bleached noise

At the height of my illness I
worked with such intensity that
the laundry baskets overflowed,
the dishes went unwashed,
the children and the groceries
had to be collected by someone else, and
I avoided all contact with the
outside world.

intensity + introversion = deviance

It occurs to me now that,
had I been a man, my condition
might have gone unnoticed;
my behavior might have been praised.
I would be merely a man
doing his job intently.

female + intensity + introversion = bipolar

And now the first rays of hope shine
as if in neon letters: RECOVERY.
I am praised for having tea with a friend,
for doing the school run,
for making a meal most nights,
for putting on a load of laundry
or hanging one out to dry,
for playing with the children.

What they don’t see is that
they’ve bleached me.
Clean, white, and…

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