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Photo taken by contributor Danielle, a woman with bipolar disorder, type II. She is a photo enthusiast from the East Coast. She struggles with depression, as well as hypomania, agitation, and insomnia.
About this photo: “The merry-go-round is an icon for fun and childhood. In amusement parks, malls, and parks across the country, children and adults flock to them for the carefree joy they represent.
To me, however, they are hardly merry. They represent the cycles of the bipolar life. From the outside, the ride can look happy and fun, with brightly painted horses and seats, but in actuality it is a bunch of creepy chipped statues that keep going in circles, never moving forward. The same maddening song running over and over and over.
Don’t get me wrong, it can can be fun at times. I love the rush, feeling my feet flying off the ground, the wind in my hair, but the highs can quickly become overwhelming, leaving me dizzy and unsteady. Then comes the inevitable end. The ride stops. The rush becomes a crash – lethargy, sadness, depression.
Everyone leaves the carousel, gleeful and giddy, but I’m stuck on it, forever, only to start the cycle once again, and again, and again.
I took this photo at an amusement park called Fantasy Island. To me it was more like a nightmare than a fantasy, hence the fuzziness and selective focus. I love to see the joy that places like this can give people, but I never feel like I belong. It’s inherently overwhelming, and reminds me of how different I am than “normal” people. But that’s just the way things are. I feel like I am looking at the world from a distance through glass. And so I do. I take pictures. A lot of pictures. And I try to keep moving forward, although it really feels like I am just going round and round in circles.
Bipolar disorder is a dizzying ride, and all I want to do is to get off.“