I have only one friend from college that I still occasionally email with, and let’s just say the emails are quite infrequent. She sent me an email about a week ago, talking about getting a promotion at work and the new degree she is working on. My friend is an over-achiever, if ever there was one, and has been known to throw herself onto many a project just because someone says it can’t be done.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t really sure how to react to the news that she received a lateral promotion and is going to get another masters, to add to the two she already has, and, oh, her Ph.D. We were on the same track in college. If I weren’t bipolar, I’d probably be doing exactly what she’s doing, but that’s only happening in another time-space continuum.
At the end of what I think was a very long rant about statistics and computer programming and data analysis (I think), she asked me if I was still working at the prison. And how she imagined that would be “the hardest job in the world.” Wow.
I thought I already had my “coming out of the bipolar closet” party with Jen. Apparently not, or she has forgotten, which is possible because she is a severe binge drinker and doesn’t have the best memory (although she was able to stuff several degrees under her belt, so she must have some memory). The post I wrote yesterday and added as a page on my site, “The Story and the Stigma,” stemmed from me responding to my friend’s email yesterday.
I took Jen through every step of what I’d been up to in the past two years (since apparently she hadn’t been listening) and told her that this all (working part time, being on SSDI, etc) was a long time coming. I haven’t heard back from her, and I’m leaning towards the “you never will” because she’s sent me several other articles since, so I know she’s checked her email.
Typing all this out makes me think — I knew exactly what Jen has been up to for the past two years; why doesn’t she know a thing about what I’ve gone through? I can’t figure out if she doesn’t remember or doesn’t want to remember or just lost track. I suppose it’s altogether possible I never told her, but not likely. In fact, I distinctly recall an email I sent to her right after I left inpatient hospitalization for the first time.
At this point, I only care a little about what Jen will say. I’ve had to go over and over with so many different people why I’m in the position I am in, and so I’m kind of through with the drama of it all. Jen will either reply back to the email, or she’ll just keep mass-mailing me articles that she thinks are interesting.
And I’m just going to keep telling myself that I don’t care until I’m blue in the face. I’m going to keep being nonchalant about this and not freak out, because that would really indicate some mental health issues. Sensitive? Gah, me? No! Much anxiety in your life? Lay in bed at night awake, wondering what all those people out there are thinking of you and how they are probably judging you?
I think I’m going to need some direct therapy on this issue. For now, I’m putting the possibility of a return email from Jen low on my priority list, and I’ll just have to keep shoving it back down there until it stays.
The Counting Crows, Long December (We would listen to Counting Crows nonstop, singing all the words, back in the day. This video takes me right back and I am stuck.)