…as told by Mike:
Like Mirror in the Sky, Brighter Days manifested itself on the flight from Seattle, WA to Palm Springs, CA. I was thinking about the moment I realized something was wrong with me.
I had been sitting in the living room of my apartment, after having voluntarily written a 100 page letter on all the events and moments that had transpired the last few weeks of my not sleeping and, what felt like, utter brilliant inspiration. I had written up to about 20 songs, lyrics and instrumental parts, for rock band and orchestra. Along with that, I had written a symphonic work, and yet, had not slept for weeks. I digress.
Once I had reviewed that letter, that immaculately described my life, I realized then that something was off. So, I sat in my living room until my roommate came out of his room, roughly around 5 AM. He asked if I got any sleep yet, to which I replied with a shake of the head. That’s when he suggested that I seek some therapy – “not sleeping for a few weeks is not good for the body I would imagine.” At that point I had not thought about my not sleeping to be that big of a deal, but I agreed nontheless, and went back in my room to investigate the problem. I searched on the world-wide web and found many articles on people who hadn’t slept. After several reads, I found what resonated to be the problem – mania.
The feeling of inspiration… creative abundance… limitless energy… avoidance of negativity… super powers… out-of-this-world connection…
Yeah, that was it! Total relief – I’m not crazy, I’m just… crazy! Whoohoo!
Then I remember the fall. I remember my crash into the valley. I didn’t know who I could talk to about it, because, well, I believed I was crazy, and I didn’t want to scare anybody.
So, I called my aunt who has had experience with this sort of thing. I remember her saying “It’s going to be ok, trust me, you’ll get through this. I completely understand what you’re going through and know that you’re not alone.” Those words stuck with me and truly, truly made me feel better. Because I had felt alone.
I remember the phone call I had with Ethan. His calm and collected advice to me in how to deal with what I was going through proved to be what I needed. He, like my aunt, said, “you’re not alone, man. You’re a good guy and I know what you’re going through…” His experience with his own mental disorders proved to be the appropriate council I also needed.
So as I was sitting on that plane, it dawned on me – if people would just talk about how they are feeling when they are down, maybe they will find out they are not alone as well! I didn’t know what true depression and mania was about until I experienced it for myself, however, that doesn’t mean I’m the only one out there who has and will deal with it – there are people out there that might not have people in their life like my aunt, or like Ethan, to be able to relate to them.
I then took up my manuscript notepad, and began writing the melody that was resonating with me at that moment. I let myself go in a stream of consciousness just writing about all that came to my head:
“There are people like you who can’t go outside – they fear that life will just pass them by… but if you take a step in the pouring rain, you’ll begin to see that you can share your pain… and maybe you can change someone’s life and help them see: there will be brighter days.”