Friday, January 13, 2012

Sort of a "guest post"...

Sara Zarr posted a link to this blog post on Twitter, and it's short enough that I'm posting it here. The writer is describing bipolar disorder.

"Letter to an old friend"

Is it okay if I call you friend? I’ve known you for so long and it is time for you to be a friend. You are with me always. Sometimes you sit in the living room of my house, powerful in your presence. At other times you are like a guest taking a nap in an upstairs bedroom. I used to fight you or plead with you to leave, but I don’t do that anymore. I let you be. I’ve discovered the gifts you bring with friendship. I am grateful for the clarity you allow, for whatever energy you permit, for writing, above all for that, for the daily work of living. Who would have ever thought that we would end up being friends, that even as I do all I can to keep you gentle, I could welcome you? I accept you and limit you all at once. Come on in, there’s a rocking chair for you by the fire, but it is still my house. Now that you’re a friend, I don’t know what to call you. Your medical name sounds too formal and distant. You are more than a condition. You’re not me and yet you are a part of me. The metaphors used to describe you seem too impersonal. Darkness, grayness, the words lack accuracy. You are painfully bright at times. To call you by your symptoms is to treat you like an enemy and I don’t want to do that anymore. I’ll simply call you my old friend. I call you my old friend because I know you, I’ve seen through you. I’ve even seen compassion and hope in you. These are the things that only friends can see. I know you now, so well, and so I call you my old friend.

THESE ARE NOT MY WORDS, they belong to Francisco X. Stork. But they resonate so strongly.

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