A Letter

Song of the Day: Here is Gone by The Goo Goo Dolls

This is a letter to those of you who, at one point, were a close friend of mine. I felt the need to purge this all out in a letter because the one thing I learned from group therapy is that writing letters actually help. I doubt any of my friends will actually read this but maybe someday I’ll have the courage to show it to them. 

Dear friend,

I hope you’re doing alright these days. It’s been a while since we last spoke. That’s mostly, if not completely, my fault. I guess that’s why I wanted to write a letter to you in the first place.

I know this is overdue, quite possibly meaningless at this point, but I want you to know that I’m sorry.

I’m so sorry for everything that I’ve done to you: ignoring calls, deleting messages, refusing your help, overlooking your feelings, and blatantly pushing you away. I know you always meant well and you deserved so much more than that.

But most of all I’m sorry I never had the courage to tell you my story, at least the short version of it. I’m not telling you because I want pity or your forgiveness, though the latter would be quite nice, but because I need you to understand what has been going through my head the past several years. Maybe I can convince you that I’m not actually a bad person.

I’m just going to jump right in here.

Earlier this year, around February, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, social anxiety disorder, and anorexia/bulimia nervosa. I guess it was nice to have a name associated with everything wrong with me but I still didn’t want to tell anyone. There is so much negative stigma about mental illnesses that I just didn’t want to be another victim. I mean depression is a mental illness too but when people hear ‘bipolar’ or ‘schizophrenia’ they immediately think mad.

I can’t say they’re completely wrong. I was the victim of madness. I would stop eating, I would sit in my closet for hours because my brain wouldn’t slow down, I would carve patterns in my arms and legs without even realizing it, I would push myself into debt due to unnecessary purchases, I would make foolish and impulsive decisions, I would be in a complete state of paranoia, and I would spiral into psychosis. I was such a danger to myself, and to others according to my social worker, that I was placed in the ICU a few times… this year.

My psychiatrist doubled all of my medication and added a few more since my last ICU visit. I am still guilty of refusing to take all of my antipsychotics because it makes me feel like a complete zombie. After my sixth psychiatrist left me, I promised myself that I would comply to my next one… because I’m wholeheartedly terrified of being one of those people who spend the rest of their lives in an institution.

So these days, I spend my time cooped up in my new room in Los Angeles, trying to convince myself to allow others to help me. I’m still absolutely terrified of interacting with anyone I don’t see on a regular basis. Everything that involves social activity, such as phone calls, text messages, email, etc,  gives me a lot of anxiety. If I’m too overwhelmed I’ll crawl back into my closet and stay there… That’s the main reason why you haven’t heard from me in a while.

I really wish I could have been a better friend to you, the friend you deserved. But what’s happened has happened and I can’t do much about it but apologize.

Oh, I almost forgot! Thank you. How could I possibly forget that? You’ve done so much for me throughout the years. I have absolutely no idea how you had the patience to deal with me, and my sociopathic tendencies, so much for so long. Maybe, hopefully, I’ll get the chance to see you and talk to you again before I go to Scotland next year. Nonetheless, I wish you well.

Love always,

Deirdre

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