A letter to my wife

Remember playing cards in your

Apartment, going on long walks together

At night, remember me sleeping all day,

And me blowing up like a balloon,

When I ate tuna casserole? Remember

Me being admitted for suicidal thoughts?

Remember the med changes, the visiting

Hours at the hospital, being mad at me,

Not believing that I would do it, and

Maybe you were right. Remember the

Tears, the arguments, the

Disappointments and heartbreak?

Remember the good times, with family

And friends? Remember the parents in

The hospital, your surgeries, my

Procedures, shock treatment and vocal

Cords? Remember the trips to Shands,

The Sunday school mornings and church

Services, music and children and

Candles and sermons? We’ve been

Through a lot in 21 years. And I wouldn’t

Change a thing, if I could! Love, Bonch

Jingle Bells

Do you feel

The coming tide

Pulling us out

Away from shore?

Do you feel the raindrops

Pelting my head and shoulders?

The candy canes

Are hanging on the

Christmas tree.

The egg nog

Is in the fridge.

The presents are wrapped,

The house is decorated,

And I’m taking less Prozac

So I don’t get manic

Next week.

Soon to come,

Visits with friends

And family.

Parties and church,

Luncheons and dinners.

Cookies and milk,

Next to the fireplace.

I’m saving up

To buy gas.

Looking forward

To celebrating.

Jingle bells!

A Second Guess

How do you know

What to do

When you don’t feel quite right,

And you’re not getting through

Life unscathed,

And you can’t really sue?

I wonder

If I should have

Gone to get help

When my empty head

Was playing tricks on me.

I wonder if I should have stayed,

When I had a choice to make.

But was I free to choose?

Family and friends

Supported me.

The doctors were helpful,

So also the nurses,

Some of them, anyway.

I think it was good

That I stuck around,

But the journey was full

Of grief and regret.

Hindsight’s 20/20,

As they say.

Transitions

It’s been almost three years since I was hospitalized for a major med change. Everything went really well while I was in the hospital, although I got into a friendship with another patient that wasn’t good for me. I would end up taking medical leave for an extended amount of time and then attempt to return to work. That didn’t work out, though. I ended up back in the hospital, and, when I got out I decided to leave my job on long term disability. I hired a lawyer to help me get approved for SSDI, and after a couple denials it went to hearing and I won my case. Since then I started taking classes at Lively Technical Center. I finished the program for legal administrative specialist but decided by the last class that I wasn’t completely sure that was what I wanted to do. So, this Fall I reenrolled at Lively in hopes of getting certified in Microsoft Office. I eventually realized I was only going to be able to get certified in Microsoft Word, as Excel was too difficult and I was feeling ready to finish with school and move on to a part time job. I plan to finish the administrative office specialist program in the Spring, and start looking for a job.

Connections

Did you, too?

Have you been there?

Do you, really?

Thank you.

I’m glad you’re here.

I’m glad I’M here.

This is work.

I want to get better.

I wish I could sleep.

I sleep too much.

I’m ready to commit to that.

I’m ready to quit.

I trust you.

Thank you for being there for me.

A Light

A light twinkles

In the distance;

It is my hope,

Fragile, yet strong.

Will a big gust of wind

Blow out my candle?

I am protected

By many walls:

Meds, doctors,

Counselors, family,

Friends and helpers.

That gust of wind

Can blow if it must,

But my light will not

Be extinguished.

I will use

The tools I’ve been given.

I will continue the struggle,

And I will win.

Strong

Experience.

A light bulb turns on.

Words flow like breathing.

Comfortable.

Fellow warriors

Keeping each other company.

Along for the ride,

Together.

Be there for you,

Whenever you need someone.

Any time, any place.

Trust me.

I’ll hold out a light

So you can see your way.

Brothers and sisters

Of mental illness.

Strong.

Weatherman

Filled

To the rim

With anxiety,

Like a rising tide,

My feet don’t reach

The bottom.

I cannot get a sense

Of where I am.

Everything around me

Seems to happen

In slow motion,

While my emotions reel

Like tossing waves.

My mind tries to balance,

But is tossed about

Like a little boat.

Gravity plays with me

Like a child

With his toys,

Crashing them together,

And zooming them around.

I am natures plaything,

In the storm,

I am the storm,

I am a bystander,

I am a weather man,

Like an idiot,

Standing outside

In the wind and rain,

Talking to the camera

Until I can barely stand up.

Time to take my meds.

Perseverance

A Normal Day

A “normal” day

Is an unusual occurrence

For those of us

With bipolar.

But if our meds

Are doing what they’re supposed to,

And drama is kept to a minimum,

Occasionally,

We might find ourselves

Having a normal day.

I had a normal day today,

And it felt good.

Not so stressful

As a typical day,

I wasn’t anxious

Like I usually am.

I was just me,

Living life,

Almost like a normal person.