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The Fine Line between Life and Death l Xiaojie’s poem

September 19, 2019

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11 de Octubre | One Model, One Story

May 25, 2019

Xiaojie Qin, Founder of CandleX, has a past with bipolar disorder. Although sheis no longer labelled with this condition, she wrote this piece two years ago about her experience. The accompanying image, short by Pere Ibañez, is part of the “Moodlab” series and is name’s 11 de Octubre. 

Name: Xiaojie Qin

Country of Origin: China

Occupation: Management

 

Fear of Missing Out | My Bipolar Disorder

 

The thing about bipolar is

You have half of a life

 

Many people with bipolar II spend longer time being depressed

Than being creative, energetic, productive and happy

 

When depression hits

I was dead for months out of a year

 

Before I was aware that it’s bipolar

I was so confused

“Why can’t I think of anything that I want to do?”

I used to ask myself

 

So one time when I was in remission

I put together a list of things that I like doing or should do

I thought maybe sometimes I just forget

The depression hits

Nothing on the list was appealing

I was baffled

Then there it came the long never ending days of despair

Until the chemicals in my brain balances itself out

 

It cycles

I noticed it

But I could do nothing about it

Even when I was happy and contend

I knew some day, I’d be on the other end

It’s like being in the wavy ocean

Your head is in and out of water

I never had time to make sense of what’s happening

When you can hold your head above the water

All you can think of it to breath

 

That’s what I was like

I was trying to make most of my functioning days

Running, doing, and rushing

I know the color I can see will turn grey

The music I hear will fade

Some days my limbs would out of nowhere

become so heavy that I wouldn’t be able to move them

 

To me, I only have half of my life

When I feel alive,

I spin myself like a top

Once you whip, you can’t stop!

 

I’ve taken many walks at 6am because it’s quiet and beautiful

I once watched a documentary about lepers twice in one night because it was fascinating

I danced one weekend day for 14 hours, lost 3 toenails and had to go to physical therapy for my hips

One Saturday, I studied online for 6 hours straight, just because.

 

Hypomania

That’s the technical word given for bipolar disorder II

My body’s switch was finally turned on

My soul woke up from hibernation, taking a big stretch

So I was that volcano, pent up with lava that is pounding

My mind decided to let it go

“Make the most out of the time”

there’s always that voice

 

Missing out

There were times in life

I looked up and saw a plane in the sky

I thought to myself that they are so lucky to have a destination

I arrived in Paris

Only found that my soul didn't get on the same bus with me

I was in Rome

Having the worst panic attacks of my life

I saw the magnificent architecture

But my emotions were too dried out to be in touch with the magnificence

I was in Nepal

I booked the flight back immediately after work

Why stay for the weekend

When where I am is of no difference

Like most people

I wish I didn't have to miss out on these wonderful things that are happening in life

I also wish that I never have to miss out again,

despite that I know there will probably be times that I will

Like for most people that wishful thinking creates a hamster wheel

 

A lot of times,

I feel like a hungry homeless person

That sees a plateful of food

He wouldn’t sit down to smell and taste the food

He’d just gulp everything down

 

Just like him

I was galloping life in one breath

Until I finally started to do yoga and meditate

That I realize there was other ways

In a way, we all live in the waves of an ocean

Some waves are bigger than others

Mine certainly was like a tornado

I am learning to ride the waves

Not fighting it

But riding it

 

Learning to accept that others will experience things that I may never get to do helps me to bring the wave down.

I know very well that I am experiencing things that some others would never do

Don’t fear missing out

Bring yourself back to the experience that you are already having

Ignore the voice that tells you to do more

The fear of missing out fades

The joy of living the moment enhances

 

July 2017

Author | Xiaojie

Proofread | Mara, Lucy

 

To see more photos and stories from the campaign, follow our Moodlab column or visit Camera Stylo between 29 June and 14 July 2019 in Beijing. If you would like to share your story with the CandleX community in the form of poetry or writing, send an e-mail to stories@candlex.cn.

 

 

 

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