A Warrior in Sheep’s Clothing

Author: Bryson Hays

How far away I feel… From everything. From family and friends, from doctors and patients, from myself and I. Every day feels the same, I wake up, take my doses of medication to keep the demons at bay, and continue to live my life. But what if you had boundless energy and thoughts, all ready to let loose the moment you forgot a dose of medicine? What If the wonders of the earth danced just below your fingertips, and the sun that shone could erupt from your heart? Would you still willfully take the drugs that a man in a grey sweater and tan khakis had prescribed to you as you lay on the hospital bed in an inpatient care center?

But at the same time as I think about all of the possibilities of medication, I am forced to acknowledge the downs in addition to the “positive” effects of hypomania. The scars on my wrists that I have covered up with tattoos to hide them away. The scars on my family’s hearts from dark times that left them without me to comfort them. The times that my illness has gotten the best of me and I’ve had to find myself in the middle of the night, wind flowing through my hair as I secured the rope around the branch of a tree. Moonlight bending my shadows from streetlights to demons as suddenly I find myself filled with different entities. Different voices chattering in my ears as I begin to feel more and more powerful. Dancing on the streets in the middle of the night because it doesn’t matter what people think. But it doesn’t? I’ve lived my whole life afraid of what people might think or feel about me if they saw me without my cloak of crazy, would people still love me? And I guess that even without my armor to wear, people would look at me as a wholesome, recovering, real person. So why is it so hard for me to present this face without the fear? I’ve written plenty of things when I’ve been off of medication, so why does this feel different?

Truth is, I’m not sure why this short little blog feels different. But this is the first step in my writing journey, one that will hopefully take me to places unseen or unheard of before.

My name is Bryson Hays, and I live my life with the highs and lows of Bipolar, and sometimes it is hard for me to self medicate (take my medication). But never will you see myself or my family throw in the towel. Never will you see a white flag from me. Because as bloodied and bruised as my body might be, my soul will purge itself from the darkness so that I can return to my family and loved ones.

Every time, I am a warrior in sheep’s clothing.


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