Bright Wall/Dark Room November 2022: Come on Come on: it’s called a repair by Ethan Warren | Functions

Because, of course, come on, come on isn’t necessarily about making the world as a whole understandable to Jesse. It’s about struggling with how understandable one important fact is: his mom isn’t with him in LA because his dad has a manic episode in Oakland. It’s not his first, but this one is pretty bad.

I can’t easily say how many manic episodes I’ve had since my hospitalization and bipolar diagnosis 11 years ago. I could add them up in a heartbeat, but they varied enough in severity to feel incomparable, and anyway, there’s the fuzzier edge too hypomania, the less intense cousin of mania that my psychiatrist, my wife, and I all attribute with casual candor around the occasional period when my engine runs a little hotter than usual. There was a manic episode three years ago that I remember as quite remarkable, while my wife doesn’t remember it at all. With no behavior abnormal enough to require hospitalization or excessive drug tampering, some bouts of mood elevation can be just that: something to notice, make adjustments, and ride out.

Last fall, however, things went quite wrong. They never quite made it hospitalization bad, but they’ve certainly come this far weigh the options poor. Around this time my kids turned five, three, and one, and so it was the first episode that two of them were particularly familiar with (the first in my oldest daughter’s life was the episode so seemingly mild it was considered unworthy of considered). recalled by her mother). They noticed that Dad started crashing on an air mattress in the basement because the baby wasn’t sleeping well either, and battling insomnia and lack of appetite is the first step in getting a mania under control. They noticed that on days when Mom worked, Grandma would come over while Dad disappeared — to minimize collateral damage, I spent much of my rented office last fall watching award shows between sessions of wildly productive, self-directed art therapy, keeping an eye on the edict I’d scribbled on a piece of paper and taped to the wall above my desk: Do not speak unless addressedI urged myself and when addressed, keep it brief, because this mania manifested itself as a tendency to gleefully bully friends and co-workers while my mind floated and whirled in a way that was both exhilarating and horrifically exhausting. More often than not, I justified exceptions to the rule, unleashing deluges of digital prose into every corner of my various chat apps and social media accounts, unable to comprehend all the extraordinary revelations and inspirations currently pouring into my hyperactive psyche. to be visited, to share. .

Around this time I started writing an essay about Women of the 20th century intended for the November 2021 issue of Bright wall/dark room, with the theme ‘Generations’. I was aware that a new Mills movie was on the way and that it would probably prove relevant to my essay, but I took the engaging, vague trailer for come on, come on and then put it out of my mind.

I continued working on mine Women of the 20th century essay as reviews of come on, come onThe film’s festival screenings began to roll in. Gradually I came to understand one fact: the marketing had buried the central role of the bipolar disorder in the film – and, specifically and terrifyingly, the severe manic episode of a loving father prone to flights of creative ecstasy. that he cannot help pouring out into the world, until his spirit and the ever-thinning shape of that house are burned to a weeping ember.

Bright Wall/Dark Room November 2022: Come on Come on: it’s called a repair by Ethan Warren | Functions

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