I worry a lot about friendships that have gone by the wayside. I always made online friends easier than real world friends. Then again, cyberspace might be called my "real" world. The manic episodes that I suffered were few but they damaged friendships each time. I sometimes tried to apologise and explain myself but it was futile. I have made a number of friendships over the years and none of them are in good shape. It is a form of personal stigma. No one wants to deal with a "mad" person.
Like many things in my life, I do not set myself too many goals, for fear of disappointment and the resultant anxiety. I have calmed my anxiety by never expecting too much of myself and others. I think that I avoid going out much to avoid difficult situations. I will not make real world friends if I carry on that approach.
I always thought I had a small family. This was true in terms of close family. Since my mom died two years ago, I have my brother and his wife. I hardly see cousins at all. My brother and his wife seem not to be interested in my illness or the book I have written. I find this incredibly sad. I have found numerous cousins through my genealogy efforts. Without my brother and his wife, I would have no close family. They say you don't choose your family but you choose your friends. That is so true. In a way, I have to let go of any hopes of a relationship that will never exist. I don't have much in common with my brother and my sister-in-law. Things like this will hold me in the past but it is hard to move on. My story has gone a long way to free me from the past.
I think bipolars tend to get on better with new friends, those they met after the illness, even if they are fully aware of the history. I hope in time to be able to meet new people without mentioning my mental health. I hope I can be enlightened enough to make it a non-issue. I may work for bipolar and mental health but it will not define me.
I sometimes think that being bipolar makes me too intense as a person. I seem to talk about mental health issues to the exclusion of anything else. This is because my life doesn't have much else. I think I have to work on this. My attempts to lose weight and get fitter are giving me a new direction. Working on my diet and attending Slimming World have been good for me. My fridge is a wonder to behold. I am almost domesticated and making a lot of my own food. I feel a lot better for the healthier food and I have lost 12 pounds in 3 weeks of the program. My analytical mind is well suited to following a regimented program.. I still have trouble knowing what to eat on any particular day.
I do have a phobia of making phone calls or initiating messenger conversations. Once I start, I am fine. I found this a problem when I had to make a series of cold calls as part of my job. I usually managed it but I was not comfortable. I rely on friends to call me and that is not fair. If I force myself to do it, I don't have a genuine reason for calling. I do care about everyone but I don't always show it. I enjoy emails and I get my message across quite well. I enjoy online chats on a one to one basis. I seem to have the ability to make people feel better. I don't have the ability to engage fully and be their friend.
I have a lot to work on. My press release for the book will hopefully generate some interest in me and the book. I'll talk to anyone but I just don't get much practise. I have to be prepared to talk to anyone on whatever medium. I have that confidence now but the proof is in the doing.
I am sorry if I rambled a bit as I am inclined to do.