Running In Plain Sight & Other Stories: A Balanced Imbalance – (FREE Chapter 1 Excerpt)

Frantic voices shook, prodded, and lifted me from my bed onto a gurney. Barely conscious, dazed with my head throbbing and spinning, I heard someone say, “He has a pulse, hurry! Bring those pill bottles so we’ll know what he ingested. From the looks of it, he washed the pills down with this bottle of rum. Get him in the ambulance and down to the emergency room.”

I couldn’t speak, but wanted badly to say, “Please leave me be and just let me go. I’m nothing–I have no real friends or family to speak of. No one to love and no one to love me. My life isn’t capable of holding any happiness or joy. I’m tired of riding this emotional roller coaster, wearing a false mask and hiding my true self day after day. I just want the pain to end. My mind’s in a thick haze and I’m totally hollow inside, unable to escape the dark shadows and barely existing.”

At nineteen, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder II, and since then I’ve cycled from the heights of mania, to the far depths of depression where I now find myself. More often than not, it’s hereditary. Years of therapy unearthed the trauma of me coming home from school in the third grade and finding my mother dead from a self-inflicted gun wound. Of the two poles, my manic state feels incredibly creative. My thoughts race so fast, I can’t seem to grab onto one. The many downsides are reckless spending, hallucinating, promiscuity, insomnia, and loss of appetite. The periods of mania don’t last, and it’s also an extremely dangerous state, followed by a deep depression.

That’s what I dread and hate most. Its effects can linger for years. It’s when I barely have the energy to get out of bed. It’s when I feel locked in a powerful vacuum of hopelessness and despair, like I’ve fallen in a deep, dark hole. A hole with a rope ladder anchored from the outside in. And no matter how many rungs I climb, I can never escape before the walls close in and smother me. I’ve tried every known treatment available, even ECT, but the demons of darkness lying in the shadows emerge and slowly overtake me. I suppose I’m to blame also. I don’t always follow my psychiatrist’s advice. I don’t take my meds everyday and occasionally miss appointments, not to mention exercising and eating right. I suppose the simple truth is, I’m thirty-five now and just sick and tired of being sick and tired. I have nothing left. Obviously, this attempt failed, but prayerfully the next one won’t…

Published by Author - Charles R. Butts Jr.

Entertaining and provoking thought within his readers are the main hopes former U.S. Army soldier & thirty-three year U.S. Postal Service employee Charles R. Butts Jr. has when it comes to the creation and release of his work. When he’s not reading or writing, Charles enjoys spending time with Shawanda, his wife of twenty-five years, his children Amber and Trey, and his grandchildren. He recognizes Langston Hughes, Walter Mosley, and James Baldwin as highly notable influences in the literary world.

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