“Before you can conquer a beast, you first must make it beautiful” -KRJ

“The Chinese believe that before you can conquer a beast

you first must make it beautiful.

 

In some strange way, I have tried to do that with manic-depressive illness.

 

It has been a fascinating, albeit deadly, enemy and companion;

 

I have found it to be seductively complicated,

a distillation both of what is finest in our natures,

and of what is most dangerous.

 

In order to contend with it, I first had to know all of its moods and infinite disguises,

understand its real and imaginary powers.

 

Because my illness at first seemed to be

simply an extension of myself-

that is to say,

of my ordinary changeable moods, energies, and enthusiasms-

I perhaps gave it at times too much quarter.

 

And, because I thought I ought to be able to handle my increasingly violent mood swings by myself,

for the first ten years I did not seek any kind of treatment.

 

Even after my condition became a medical emergency,

I still intermittently resisted the medications

that both my training and clinical research expertise told me

were the only sensible way to deal with the illness I had.”

 

 

-Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind

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