Thursday, April 10, 2014

DON'T BE A DICK.


“Don't call that dog lifesaver; call him shithead."
-The Jerk
 The thing about a mood disorder is that it not only affects the one afflicted, but those who surround that person. I’ve always been a little cannily thankful that my bipolar disorder has leaned towards the depression side, rather than the mania- because manics are really tough to be around. It’s not their fault, but it seems to me (albeit arguably) that the waves of their illness rock the boats of their networks more vehemently. It’s a lot of drama. It’s high-intensity & it can be scary. Or so I’ve always believed.
This is not to say that it’s smooth sailing for those close to depressives. It means watching them professedly hate themselves while they can’t seem to pull it together. Regardless of how much they have to live for, they’re not interested. Begging them to take the simple steps towards recovery is an impossible task that goes not only ignored but resented.
I have a lot of amazing friends. It’s the thing in my life that I’m the most proud of- what I hold closest to my heart. People have gone the distance for me and trust me- I have not made it easy. Especially in the last year. You’d think that while I was cleaning up my act it would be simpler for my friends. But as I dealt with each of my issues (or at least tried to) while simultaneously undergoing another clinical depression throughout the winter, it was not only I who suffered- I passed it on to my family & friends like a contagion. I have been difficult, negative, selfish & self-centered. This past year, instead of inwardly punishing myself, I’ve been punishing those around me out of contempt for my disease. This is not an excuse & I’m not blaming my disorder to mollify my shitty actions.
In the past two weeks, it has been made very clear to me that I’ve deeply hurt some of my closest friends with my self-centered cynicism. Just when I’ve started to climb out of this grave that I’ve dug for myself & come up for air, I find out that I’ve been acting like a total jerk. I have been acting like a total jerk. I’m not crucifying myself. I’m being honest.
To those people who I’ve put through the ringer, I cannot apologize or change what I have done. I can only tell you that I am dedicated in my recovery to not behave like such a negative little brat. There’s a difference between being sick & acting like a dick. I’ve been a total dick to some of the people who’ve stopped at nothing to make my life more comfortable, more hilarious & more loving. I’ve been absent, selfish, negative & unavailable. I’ve blamed people unjustly and I’ve begrudged those I love for reasons that have nothing to do with them. I haven’t done it on purpose, but I’ve been too self-involved to see the havoc that I’ve wreaked.
Let me be clear: I don’t think I’ve fucked all of the people in my life over this past year. But a few, really, really important ones. I hope they can find it in their hearts to forgive me. Meanwhile, I will try my fucking best to be the best friend, daughter, sister, aunt & person that I can be. It’s a living amends.