Lost + Found
THE START OF IT ALL
The church was fully lit up. Kip looked down the long aisle that split the pews in half. On each side, people from his entire life filled the seats. They all created a loud chatter that filled the air along with burning incense coming from all around. The gentle organ music begins. Everyone pipes down and directs their attention to the back of the church. There the front doors swing open and a group of men walk in with a casket. Kip looks and notices it’s his father, brother and a few close friends grasping the handles. A cold breeze sends a chill up Kip’s spine and he suddenly awakens, opens his eyes and sees white all around him. He’s laying there on a soft floor wrapped up tightly in a jacket. He can barely move. A man kneels down by his side, holds him down from his struggle, and rolls Kip to his side. He looks over and a woman is now injecting his arm with a needle. A sense of calmness once again breezes over him and he falls into a dark abyss of nothingness. Numb to the world, lost in his discombobulated thoughts. Time passes, he opens up his eyes and now sees his father crying and talking in gibberish; something about praying his son snaps out of it and gets back to life. Kip knows what is going on, but he doesn’t have any control over this rollercoaster that he’s riding. He paid for the ticket and he’s riding this ride now. Does he want off? Hell yes, but he signed up for this, or did he?
THE DAY THE MIND REACHED ITS LIMIT
It was senior year in high school, which had a lot of typical awkwardness about it. Kip was on the basketball team and always dreamt of being the next Michael Jordan. His room at home was neatly plastered with his posters. Every time he watched MJ play his blood boiled up and excitement flooded over him. Kip spent his evenings after dinner shooting baskets and working on a killer jump shot. Over and over, in his head, he would play out the last seconds of the game where he had the ball and the pressure was on. Kip loved the game and naturally had a passion to win, until now. Senior year arrived and along with it came all of the pressures from friends, family and especially himself. He had struggled on the team that year. Leaving behind good friends, he had spent most of his junior summer getting acquainted with the wrong crowd. Kip started to dabble with drugs and ended up using them as a crutch as he walked through the rough areas of his life. He didn't know what was going on. He thought it was the drugs and how life was supposed to be at that age. But his mind wasn't right, and delusions started to kick in.
It was the middle of the school week. The weather was gorgeous that day. Warm, sunny with minimal amounts of clouds in the sky. But Kip wasn't going to school that day. His Mom and Dad left for work and he just ended up staying home. For some reason, he knew he wasn't capable of going to school. As usual, he woke up, took a shower, got dressed, and did the entire typical routine to get to school, but he knew he couldn't go. Fully dressed, Kip jumped back into bed and then looked up into a mirror that was at his bedside. There he saw other classmates in the mirror looking back at him. He then picked up the phone book that was in the kitchen and began to look up classmate’s phone numbers. He called a variety of houses only to get a parent every now-and-then who tried to make sense why Kip was calling. He needed help and was trying to reach out but had limited control of his thought structure. His words and thoughts just weren’t tracking in Kip’s brain properly. He continued to make calls with gibberish talk that made no sense. Help, anyone?! After a series of phone call attempts he decided to walk to the nearby bakery where he used to work. There he ran into his boss who tried to make sense of his situation. In hopes to help, his boss decided to give me a ride to school. Once Kip got to school, he walked into the gymnasium. There he walks in and decides to go to the locker room. He steps into the shower area, no one is around. He looks over into a shower and he starts to see his close friends standing there, but they are not really there. Kip begins to have a religious moment where he thinks that he and his friends are the chosen "new" apostles bestowed upon mankind. It's a super odd experience. Here again, Kip’s brain wasn’t clicking on the right notes. Something wasn't right, but in the moment he wasn't truly aware of that. It was like getting on a roller coaster ride at an amusement park, but instead you were launched into outer space landing on an unknown planet with unknown conditions. His world was flipped upside down, and that would be the world he would live in for the time being. It wouldn't be for a few years before he started to really feel the ground underneath his feet and live in reality once again.
Kip’s mom arrived at the school to pick him up. She had no clue what was going on. She took Kip to a nearby psychologist and there they determined very quickly that he needed to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital to undergo treatment and proper diagnosis. Once at the hospital, he spent the next two weeks in treatment. At first, they thought he was schizophrenic. Then as the days passed by, and his mind calmed down, he was finally diagnosed as bipolar.