Squinting. Blink, blink…blink, blink…
The coast seems clear, dare I step out-into the light? I think I must, after my last cryptic and elusive post. Nothing bad happened, artistically. I was uplifted, encouraged, validated. People needed to hear from me, needed to hear how a girl with so many odds stacked against her from the “git go”, plus the things I had piled on myself-how I had teetered at the edge of the abyss…and made it back to tell the tale.
Many are grieving themselves, their pain written in their beautiful eyes, on expertly made up, flawless faces. They searched mine, looking for an answer- “Why.” Why? Why? Had they missed the signs? Were there signs? Hadn’t they done everything, sought the right help, paid the right physician, listened closely in the therapy sessions?
Why hadn’t their love been enough?
I could only tell them that there was no rhyme or reason as to why I am here and their daughter is not. They did nothing to cause Bipolar Disorder. It doesn’t come from privilege, nor does it spring from want. It isn’t kept at bay with hugs or attention, nor is it fueled by neglect. At least none of this was true in my case.
My family was dysfunctional, true. So were many of my peers families. So are nearly all families. But my friends had not led lives fueled by a burning need to shoot across the sky in a blaze of purple confetti. Or to try to beat the Guiness world record for consecutive shots of 100 proof vodka. Nor had they experienced the kind of despair that left them lost and disheveled in their bathrobe when they were supposed to be graduating college or accepting an award.
I wanted to tell them they did more than my family ever did. That my Mom was the only one who believed that I did not want to be a train wreck. She asked the questions, walked thru broken glass for me and held my hand when the meds weren’t working. But ultimately she couldn’t divert the catastrophe either.
I’m trying to tell you it’s not your fault. Grieve the loss, but don’t blame yourself. I know when the darkness comes over me, it’s no one’s fault. And if I hold on really tight, it will pass. I white-knuckle it many nights, but a new day always dawns.
One day in the future there will not be any mental illness, or suicide. Until then just love your Bipolar person, hold on tight when you can and bask in their amazing glow. Be there when their sparklers fizzle and love them back to their feet. When they jump in their little rocket ships to the moon, put on a brave smile and wish them all the love in the world…till you meet again.
And if you are Bipolar and you are feeling alone, please reach out if you can. Know that you are worthy of love and that this darkness will eventually pass. You will be back on top again. The rain will stop. The sun will shine, the pain will ease. Hold on for dear life my friend.