The astute reader will take this moment to recall my opening words, or even just the title. If this is an allegory, then what is the idea or concept I’m using this story to represent? The predictable spoiler is that I am M. I am both characters or, rather, both characters are within me. That night on the beach really happened, although some of the details have been changed a bit. Instead of finding the body of a mythical creature, it was actually the beginnings of a story. A story for which you’ve just read the outline.
It’s a story that illustrates what it’s like to be in my head, though, since that is where M lives. His residency is in a particularly rotted part of my brain. Not as a person, since it would be a mistake for a reader to take this metaphor too far, but as a violent storm that I try my best to avoid getting caught up in. True to the narrator, I keep that part of my mind on a strictly distanced and limited contact. Things happen, though, events are pushed into motion and triggers are activated. Whatever the actual reason, it is not uncommon that I take my allegorical trip to M and get caught up in the storm.
Here’s the thing about mental illness or, in my case more specifically, about being bipolar type 1. It’s so easy to think the storm is beautiful and worth saving. To think that it is the source of my creativity and that being destroyed is the inevitable price of who I am. That is a lie, though. It is only one of many that my head tells me when I’m in one of my darker places. Because the truth is, no matter how many times I get pulled out to sea–and it has been many– I’ve never quite drowned. Mostly it is the strength of others, like my sister, my mother, my partner and my friends who pull me back. Sometimes, though, it is even been my own strength. I am stronger than the storm that lives in my head, and that is a beautiful truth to cling to.