The author has asked to remain anonymous.
Bipolar Friendship Manifesto
Friendship is giving, sharing, loving, accepting, supporting, and really close friends are some times better than siblings. Good friends are the ones that will be there no matter happens. They are the people that will stand up for you, protect you when it is needed, and like you exactly as you truly are. For them you do not need to change, you just have to adapt yourself. Friends are the people who you can rely on in every occasion of your life, in sadness and happiness. They are proud of you, admire you, lift you up and are there for you even if they might not agree with all your decisions.
Friendship doesn’t come with terms and conditions but it comes with healthy boundaries.
You can call me romantic, a daydreamer, sensitive, but these are pure. Growing up and influenced by good people, I have learnt that in this life loving and giving your best to others costs nothing. I have my limits and I know that they are quite broad. I do not care if some people find them annoying and weird, or if they are misinterpreted.
My dear friend, what you have is just a label. It will not define my friendship towards you. You think that you are the only one who suffers? When you yell, rage on me, you hurt my feelings deeply. I suppress everything. I am scared and I hide it, because I know that it will pass and it is not you who is talking now. I try hard not to take everything you say personally, even though every word hits me deeply. And then you ask for distance, space. Silent Treatment! Have you ever thought what this causes for me? Are you going to talk to me again? I feel guilty because I am thinking that I might have said something and hurt you. I see you talking to other people and I keep wondering what I should have done better. I want to contact you, but you have completely shut me down. You treat me like I am the responsible for your situation.
And then depression comes. You disappear from everyone. I do not know what to do. Should I send something or not? I am so confused. What if I cause more trouble for you? Should I tell you that I still care for you? I do not text you because I do not want to hurt you more. I am not angry with you. Time passes. Months …
And then one day you come back again. I delete everything and start over a new cycle. Will it be the same one or will everything be fine? Probably not. The only thing that matters though is that I care for you!
This is my advice from now on, my dearest friend:
You are in a river that has a strong stream, that’s life … Some days you are swimming in the direction of the stream, you are going really fast, you have a lot of energy and feel euphoria. That is dangerous, you will hit a rock. Now you are tired, injured, and you just let the stream lure you. That is dangerous too, you may start drowning. But you are clever, my friend: you will not allow that again, you know how to survive right? You have to swim always with the right effort and direction to be stable and enjoy the water. And I know that you are a good swimmer. You will do it! We all believe in you. Load yourself with patience and learn it. You also need help: someone to give you the right equipment, and another one to talk about it. You need the experts!
I am going to be there on the river side, but not again in the water. I am not going anywhere. I promise that. You are a wonderful person. I will be here and wait. I will just be an observer, caring for you to learn as soon as possible. And if you want to rest, some motivation, a good word, I will be by the side and wait for you. And when the water becomes calm I will dive and since you know how to swim I will be there in the storms! If you do not want that, it is still ok. Your choice.
As for what happened during your fast swimming, what we said, it doesn’t matter. Only kindness is allowed on board. We will figure it out with time. Nobody hates you. Stop picturing bad things. We all make mistakes. Just remember only our good, ridiculous moments, and be grateful and proud for yourself.