This is for those I love. I am sorry for putting you through the stress and pain of my illness. Some of you have pulled away, some of you have dismissed it, some of you have over worried, some of you have not known what to say or do, but all of you have loved me hard and fierce. For all this I am grateful. There are times when I want you around even as I push you away. How many times have I declined an invitation and made you angry? How many times have I said I would show up and then didn’t? How many times have I not answered the phone when you called? They are too numerous to count. One of my greatest fears is letting people down, especially those I care about, and I carry the guilt of knowing I have done that to you on so many occasions.
I have said and done selfish and mean things when in that overreacting emotional mind head-space. You didn’t deserve it. Had I been in my rational mind I never would have spoken or acted like that. Whatever the reason, I pushed you away even though I desperately wanted you close. That is what my illness does. I worry you will leave me and then I act in a way that ensures it may become a self-fulfilling prophesy. The double-edged sword from hell.
I want you to know that your love means the world to me – never question that. You have pulled me up when I was down, even if you didn’t know it. Through your anger I saw caring. Through your frustrations I saw loyalty. Through your tears I saw compassion. Not all of you have loved me perfectly and that’s okay. I am not an easy person to love. Some of you have backed away for your own personal self-care and, although it hurt, I understand why. I want you to be okay too. I want you to be the best person you can be which means taking time for your own healing.
It took many years for me to be open about my illness and part of that is because I was not only embarrassed for me, I didn’t want to embarrass you. Shame and stigma kept me silent. I was truly afraid of losing you if I went public. My hope is you understand my reasoning for doing so and that it has been a huge part of my recovery. I can’t stop speaking. I can’t stop advocating. I need this.
You are my whole world. I value your love and caring and will never, ever take it for granted. My wish is you get something out of our relationship too and I’m not just taking without giving. The reality is there will be times when I can’t give much. Please know that in those times I hurt more because I know I can’t be all that you may want or need. My brain and body only have enough energy for me at certain moments. What I can promise is that no matter what I will come back stronger every time. I will never stop fighting and part of that reason is because I have so much to fight for. My goal in life is to be the best daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, niece, friend, and co-worker I can be. I love you all.