I don’t want any new friends, thanks.

300mg Quetiapine (The withdrawal has ceased. There is no timeline to begin again). 

Bipolar and me; we’ve been together for a while. At least 13 years by my count, maybe longer but no shorter. We’re friends really. We’ve spent a lot of time together over the years, been through a lot. There have been good times, and there have been bad times, and there have been plenty of them. Bipolar is quieter now. But every now and then it stops in to say hello. It’s a relationship. A bond. It’s not a battle anymore. It’s just me and Bipolar. We’re together, and I’m okay with that.

I didn’t always think this way. There was a time when I thought Bipolar was the worst thing in the world. Where it seemed completely unmanageable, and insurmountable. Where it seemed as though the suffering would never end. But it did, as it always does, and I bounce back to being me. It’s our pattern. It’s our thing, and I’m okay with that.

But close friendships like this, they best work in pairs. That’s what I think. There’s no room for intruders. We don’t want to share our space, our secrets, our lives with anyone else. It’s me and bipolar, and no one else. I learnt to be okay with that.

Except, now we have Arthritis at our door, and it won’t leave us alone. Like an unwanted visitor, it showed up one day when we least expected it and refuses to leave because it knows that we’re inside. It saw me turn the lights off when it pulled up in the drive. I’ve got the door  firmly shut but it’s sitting out there, waiting for us to let it in.

Knock, knock, knock.

But, bipolar and me, we won’t answer. We’re not in. No one is here. We don’t need anymore friends.

Except, this is not how things work in reality. I’d like to say it is, but it isn’t. There is no door, and if there was, arthritis would have broken it down long ago and I’d be lying on the couch in an illness sandwich. Mental on one side, physical on another, and me in the middle. They’d think it was a game, fun even but it wouldn’t be. No one likes to get squished.

The truth is, no matter how hard I want to close that door and pretend that arthritis isn’t out there. It is. And it’s not really out there at all. It’s in me. It’s in my house. It’s  made itself at home.

Threesomes have never been my thing. But at some point, I’m going to have be okay with it.


15 thoughts on “I don’t want any new friends, thanks.

  1. I love your passage:

    Except, this is not how things work in reality. I’d like to say it is, but it isn’t. There is no door, and if there was, arthritis would have broken it down long ago and I’d be lying on the couch in an illness sandwich. Mental on one side, physical on another, and me in the middle. They’d think it was a game, fun even but it wouldn’t be. No one likes to get squished.

    It shows you have found some humour in this. I think humour is a good sign.

    I wish I could take arthritis away for you.

    I do believe you will become stronger out of this. In your own time.

    Wonderful post Sara.


    • Thanks Trish 🙂 I was reading through my most recent posts and they are far too depressing. I never wanted to create a blog that was full of misery. I wanted to create something that brings lightness and humor to what might seem like a very dark and heavy situation. So, through this post I tried to go back to that. I was hoping to convey that I accepted Bipolar and made room for that, and that with time I will be able to do the same with the arthritis. You have told me you speak about your intentions and it is my intention to expand myself to include the new, not-so-nice stuff. It will happen, in time. xx

  2. Great piece. I’m so sorry. I feel for you. I have been in a similar place. I have major depression and bipolar II, and last year arthritis came to visit, primarily as painful stiffness in my right hand each morning. They thought perhaps it was RA, but after several months of pain, it disappeared, as it sometimes mysterious can. I hope yours does too and that they both stay away. Bipolar is enough to deal with! Warmest wishes.

    • Thank you for your lovely comment and support. I am really pleased that you do not seem to have RA and I hope that your experience was a one-time only sort of thing. I am lucky not to have RA, but honestly, I don’t feel that lucky at the moment. After months of denial and pessimism I’m attempting to be more positive and play the cards I’ve been given as well as I can. I’m nothing if not determined. And thanks again for commenting, you have reminded me how much I like reading your blog! I will be by to visit soon.

  3. Great post. And yeah, that feels familiar. My crazies were bad enough on their own, and then fibro came along, but I could cope with that while I was stable, and then my crazies relapsed and it’s just… argh. I can’t deal with both. One or the other I think I could manage, but it feels like both is just too much, and they get in the way of the systems I have in place to deal with each other. If I’m crazy I need to get out and go for walks. If I hurt, I need to stay inside and rest. If I’m crazy then getting out of my routine and just going somewhere new and doing something different helps. With the fibro I can’t do most of those things, and I have to get mentally used to living within the boundaries that exist now. I can’t go somewhere new unless I know there’ll be supportive places to rest and that I’ll be able to get back okay, I can’t trust that I can just keep going until something comes up. And with just one I always had days where I was okay, and they helped me get through the days when I wasn’t, but now if my crazy isn’t playing up my pain is and vice versa, as well as all the times I have to deal with both, and the days when I’m not running on limited cope are few and far between.

    I hope I can get used to them both and find a balance that works, and that you do too. It’s awesome that you’ve settled into a relationship with your bipolar, I really hope I can as well. I feel like I’m definitely making progress – I get bogged down sometimes, but when I look at where I was a year ago I can see that I’m doing a lot better.

    • Thank you for your comment. What you’ve said has really resonated with me. I find that the two illnesses are very conflicting, and that the systems to coach with each seem to be very conflicting as well. So now it’s a matter of learning new management systems for both – a hard task I think. It sounds like your fibromyalgia is very disabling and limiting, and I am so sorry to learn of that. It does seem like you have been handed a very heavy workload! I’m really pleased you feel you’re making progress with your bipolar, and I hope the same as you do – that we both find a balance that works!

  4. First of all I LOVE your writing and I can totally understand where your coming from. I have only just accepted being Bipolar when an eating disorder is thrown into the mix too, I was getting used to 1, I dont want anything else. Its also great to find someone who is accepting as im struggling with it at the moment and forever fighting with myself.

    • Thanks Emma 🙂 I am so privileged that you enjoy my writing. Acceptance is always a struggle I think. I like to think of it as an ever-continuing process as opposed to a state that I’ll eventually get to and stay in. With time, I find acceptance comes around more and more often – acceptance is definitely one friend that I don’t mind coming over. Ultimately, what choice do we have? We either fight and lose or say to ourselves “this is the way it is, now let’s get on with it”. I try to do the latter as much as possible but I don’t always succeed. Good luck!

  5. Pingback: Early Onset Bipolar | Is Bipolar Hereditary

  6. Just catching up with all your posts Its so well written…What is in my mind is How i feel lucky to have got to 40 before I got ill, it does make you stronger it really does …sending rays of moonshine to you

    • Thanks for all your comments Joe, I appreciate it 🙂 You know, I used to say I felt lucky I had Bipolar early on because it meant there wasn’t much to lose, I was young so hadn’t created a life yet. Whereas for you, you’ve established yourself and then wham, things get crazy! It’s all a matter of perspective I suppose. Apparently, people who compare themselves to others and feel better off are better of psychologically. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. I really enjoyed reading this post. I especially like the topic of having a relationship with your disorder. When I was in the psychiatric hospital, someone in a group meeting mentioned that some people with a disorder become attached to it. We believe it is a part of us, it’s what we know. It’s fascinating really. It tortures us, and yet, we hold on to it. Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for this insight.

  8. Reblogged this on it writes itself and commented:
    Been meaning to make a post like this. I would just add, “I’m in a relationship with my disorder” to the title. but i reblogged this because I really enjoy the way The Bipolar Project explains this topic.

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