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