Logan's Story

  I wanted to just write a story that hopefully could be posted on your site for other friends of individuals with bipolar to read. In all reality, anyone could read this but my hope is that a friend will read it and realize the significance of their own friends' cry out for help. I am fortunate enough today to still have my friend here but for many out there, you're luck may run out some day.  
    "Willowe" came into my life just about 5 months ago. She was someone that after our first conversation, I knew we would be significant to one another's lives. We talked endlessly on the phone. She made me laugh about things, but most importantly she made me think about life in a completely different way. She has such an amazing insight about life and how one should not waste anytime worrying about whether or not something should be done. Willowe's feeling is that one should always try to experience life to the fullest because there is no guarantee for tomorrow. 
    Willowe and I were talking one day on the computer and she told me of her diagnosis with Bipolar disorder. She was very open to questions I had about it, what meds she had to take and so forth. My whole life I have worked with individuals with various disabilities, primarily that of Developmental Disabilities and Mental Retardation. However, I had completed an internship in the field of Mental Health so I figured I would be ready to provide her with any support that she may ever need. The typical feeling of a "true educated helper"..eventually I would find out for myself that there is no true education for experiencing that first episode with someone that you consider a close friend. Not one minute of the countless hours of college education that I had completed could of ever prepared myself for that night.
    A cold night in December....a night that I shall never forget as it was a night that I seriously thought that I was going to lose this person that I can honestly say that I had grown to love. Various events throughout the day had brought to her so much pain that all she wanted was someone to come to her side. I wanted to be this person, I told her I would come but external factors that I could have avoided but didn't prevented me from going to her side. This disappointment she felt in me compounded with everything that had happened that day brought to her an indescribable amount of pain. Why I had said that I would go and then not keep to my promise? This was the worse thing that I could have done. There were no words that I could say to her to bring about a sense of calmness for her. All that crap I had learned in school was just that crap. My friend needed me and I was not there for her. It was as plain and as simple as that. Through all of the yelling and crying, all she wanted and needed was to see that someone cared enough about her to go to her side. I didn't do that for reasons I can't explain or that wouldn't make sense to anyone without being there that night. My friend was in pain. Voice messages that she had left describe injury to herself. She had broken things within her home and she had been drinking. I thought for sure something worse was going to happen and I couldn't help to feel as if I was partly to blame. I called authorities in her area to go and check on her. They did only to call me back and tell me that she was ok and did not need any immediate treatment. However, the very politically correct dispatch officer said to me that "I should rethink my decision in being her friend, as you know she has a mental problem." I jumped on that one immediately. I thanked her for sending some one to check on my friends well -being. However, I did not appreciate the language she used to describe this person in my life. I said I was well aware of her mental health concerns. It was not a "problem" but a disorder. I thought to myself what an ass. A problem is something that is created by human error or such. Willowe's did not create her Bipolar disorder. It was not like she was just sitting around the house one day and said to herself...."Hey, I'm bored. I know I think I'll make myself have Bipolar disorder."
    Willowe was ok. She was better than ok...she was alive. Our relationship survived the events of that night and possibly has grown stronger and closer since that night. I learned a great deal from that night. I walk through life everyday helping people from all walks of life with various disabilities. Everything changes when it's someone that you love that needs the help. I couldn't get to my friend that night but I was lucky. From many talks with Willowe since that night, she has told me that with Bipolar many give into suicide. They cry out for the help and when no one comes, why should they go on?   
    I wrote this story to shed some light on the true importance of friendship. If you are reading from this site, quite possibly you have a friend with Bipolar disorder. I challenge everyone to learn all they can about the life that your friend lives everyday. Simple reading can do so much for you. Willowe bought me this book: "An Unquiet MInd" by Kay Redfield Jamison. This book is incredible. I urge you to read it have you not done so already. Ask questions, find out how you're friend is feeling. Let them know how much you mean to them. Keep them close in your heart and thought always. Somehow learn to know that they need you before they have to ask for help. I am trying to learn all I can about this disorder not only for me but for Willowe. I need to be a better person for her and know how to help. Most importantly, when at all possible go to your friend. Let them physically see that you care. Words can only mean so much when they are not followed up by actions. If you're at this site, then it's quite obvious that you care.
    Willowe, should you ever come across this story...always know that I love you and will always be there for you. Not a day goes by that you are not in my thoughts. I am very thankful that our pathes in life have crossed. You are a beautiful person!!!!!!
    smiles and a hug

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