Hey. Haven’t seen you in awhile, so I thought I’d write to you.
I know things have been incredibly tough for you lately, and I’m so sorry to hear that. We haven’t really been talking, but that doesn’t mean I’m not here for you.
I think we stopped speaking about seven months ago, right around the time you got fired. I can’t believe you didn’t quit that job sooner, considering the fact that it was an incredibly hostile and toxic environment; the stress that job caused you alone would have been enough to traumatize any reasonable person. You stuck it out like the fighter you are but they fired you anyway, and I know how hard that was for someone who takes so much pride in their work. I know that it devastated you.
And then Dad got sick – really, really sick. I know you love him more than anything in the world and this caused you grief like you’ve never experienced before.
Perhaps it was all of this stress that caused you to have the psychotic episode – I hear that stress triggers them. Whatever the case, you became manic and we realized that you have bipolar disorder. You were hospitalized three times in three months, and I know that Thanksgiving and Christmas were the worst you’ve ever experienced. You were alone, you were grieving, and you were experiencing psychosis. You were in fact so sick that you didn’t even realize how sick you were, but everyone else did. They all felt bad for you, but you refused to let them help.
And then one day in January, out of the blue, you called me crying. You were somehow no longer manic, and you needed that help. Luckily your family was there for you.
Fast forward to now, and things are better but…they’re not great.
I know you feel like your mood stabilizers are keeping you from experiencing happiness, but I also know how scared you are that you will experience psychosis again so we both agree that it’s best to stay on them. For the rest of your life. It’s not so much the ‘rest of your life’ part that worries you, rather it’s the feeling like you’re not the same person anymore. I’d be lying if I said you haven’t changed, and to be honest I miss the old you.
I miss the woman who was so passionate about life that often people told her she took everything too seriously. She cared so much about everything that nothing was unimportant to her. I know you still care about everything, but it’s as if you don’t care quite as much.
I also miss the professional you. You love to work hard, and take so much pride in whatever job you do. I know this period of unemployment has been hell for you, and I wish I could change that. I really do. I know you’re doing your best to find another job, even though your family is worried you’re not quite fully recovered from your psychosis. But is anyone ever fully recovered? Knowing you, getting back to work will boost your confidence and make you feel less anxious about life in general. So I want you to know that I fully support you going back to work. If any of these jobs you’re applying to knew just how much a job would mean to you right now, I’m pretty sure they would hire you.
Finally, I miss the happy you. The one who teased everyone she cared about, but mostly herself. The one who loved to make people smile and laugh even when she was feeling awful because it made her feel better to make others happy. The one who believed in happiness.
I’m not so sure you believe in it anymore, and that worries me. Is this circumstantial, or is it possibly your medication that is making you feel this way? I’m not sure, but I know enough to know that it’s not the way you used to be. You used to wake up in the mornings feeling full of promise and hope; those mornings are gone. Your days are now incredibly dreary and spent trying to pass the time without going crazy from boredom, although you feel like you are.
Maybe when you finally get a job you’ll start to feel better. Or maybe this grayness is your new normal. I know you will never not take your medicine because you’re so scared by what already happened, so you will accept whatever normal it provides you. But I hope and I pray that it doesn’t last, because the world used to be full of so much color for you.
I want you to get that color back. I want you to make me laugh. I want to see you working hard and feeling confident, the way you were before you got sick.
If it’s impossible for you to be the person you used to be, that’s perfectly okay and I’ll learn to love the new you. But that doesn’t mean I won’t be sad about it. I loved the old you, and I think you did too.
I miss you. I really hope things get better, and I’m praying every day for you.