Tag Archive | bipolar disorder

Day 10 — Someone you don’t talk to as much as you’d like

Where are you, little sister? Why won’t you write to me? I am so worried.

~ from one of your emails

Dearest sister of my heart,

I miss you. I miss you because I can tell that you’re happy but I don’t know why. I miss you because there is so much that hasn’t been said. But most of all, I miss you because I know that I wouldn’t be missing you if I hadn’t been the one who drifted away.

Story of my life, it seems. So many connections broken, even those that are cherished. Especially those that are cherished. Why? I am still struggling to understand. Maybe because, in the damaged, wounded part of me, I have always been terrified that I would be found unworthy. And my fear has a voice that is sometimes louder than my faith — it tells me that sooner or later, you will realize that I am not who you think I am…and I will lose you. The agony of waiting for it to happen is so terrible that I feel like I have to start the process myself, to get it over with. Maybe then it won’t hurt as much. I am always wrong, but I do it anyway. It has become a defense,  a shield, for every time the darkness comes around. A false protection that harms more than it shelters.

If there is one thing I wish I could change about this disease, it is that I am not the only one it hurts. You are a victim, too, because you love me. And you do love me. You love me so much that you allowed me to push you away, allowed me to wound you without putting up your own defenses. The stubbornness of your faith in me made you set me loose without ever  completely cutting me free. And because love is always stronger than fear, the cord that binds us is still tightly held in your hands, unbroken. I should have tugged on that cord long ago, for it has always been my lifeline.

I’m tugging on it now. Please, may I return to my place beside you? I should never have moved away. Forgive me?

I love you, I do, even when it doesn’t show. I hope I haven’t lost you yet.

Your little sister,

Arwen


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Day 1 — Your Best Friend

“It’s sad when someone you know becomes someone you knew.”

Dearest Best friend,

I cannot remember the last time we talked. I mean really talked, not just have a polite exchange of pleasantries between two people who used to know each other.

I do remember, though, that first day in high school when we  sneaked off to spend hours under the siresas tree and went home with berry juice all over our faces. I remember whispering about crushes and spelling their names out in sign language. (There was even a time when we thought we’d become sisters-in-law! Haha. ;)) I remember buying matching t-shirts so that we’d look like each other as much as possible.

But we weren’t alike at all, were we? In fact, we were a study in contrast. You were glamorous and chic, with a confidence that helped you wrap boys around your little finger. I didn’t know the first thing about fashion (you had to teach me), and I much preferred being friends with boys than flirting with them. You were the girl whose style everyone copied, I was the one who helped them with their homework. But we were both stubborn. So stubborn that our fights could last for months, but also so stubborn that our friendship could survive those fights. We would always make up in time to be there for each other.

Except when it counted. When we needed each other the most, that’s when we drifted apart.

A lot of it was my fault, I know. While you were dealing with your problems, I was struggling with depression. I hadn’t been diagnosed with bipolar disorder yet, which made it more confusing. I should’ve reached out to you then; we could’ve shared whatever strength we had. But I didn’t. Looking back, my history is full of these broken connections. I push people away — the ones that matter most — when I need them too much. When it’s too important to risk being rejected.

Even now, I don’t know if you’ve heard about my diagnosis. It was so far removed from everyone’s expectations of me that I kept it as private as possible during those first few months. But now, I hope you know. I hope you know, and I hope you understand.

Do you have any idea how much I wish I still had you in my life? I regret every step that took us farther away from each other.

I miss you, Best. No one has ever taken your place in my heart.

With all my love,

Abigail


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There’s something you need to know before you love someone with bipolar disorder

There are walls around me, walls that keep you out, and I am afraid that you might breach them. But I am also afraid that you wouldn’t even try. To me, you are invader and rescuer at the same time — a dichotomy as confusing as almost everything else in my life. Can you accept this ambivalence inside me, though it is completely alien to you? Can you accept that nothing that involves me is black-and-white, only shades of gray that shift from dark to light with the seasons? Can you watch me give an incredibly convincing performance of happiness and yet believe me when I tell you that I am shattered inside?

I understand that this is too much to ask of anyone, and so I do not. All I ask is that if your answer is no, then leave my walls alone. They are my prison but also my protection, not a challenge for you to overcome. There is more at stake here than you can understand. But if your answer is yes, then you must know now that sooner or later, I am going to hurt you. I do not want to, I do not mean to, but it will happen. The walls are not breached so easily. Forgive me for this, and know that every hurt I cause is a lash against my own heart. And please, if you can, keep trying. Believe it or not, I ache for you to get in.

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Summer Girl

When you’ve lived in darkness for a season, sunlit days — when they finally arrive — seem thrice more vivid, more golden. For a time, the sun chases away the storm clouds, and though you suspect that they linger just beyond the horizon, for now they are out of sight and the sky is clear. The world is glowing and you are glowing, too — sun-warmed, colorful, brilliant and bright. So dance, Summer Girl, and laugh and dare and play. Try on happiness like a gaudy sunflower hat. Summer’s days are numbered; you know that all too well. For today, embrace the warmth.


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Ache

Maybe I was naïve. All of us wear costumes. Who was I to think I could be different, that I, among billions, could be one of the few who are truly free?

And yet. The longing. The unrelenting, immeasurable hunger to be known. To be seen. And being known, being seen, to at last – dare I say it? – be chosen.

How utterly, pitifully ridiculous. And how deeply, dangerously irresistible.

If I could just resign myself to the pretension. Smile and the world smiles with you. Cry and you cry alone. There’s a reason that’s a cliché. Shine, dammit. Nobody wants your shadows.

But I have them. Secret shadows, hiding in the pockets of my brightly colored clothes. And they are as much a part of me as the laughter and the vitality that are deserving of love. A hidden, protected, wounded part. Frightened and undeserving, but needy of love.

I have risked those shadows. Tried to expose them and  hoped someone could bear the sight. Desperately trusted that I, the whole me, could at last be truly not alone.

And yet I still am. Alone and unseen, in plain sight. Beside you.

Maybe I was naïve.

And yet – the longing.

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