This is a story I wrote a while ago to hopefully give an insight into what it is like to suffer from bipolar disorder and depression.
Emily slowly opened her eyes, something didn't feel right. As she turned over to get out of bed, she found herself wearing an overly large, very heavy dark woollen overcoat. It covered her entire body, from the large hood that shrouded her head, right down to her feet. The arms were so long that they covered her hands. She felt like the overcoat was suffocating her and struggled to sit up. Exhausted with the effort, Emily burst into tears, she tried to break free of the overcoat, but it was like a second skin, an extremely heavy one.
Despite getting dressed in bright colours in an effort to cheer herself up, Emily found that she was still wearing the overcoat. Trudging downstairs, she made herself a cup of coffee, an overwhelming sense of doom pervading her thoughts. Sitting down in her favourite chair, Emily gripped her mug tightly as if it was all she had left in the world. Tears flowed down her face, she couldn't stop them, the overcoat was so oppressive.
Reaching for her mobile, Emily called her doctor and was pleased to get an appointment later in the day. She felt he must have an explanation for why she was wearing the overcoat.
Later that afternoon, Emily found herself sitting in her doctors office, barely able to talk, but she managed to tell him about the overcoat. How it was so heavy and suffocating. The doctor leaned back in his chair and gave Emily a long look.
"My dear, there is little I can do to help you free yourself, dark overcoats require more powerful medicine than I can prescribe. I shall arrange for you to see a psychiatrist, though it might take a while..."
Emily sighed. "As long as I know that something can be done, I shall wait, thank you"
As the weeks passed by, Emily found herself increasingly unable to cope with the oppressive weight of the overcoat, it had completely taken over her life. Some days she was barely able to get out of bed and would lie there curled up into a ball, crying endlessly.
Then one morning as Emily staggered out of bed, it felt like a storm was raging around her. The overcoat seemed to be drenched and getting heavier and heavier. When she got down to the kitchen, Emily collapsed into a heap on the floor. All she could think about was breaking free of the overcoat, and the only way she thought it would be possible, was to end her life, surely that would give her the escape she longed for. As if in agreement with her decision, the weight of the overcoat lifted slightly...but in that brief moment, it was as if a bright light shone down on Emily as a realisation slowly dawned.
The overcoat wanted her to commit suicide because more than anything, it craved her soul. Emily knew that if she had gone through with ending her life, the overcoat would have been victorious, it would have her life, even in death there would be no escaping it clutches.
When Emily finally got to see the psychiatrist, she was but a shadow of her former self. The psychiatrist was very understanding, he knew the nature of the dark overcoat only too well.
"Emily, I am going to prescribe you some medication which you must take regularly, it will not make the overcoat disappear, but it will relieve you of some of the oppressiveness you feel. Then with my help, we'll find a way to gradually take the overcoat apart, one thread at a time if necessary. Because what you have to understand about the dark overcoat, is that if you try and remove it too quickly, it will merely attach itself to you more firmly. Do you understand?"
Emily nodded her head and took the prescription that the psychiatrist handed over to her. She knew that she might never get rid of the overcoat completely, there would always be a piece of it in her mind. But now at last she had found a way to ease the depression caused by the dark overcoat.