15 million years ago…When I met the friend I am going to talk about here…in the dorms…comparing schedules…happening to have class together…
I had no idea that we would one day live on top of each other…bickering about every little thing as if required to meet some bickering quota by the end of each day. every day…..and yet unable to resist eachother….
I had no idea that she would one day straighten my veil…that one day I would see her hooked up to an epidural getting ready to meet her first baby…that one day she would take off work when my toddler was hospitalized….
And I had NO idea that she would one day drive me to emergency therapy….
She is the opposite of me emotionally.
Me always ready to pour out every emotion I had since the last time we talked and she maybe volunteering one emotion every blue moon (causing me to immediately sit up ramrod straight with bulging surprised eyes)
But she always listens to me. She always says she doesn’t know what to say.
We’ve done this pattern for years.
And yet. We can talk and talk and talk and talk for hours. And have done our whole lives together.
I don’t know how it happens
It has the same weird what the heck quality as our old journeys to the drugstore that lasted 90 minutes and we would come out with one or two things each.
I still don’t know what we did. Walk around look at stuff and talk or something. I don’t really know. And I don’t know what we talk about.
One time she was driving to another state and I spent the entire drive on the phone with her. We literally talked on the phone for 6 hours. I was bored and mixed and suffering so welcomed it…
And we have perfected the art of speaking over eachother and yet somehow tracking what the other is saying.
And I know her little quirks and patterns and am amused that she is so distractible that when I make a joke it is common for her to seem like she didn’t even hear me and then repeat it and laugh a full three minutes later.
And she has always been the perfect friend and roommate for a manic girl…happy to chat for hours…happy to drop everything at any moment and do whatever crazy shit thing I wanted to do…happy to paint walls with me at 2:30 in the morning with music blaring…
Years ago…post college and prediagnosis but before actual adult life…she told me that she knew that she couldn’t understand what I was going through and that she would never know what to say but that she wanted me to know that she loved me and would always be there for me and that she really wanted to help.
She wasn’t referring to Bipolar obviously but it holds true.
She has never wavered from that declaration to me.
She never knows what to say but she is always there.
If I need to talk she listens
If I text her SOS she texts back “do you need me to leave work”
If I say I am restless and bored she says “come over”
If I go into Labor she calls in sick and drives to my house to watch my other kids
If I ask her to read my orthorexia piece she does and then heartfeltingly apologizes for not being more aware in the past…(not my intention!)
If she is babysitting my kids and I call saying I think I forgot to take my meds, she goes and checks my med case.
She knows me. She doesn’t understand what I’ve been through.
But she’s been there the whole way through it.
She has seen me…physically been with me…at my highest and at my lowest.
She has seen me out of my mind at clubs and parties…she has seen me paralyzed on my kitchen floor.
She has forgiven me of all of the stupid shit I have done.
She has said over and over again…
“Claya stop it’s okay, I’ll do it.”
About once a week I invade her house with my entourage of tiny people or she shows up at mine.
Once upon a time when we got together it was just two young women, cups of tea or cups of white zin, at opposite ends of the couch, legs sprawled alongside each other talking and talking until perhaps embarking on some ridiculous adventure.
Now you would see us cooking dinner together and cuddled up reading to each other’s kids and shouting to each other over the chaos that we have created with all of the reproducing.
And me week to week…sitting on her couch… “I feel down”… “I feel restless”… “My anxiety is so bad”… “I just can’t do this”… “I’M SO GREAT” or saying nothing…
Just being with her.
Because just her presence has always cemented me in the real world.
Whatever is going on with me ….being with her makes me feel safe, grounded, real.
She is solid
I am air
She has held me up at times without even meaning to.
When I had my super mixed episode and Akathisia from the meds and was suffering and isolated and bored beyond what is humane…she called me every day and talked to me for at least an hour (usually more). Every day.
She has one of the most generous hearts I have ever known. And a deep hearted quiet kindness that gives her a rare sturdy energy.
And I feel unbalancedness in our situation
I need a lot of support and don’t have a lot of support and this woman is my angel
She needs less than I do and has tons of support
And I always wonder why a woman with so many sisters would want another one…
Particularly one with Bipolar…one who is more work than it is worth
But when I say to her “I need you but you don’t need me” she says…
“That’s silly. I need you.”
The only real explanation I can see for this is that she loves me. Like she must honest to goodness actually really love me…..
As much as I love her
And we have a little bit we do sometimes when things get mushy and emotional where she says
“No you’re not a burden, I’d do anything for you”
and I say…
“And you know I’d do anything for you….If you ever need anything just let me know”