Bipolar Disorder Takes a Friend

I can breathe a sigh of relief.  I now have all of the medications I need.  I no longer think I am headed down a path to the hospital because of a breakdown, as my psychiatrist suggested.  She did not know of my medication issue, however.  It is really uncomfortable to tell my psychiatrist that "Well...I took too much of this or that so I ran out at least a week ago...".  But then she is left with the impression I am on the edge of...night?

My friend committed suicide.

I still struggle with the word "friend".  It is as if I never really wanted to admit I had let my heart open up emotionally when we reconnected to admit that I was in any way attached and softened towards him.  Break ups can do that, even though yes, we were friendly towards each other and did confide somewhat in each other over hard and difficult subjects but never our romantic situations.  Nothing was ever, could have ever been anything more than platonic again between us.  I assume he had zero interest as well.  But I did care about him and his welfare, and he was interesting, entertaining, I appreciated his opinions, he had interesting viewpoints, so different than anyone I knew.  And..we had a mutual caring between us.  I think?

Sorry, rambling.  My mind tends to do that when I think of this.  We had known each other since the mid 90's.  Nine Inch Nails "I Want To F*ck You Like An Animal" had just come out, and the video was only played on MTV after midnight.  We went to Lollapalooza and saw Green Day, Smashing Pumpkins, and awesome bands like those.  That is the time in the 90's we dated, a great time for music, and we both loved music.

I never would have known what had happened to him, although I knew he went out of character radio silent, but his mother sent a message in Facebook, saying she had just gained access to his Facebook account and found messages of ours.  I checked, and the messages I have sound kind of excited about whatever was going on, lots of smileys, talking about Chicago, music, our pets, things friends talk about.  Other than finding messages, it would have been bizarre had she decided to send a message.  I had no idea who she was, did not recognize the name.  The last name was not the same, he never spoke of her, seemed to have contempt towards his family.  I definitely knew at the very least he rarely spoke to them and even more rarely saw them.

Since I knew him well enough and we'd had a brief May-September romance in the 90's, I had a sinking feeling about how he had passed away.  I had suspected towards the end that he had fallen into some kind of deep, dark hole of depression that at that time, I did not know nor understand.  It was not too long before Thanksgiving and I was worried, but took it as he was avoiding me, so that was that.  How else do you interpret something like that?

I replied to his mother's message, and she replied in a very long, rambling message that was SO much information and a lot to think about and process.  I had no idea how to respond, but my psychiatrist helped me with that, I was not ok at the time.  I told her I needed time after so much information and said the normal things people say when someone passes away.  But she even sent me a document that she said she believes led to his spiraling downward.  I guess he had been fired from his job.  Before that, he had been put on a performance plan, and he had created a rebuttal type of document to each one of the points in the performance plan.  It was really personal and I do not think he would want me to see that.  It will take some time, but I am sure in the future I will be glad I did.  It answers a lot of questions I have - about him, even about myself.

From the document, as well as from her, I found that he had bipolar disorder as well as an anxiety disorder.  BAM!  Just like that.  We really had the same mental disorders?  And he took his life?  It reminds once again how high risk those with bipolar disorder are for suicide.  I think it is 20% of people with bipolar disorder commit suicide.  Or...another way to look at it - one person in five.  She said he had started taking himself off of his medications, saying he did not like how they made him feel.  You know, that is one thing we never shared about each other.  Now I see, he was the one person I should have, yet at the same time, I see he was the one person I should have.  However, I did tell him I had been suicidal and hospitalized in the past.

I know that I have mentioned him many times in my blog - more than likely as the "angry atheist", probably wondered to myself what made him angry.  Now it does not matter, and has not mattered for quite awhile.  If we argued about it, I do not recall it, and do not wish to remember it if we did.  To the end, he believed what he believed.  He wanted to be cremated and his body given to science.

I struggled with that and mentioned it to my psychiatrist.  Surely she had an opinion because obviously - she treats his disorders because she treats ME.  That also means she must have had her share of patients who have committed suicide and that makes me so sad for her.  I would love a job where I helped people - but that is one HELL of a way to feel like a failure.  Sorry for the language, but holy shit.

Anyway, she has come to believe and has to believe that people who have such mental anguish, pain and torture (I actually think those are my own adjectives, I do not remember hers) must be at peace now.  She cannot imagine a God who would allow someone to go through so much pain to not now allow them  - their minds - to be at peace.

She did say - he did a good thing, giving his body to science.  He helped people.  True.

I have no idea why our lives kept colliding after the 90's.  Dallas is big town.  That has not happened with anyone else, not physically keep meeting each other like that.  I found once he was working in the same building that I was working.  When I saw him for the first time, it was such a shock, I think I just ran back to my office.

But we became friends, and caught up with each other's lives.  We were both in good relationships (he was the very first time I saw him again anyway) and I was amazed he found someone to put up with him, assumed he had really changed and was happy for both of them.  Sincerely - no reason to lie in my own blog.  Things like that do make me wonder if something is wrong with me, but now I see...uh...something was wrong with both of us!!

We then reconnected somehow, not sure, maybe the day or day before 9/02/10.  Yes, I realize that is a crazy exact day for me to remember.  We both loved Beverly Hills 90210.  I told him Happy 90210 Day and he thought that was so awesome.  I told him about Facebook, and he joined right away and it became such a big part of his life from that moment.

I think his very first post was actually "Happy 90210 Day".

Not sure what else there is to say.  Memories keep flooding so often.  I am absolutely pushing them away, pushing the pain away, I cannot deal with it.  I am not sure if it is appropriate to feel pain for another man when I am married, even though it is platonic, even when I have so much compassion finding out we had suffered the same illnesses...and no one else will ever share the memories I have with him.  That may be the most sad part.  I do not want to cry at 6:30 am so I will leave it at that.  Definitely the memories are the hardest part - what only we shared, especially music. that makes sense as well.  Perhaps that is why music was so important to him like it is to me.

Such a tragedy.

My psychiatrist told me (and I thought - hello?  I am sitting RIGHT HERE??) that she thinks that people who have bipolar disorder have a lifelong struggle between life and death.

A lifelong struggle between life and death.  That sounds really dramatic and I certainly do not struggle with it daily, although her comment did not elude to it being a daily struggle.

A lifelong struggle?  Maybe that is a fair statement.  And perhaps it was for him, and he lost the battle.  I really hope I am not motivated to write about this again.

It is just too painful to think about him, the way he passed away, and....well, everything.


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