my meds, I started seeing it as some kind of prophecy. I began performing it on Vienna’s streets, which, looking back, was quite the experience.

I intended to return to Iran for another gallery exhibition before continuing my studies in Cyprus. But as days went by in Vienna, performing my play and wandering the streets, I started sensing that old familiar feeling of everything being connected. In my head, it all made sense – the homeless need to find their way back home.

That "homeless" project? Never really reached its conclusion. The meds put a halt to it. Now, off them again, the idea resurfaced. By the time I landed in Tehran, I was already lost in a manic episode, though no one realized it yet.

To be continued…

cigaret and ashtray

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