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On: Bipolar disorder

My gorgeous Mikey:

  1. Your life is extraordinary whether it feels like that or not.  I promise.
  2. You are so much better than any of the horrible things you’ll have to suffer in a lifetime.
  3. The world may define you by adversity or triumph, but don't define yourself by those things.


I can’t imagine what your fantastic brain is doing now. The things that other people's brains can disguise or hide ...  burry or break, well ours they can make a symphony of that stuff; a painful, wicked, e x h a u s t i n g symphony. I know you're tired; I’m sorry you’re stuck with such a lonely gift. 
We just can’t help but to process and process our ideas until there are so many sub-thoughts the rest of the world has moved on. We toil and think and imagine until every cut is bleeding daylight.  Maybe right now this ability doesn’t seem so much like a gift, maybe it seems like a burden; but you can make grace of a mess and it will serve you. It will. You have a wild, empathetic mind attached to the softest of hearts. You have saved lives with your empathy. 
If I could read your mind, I would know how to save you; I would know how far you are from discovery. I could cheer you to the finish line, and rejoice, but If I could do that, I would know how to save myself. I know that may sound posh but you understand me -- YOU get me, you always have. I don’t have to explain my awkward analogies to you. Of the people I relate to most, you are on a very short list. I have never worried about how you’d handle adversity. I still don’t.

Please know that it’s okay to be mad and confused and lost too. It’s ok to feel like the people who are supposed to pick you up off the floor seem to be the ones who are blocking your airways. It’s okay to ride your feelings and give exposure to everything you’ve ever thought. It’s okay to be mad at god and resent your mother and wish you could go back to the day when nothing made you want to crumple up the score sheet and start over again.

You'll get past all of the feelings. It’s okay to smile. Mikey, it’s ok to forgive. While you're at it, forgive yourself. We are not here to be flawless and we are not here to prance around with our trophies and well-mapped lives that perfectly match some supposed-to-be ideal existence, but you knew that long before I wrote it here. 

I firmly believe that you will come to a place in your life, as most people do (at very different times, of different catalysts) where you can choose to be committed to your own truth—not the truth of your family, or society… nor the pact you have with your wife or the unwanted good intentions people shove on you when they show up just in time to see you suffering. But the version of events that allows you contribute something unique, something only you could. If you choose to be committed to your truth you will find your purpose. You will look in the mirror and say: “I accept my human life, my flaws and mistakes and compulsions”—you’ll just say—“I choose me”.  And then you’ll fight and fix and improve and it’s joy—it’s pure JOY!!! It’s the best work you’ll ever know because when you are whole and you love yourself, the love you have to share is immeasurable.

Youth is a mess ...things happen, decisions get made and impressions formed and then one day, you open your eyes and clearly see everything that you’d do differently.
          That’s as normal as it gets. 

I’ve known you my entire life. And you have been such a good slave to everyone’s versions of what you SHOULD be. And I don’t blame you for being exhausted. I don’t blame you for breaking down. But you should tell your story; tell someone... Tell everyone, and  after you’ve purged everything, and spit out the blood from your mouth, remember that the people who tried to help you were the ones who never left. Despite how and why they fought for you and despite the insane measures and despite how much pain... please remember that those people are human like you and they make mistakes too. And when someone you love is frantic you can’t breathe, you can’t focus, you cant sleep.
And mom, you must know she loves you more you can even comprehend.  She loves you beyond the moon and beyond anything words can express, the beauty of language is defeated in this paragraph. She would not breathe a selfish breath ever again for any desire of her own if you were suffering.  When you love someone as much as she loves you, nothing can save you from the devotion and insanity which compels you to protect them. NOTHING! And protecting someone is a perception, it's a desperate long-shot mixed with a little hope. Hope is a gorgeous ideal.

I love you. Please know that we will always try to love and protect you as we best know how. If it’s not the right way at the right time at least take peace in the fact that effort is far more meaningful than perfection. You are brilliant and savvy and just fine. You will survive. I promise that too. I’m here for you. Give me your hand, tell me what to do. You are never ever alone.
love, Annie
If you know someone suffering from the grips of mental illness, you can help, you can make a difference. Tell someone, reach out, find help. You are not alone.

NAMI Helpline National Alliance for the Mentally Ill 1-800-950-NAMI

National Youth Crisis Hotline 1-800-448-4663


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Goodbye to the circus xx