I grew up in a military family.Who cares, right? Well, it means that I am excellent at finding friends. We moved every two or four years, uprooting and planting our seeds elsewhere. Well, I used to be able to find my groove. Two of my friends have found me on here from the time I lived in England as a child. I now find it harder to make friends. I write alone anyway, but do escape for a caramel or mocha espresso. But with this COVID-19 keeping us in homes, writing a blog is not something one should write in the drive-thru line or an empty parking lot with that cup a joe.
I have been careful – spatial distancing, face mask, Lysol, hand sanitizer – nothing is being passed (perhaps this is the highlight of being single right now).
I went to brunch today with a friend and her mother. We wore our masks in and again when we left, sat further apart than what I expect the final look to be.
Today I want to write about friends and our support system. Life can be hard for anyone, let alone those of us with a mental illness. Our condition, bipolar disorder, is a little chemical upset to perhaps our interesting brains. It is a mood disorder and if you are like me, you try to make the best of it.
Sometimes, we find it hard to come out of the “bipolar closet.” I know. We wonder whether or not we will be trusted, loved, the way we had been before we explain “bipolar disorder.” Dear reader, I want to tell you there will be smiles and there are people who should cut the cord so we can get on without us. Because there is nothing wrong with us, celebrate all you have made. It took me years, yep, years to out myself from the diagnosis. But then I realized I am not a diagnosis, I am me with a bit of faulty wiring. I never maliciously hurt anyone. My mental illness is a reason, not an excuse. But go at your own pace.
There are families to share with – blood and those we pick to be our family. These are the people I lean against when I am in an episode. I have had my heart broken by some of these people I never thought would throw me out like garbage. I feel those phone calls that never get returned. If you are an old friend who used to talk to me but do not anymore, maybe look under the hood. And if you are jumping ship, do me favor and let me know and move on.
We will make more friends and start different kind of relationships. These new people that you let in is wonderful. (As long as it is a careful give and receive.) Do not put all your eggs in one basket. We will inevitably crack and jostle them in said basket. Recently, I needed someone to talk to and the only person I could think to call is not part of my support system.
We can’t have expectations. Some of the people I thought I would know forever, turned a cold shoulder. I have learned that the people who are meant to be in your life will be the