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  • Writer's pictureNima

"Bipolar in a cocktail" A journey through Bipolar Disorder-Part 6

Just got back from my second stint in Cyprus, The vibe was different. I didn't fancy the idea of crashing at my mom's place or relying on my grandpa's generosity. I was craving a fresh start, a chance to build things up from scratch and stand on my own two feet. So, with my uncle's thumbs-up, I snagged his vacant apartment in Tehran. A cozy place and It was all I needed.

Life was a mix of job hunting and staying in close touch with my grandma from my dad's side. She's more than a grandma to me – she's been more like a mom, always there to listen from the heart. I decided to kick those pills to the curb once again. Slowly, my stay in that one-room wonderland started feeling surreal. I was diving into all sorts of superficial beliefs and unreal fantasies. Things just seemed to connect like puzzle pieces, and before I knew it, I was getting lost in it all.

Back in Iran, before the pill effects wore off, my dad surprised me with a Renault PK. It's this Iranian gem, a blend of the Renault 5's body and another Iranian car's engine called Pride. It was a lifesaver, pulling taxi duty most of the time and sometimes doubling as my bed at night. The earnings barely covered the basics, especially since I was slowly sliding into a manic phase again. I was back to messing with my ex-wife's life. In my head, I was chasing this grand idea of love that felt almost mythical.

After the last round of mania and my first hospital stay, my photography hustle took a hit. My reputation took a punch thanks to my stubbornness against those meds. It messed with my friendships and relationships too. I was on a quest to find myself, living this wild and adventurous life that's even got a name – spiritual enlightenment. I stumbled upon this video linking bipolar disorder mania to spiritual enlightenment, I was floored. It made so much sense in my head. It was another reason for me to chuck those pills and see where this path could take me.

Life took a turn. I hit the streets more often, hitching rides with random folks, just cruising around aimlessly. But life had other plans. My ex-wife swooped in and landed me back in the hospital, with my grandpa in tow. I was getting Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) every two days. The hospital wasn't too bad, thanks to my grandpa's generosity, and they treated me well. But the ECT stuff left me feeling a bit numb, and I wasn't too thrilled about it.

A month passed, and I started feeling like I could handle myself. But the doctor had other ideas. I was knee-deep in hospital life, and everyone trusted me. I was even helping out in creative workshops and getting along with the other patients. But the doctor wasn't ready to give me the green light to leave.

One evening, during our courtyard hangout time, I had a lightbulb moment. It had been nearly two months, and I was itching for freedom. So, while everyone headed back indoors, I hung back. I grabbed this small wooden stick from the garden and propped it near the door – it looked closed, but a gentle push would do the trick. I hung out on my bed, waiting for the lights to go out. Once they did, I gave it about half an hour, and then I sprang into action. I snagged the one thing that meant a lot to me – my phone book, filled with numbers of friends and contacts. Another patient looked at me with a raised eyebrow as I made my escape from the room.

In the hallway, I bided my time, waiting for the perfect moment to sneak past the nurse's desk and into the workshop room. That room had the main door to the courtyard. Remember that rigged door? It was time to put it to good use. I slipped into the courtyard, channeled my self to climb the wall, and jumped over the fence onto the street. In my snazzy hospital outfit and slippers, I dashed to the nearest main junction. And lo and behold, an empty taxi! I shouted, rattled off my grandma's address, and just said, "Let's roll."

To be continued…

cigaret and ashtray

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