Grand total: I’ve lost two friends due to my illness. The first is my friend Mary, who was with me in New York when I had the nervous breakdown.
Mary saw the whole thing. And in a nutshell, I think it terrified her. I think she had no desire to remain friends with someone so crazy.
It’s unfortunate she had to witness my complete insanity. In many ways, I don’t blame her for splitting when she did. I invited her to my wedding in 1997, six years after the breakdown, and she didn’t even respond.
The other friend I lost right after I came out of the hospital. I told this friend, Barb, that I’d been hospitalized for manic depression. Our friendship was “on the rocks” at that point, and that simple fact, my hospitalization, was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
I have to say I miss both women.
It is true: SOME PEOPLE CANNOT HANDLE HAVING MENTALLY ILL FRIENDS.
Who knows, they might be particularly unstable people, battling some mood swings of their own.
That said, know that you might lose a couple few friends if you tell them about your illness.
The way I look at it is everybody’s got something wrong with her. She might be overweight or have chronically bad breath or be a sexaholic, a binger/purger, a bore; everybody’s got some kind of problem.
With your oodles of problems, you might make others feel comfortable with theirs.
And for the perfect people, if there are some, I don’t want to associate with them.
What’s really amazing is when you truly start to analyze it, your problems might not seem that bad in comparison to others'.
Cherish the friends you have. Love them. Accept their flaws, and they’ll accept yours.
And that’s the truth.