Sunday, March 12, 2006

Over the course of the past 48 hours I've managed to find 6 old friends and/or acquaintances that my wife and I have been looking for over the years, and now that I know where they are and have contacted a couple, I feel sick to my stomach at the notion of actually meeting up with these old friends and comparing notes.
What would I tell them when it comes down to the ol' "So, what have you been up to all of these years?" question and answer session? Do I tell them the truth: that I have been diagnosed with having and have been struggling with Bipolar Disorder, and that I take a battery of psychotropic medications every night? Do I tell them a softer more subtle version of the truth: I'm a stay at home father and aspiring novelist/screenplay writer? Do I lie and say I've been incarcerated - which in some ways I believe would be easier to accept than learning that I am Bipolar. Or do I simply avoid any chance of getting together?
Because this is where living with Bipolar Disorder becomes difficult.
Although I have come to terms with myself, unfortunately I have learned that disclosing such a potent piece of information without first surveying the mind of those you are disclosing said information to can be detrimental to your relationship. What's worse is watching the growth of these one time friends and/or acquaintances and considering where you are in your own life, only to realize that you haven't amounted to much of anything outside of being the best family person you can be.
The thought of having to deal with any of this makes my body ache with revulsion.


Blogger Tom said...

To hell with whatever they think. Truly and entirely. You have your path, they have theirs.

9:18 PM  
Blogger Juanita J. Sanchez said...

Bipolar is tough. But it doesn't define you. If you had been diagnosed with asthma, or lupus, or some other chronic disease, would you feel the need to make a decision about disclosing that to old friends? You might mention it, you might not. Bipolar is a disease, it's something you live with, it doesn't change the essential YOU.

9:35 AM  
Blogger [sic] said...

But it does... in essence... change who you are, because once you identify the problem, the subsequent steps involve learning how to live with it.

7:14 PM  

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