But what I found even more stressful than my brother calling is what I read online about what comes next. There appears to be a scientific consensus in respect to the fact that every episode of mania is succeeded by a protracted bout of debilitating depression. The knowledge petrifies me. I can’t handle any more darkness and stress in my life. Julian Barnes, the acclaimed English author of postmodern literature, has famously said that “a high anxiety level is the novelist’s normal condition.” While I can’t say that I entirely disagree, I would respectfully add that the gloomy spells have to be at least alternated with stints of elation. It is through them that the afflicted takes a glimpse into the joy of living in bliss.