Last night I met with someone in full mania and I felt something strange. As much as I could see how dangerous it was for them I realized I miss my mania. It made me feel powerful and free and brilliant, rather than sick and boring. I’ve made it through 55 years of illness and suffering with only occasional bouts of wholeness, ever skating the seductive edge of suicide.
Few people are helpful when you are sick and many push you closer to that edge, either from lack of understanding or by disappearing altogether. It is, after all, an illness, a dangerous one, as surely as any of the physical conditions that can take your life. It is hard to know, sometimes, where you end and where illness starts. Therein lies the conundrum.
Another anguishing dilemma is knowing you have to let go of ever being well again in the way you once knew. This thing is for life. It is a sentence for a crime never committed. And I know saying all this out loud will once again cost me friends.
I thank everyone who doesn’t leave, either in real life or on facebook when I am suffering particularly severe symptoms of bipolar disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia. Many do leave and it hurts. I notice when it happens. Every time. But there are those who stay no matter what. They are gold. That’s character. That’s what love is.