… or y’all, for my southern readers. What you see above is one of my favorite places—at my computer, with you, emailing with you, IMing with you, writing for you, reading your posts and comments, drinking my tea and enjoying the pleasure of your company.
When I started this blog, it was as a woman thrashing, drowning, clutching at the shore, far off. I felt alone, isolated by my bipolar and my erstwhile functionality, lost for the moment. I’d been used to being the social secretary, the project manager, the mom, the best friend, the best wife, the organizer. And then, I couldn’t. When I started the blog, almost two years in to my diagnosis, I still wasn’t sure I’d make it, and I wasn’t at that time finding support in the support groups around– since it’s not a disease that those who aren’t either sufferers themselves or direct caregivers can ever fully get. I was no longer of the people who’d been moderately functional most of their lives– suddenly, blammo, I’d lost it. Lost it, like it was my fault, all of a sudden.
Except the bipolar wasn’t sudden—just unrealized, unnoticed, stealth madness, if you will. Creeping, cumulative, accelerated, suddenly hit-the-wall crazy, alone, unhappy. I wasn’t, but I felt that way. So I started the blog to journal it through, though I was not expecting to find readers. I was not expecting to find comfort from my blog, just catharsis, though I’d found relief in the raw honesty of bloggers like Dooce—I started not really knowing what to expect, at all. I think I was hoping to provide some information, some comfort, some you’re-not-alone-ness to others, but mostly, I was hoping to provide it to myself, stopping the circling doubts by getting them Out There. Hoping, but not sure I wouldn’t still feel a little lonely, misunderstood. Especially since I wasn’t then sure how out I could afford to be in “real life” about my illness, my disorder, my bane.
Instead, I’m blessed beyond belief, beyond compare. Readers found me, friends found me, I found friends to read, and some of you have trusted me with incredibly hard secrets, in email or in comments. Thank you. Thank you for sharing, for encouraging, for believing, for rooting, for asking for help, for responding, for being that new number in the stat count, new ISP in my Google Analytics, being There. And Here. Every time I open my Reader, open my comments email account, and every time I open “Write New Post.” You’ve made me braver, saner, more Out in real life, more who I am Here that I was afraid to be There. The blog and Real Life are converging, and Real Life is better as a result– amazingly, most “real” people have been great, just like you. But I might have not known that—except by creating here, coming here, and sticking it out, with my wireless connection, a cup of tea and thou—who are with me all the time. All the way. Thank you. And happy Love Thursday.