This is both sad and horrifying.
So, Mine has told me before that he’s bipolar and that he checked himself into the psych ward back in the day and got treatment. He only ever told me stories about the mania part of his illness, so I thought he’d managed to figure out that he was manic and that he needed help. Which is why I’d been hoping The Veteran might have a glimmer of rationality left and take me seriously when I told her she’s having a manic episode.
But no. Mine told me the whole story when he was here last. What actually went down is that his mania had swung the other way, into depression. A deep depression. Plus he’d alienated his friends and family and gotten hugely in debt during the mania part of the cycle so his life was legitmately fucked all up way beyond just his brain chemistry telling him that things were hopeless.
He decided to kill himself. He drove to the ‘States where all the guns live and went to a shooting range and rented a gun. He’d wanted little one – a revolver or whatever – but all they would give him (or all they could give him, legally? I forget) was some bigass submachine gun or something. Mine was afraid that if he shot himself he might also accidentally shoot some innocent bystanders, so he ended up just firing a few rounds into the target and then leaving again. He then came back to Canadaland and checked himself into the hospital because of the suicidal urges.
Mine says that when he was manic there is no way in hell he ever would have recognized that anything was wrong – part of the illness is that it convinces you you’re doing great and everything’s fine.
So I guess my attempt at saving The Veteran was doomed from the start.
And I guess Mine isn’t as self-aware as I thought, or rather, that self-awareness was impossible during the most chaotic part of his illness. I really liked his hospital story better when I thought he had diagnosed his own mania and set out to fix it. The reality breaks my heart.