Am I Alone in This Room? Bipolar Ghosts

I’ve carried a bipolar diagnosis for 19 years, and never in that time have I ever met another person with a BP diagnosis. You are out there, aren’t you? You, me, us…we number 5 million in the United States. That’s about 1 out 50. You’re out there, and I want to meet you.

Alright, here’s another one: 2 out 3 of us have a close relative with bipolar disorder. No one’s admitting it in my family, but I have a couple of guesses. I’m not saying who, but I know you know. No, don’t argue. It’s definitely you.

For the rest, are you in the ground? Have you passed on? Did I miss my opportunity to buy you a cup of coffee?  Most of us lose 10 years to the illness; the medication, the drugs and drinking, and the risk-taking. We die in myriad ways. Twenty percent of us will commit suicide. Death is a rider all our lives.

I wonder about you, my hidden brother, hidden sister. I wonder about your struggles. I wonder about your secret disappointments and your unacknowledged victories. I wonder about your journey, the things you’ve seen, and the things you’ve left. Where are you, friend?

This is my call to the universe, my scream into the abyss. Will you answer? A lot of us are scared to name ourselves. The stigma can be enormous, and many will not understand. Some will make you feel small, or ill-equipped for the challenges of life.   However, hear me from my heart of hearts and from the deepest recesses of my soul, those guys can go fuck themselves.
By Franco Romualdez

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I’m a budding Marriage and Family Therapist. I’m finishing my degree in counseling after blundering halfway through law school. I work with kids and teenagers, some of which are troubled, and most of which are lost. Each and every single one of them reminds me of a piece or part of my childhood. The job can be heart wrenching, but most of the time, it reminds of the beauty in this world. I’m a husband and a father. I’m married to a lovely woman. She’s a great lady; smart and kind. I have two young kids--crazy, adorable, and ridiculously hilarious boys. I also enjoy putting pen to paper once in awhile.

5 thoughts on “Am I Alone in This Room? Bipolar Ghosts

  1. beautiful. i look forward to reading more from you! thank you for having the balls to share your story, and to remind us all out here in this mean and fu@@ed up world that we aren’t alone. blessings and hugs.


    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Lizzy. You know, they say that Emily Dickinson had manic-depression. I’m not too familiar with the details of her life, but I know she left 40-volumes of unpublished poetry. We would never have known. I wonder how many penless poets there are out there.


      1. and also van gogh, just to name another great with BD… unknown writers, artists, musicians… it is sad really how many there must be.


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