“My Love Bipolar” by Beth Campbell

He was my friend first and foremost.  The first friend I ever had that didn’t really mind the third wheel always with us.  I think it was because it belonged to him to too.  Just nobody had told him yet.

The day we met was like the brightest sunniest day I have ever seen.  No clouds.  No signs of rain.  That would come later.  He was bigger than life. His laugh infectious.  He said what was on his mind.  Take it or leave it.  I took it.  He made me smile.  He made me feel safe.  And special.  I felt truly loved.

And normal.

Because we are the same.

We had our best together time late into the night.  When the whole world…or most of it was sound asleep.  It was like having a secret.  For the first time…I wasn’t lonely in the dark.  We laughed, we ate, we made love…. Our need for each other insatiable…our joy irrepressible.  We were love.  Plain and simple and sweet.   We spent every minute together, not needing or wanting anyone else.

I drank him in.  He embraced me.  Completely.  Everything we did was over the top.  Every emotion out of control.  Bigger than either of us.  We had passion and I felt young and beautiful and incredibly lucky.  We were made for each other…we fit.   When it was good there was nothing better

It got bad sometimes.  And there was nothing worse.  We fought as hard as we loved and then we made up reconnecting physically and spiritually.  As time wore on we would leave each other after fighting…but we could never stay away for long.   Neither one of us had the ability to stop the highs and lows…we fed off of each other…we needed each other.   We were not whole unless we were together.

We were getting married.  He bought a ring and I was forever his and he mine.  We told each other everything no matter how odd it might seem because we understood each other.  It was the rest of the world that didn’t understand us.  I felt like part of me was missing and he felt empty when we were apart.

That winter, we slipped into the darkness together.  I will never really know why.  There are reasons but it doesn’t really matter anymore.  We lay in bed clinging to each other desperately holding on to love until we turned on each other.  I will never be able to say how dark those days were.  Lost, day after day and right there but unable to turn to each other…only able to lash out at each other…to hurt each other because nobody else would understand.   The end was violent.  I pushed.  He pushed back and the world exploded into a violence that was bigger than everything else.  He wanted to hurt me…and I wanted him to kill me.  As quick as it started it was over and we were left drained and shocked and ashamed.  Wary of each other but still wanting only each other. I forgave him but he could not forgive himself.   We stumbled on for a short while until one day he left.

The third entity – Bipolar became my issue. He rejected its existence, denied his familiarity and fled to find normal.  He moved 2500 miles away so that he couldn’t come back this time.  As the miles that separated us became greater, we both cried, aching so badly with the need to just be.  To be together.

The dark days of our demise were dusk compared to what followed.  Because he had shown me what not lonely felt like…the loneliness has been unbearable.  Time has passed and it isn’t easier.  We talk.  We see each other occasionally.  And we are both lost and alone and afraid.    I wonder if this is what it feels like now, how would  I ever be able to even breathe if he had died.  I feel as if I might as well be dead.

He calls me late at night sometimes, when the rest of the world is asleep.  It’s our secret.  We laugh and cry and feel alive for the time we are connected and then shut down and merely exist when we are not.  The nights he does not call I lay alone in the dark sometimes the tears flowing silently down my face.

I speak less.  I do not laugh.  I barely cry.  The hurt and emptiness never go away.   Ever.  I lose myself for hours in music trying to find solace and peace in the depth of it.  By “normal” standards it was dysfunctional and for that reason I rarely explain.   We were normal for us.  And it was the most exceptional amazing time of my life.

He never minded that Bipolar was a third wheel. Until he wanted to leave.  I think it belonged to him too it’s just that no one had told him.  If they had, we might not have even attempted a relationship and never felt a love that deep or strong.

And maybe if he knew it was his too…he never would have left.

Author ~ Beth Campbell