“Real happiness is not dependent on external things. The pond is fed from within. The kind of happiness that stays with you is the happiness that springs from inward thoughts and emotions. You must cultivate your mind if you wish to achieve enduring happiness.” William Lyon Phelps
“Maybe I’d tell her that I’d lived my life the daughter of a bipolar alcoholic and I was sorry that she’d found herself there, too. Because I was. So sorry. We’d tried to reach her, my God we tried, but she was lost in the bottle and not a single one of us who had loved her back when she sparkled and shone, not one of us could get through. But we tried because we still loved her and we still believed that she was in there.”
“I could tell her that her funeral was so full of people who loved her that it was standing room only.”
“That when the string trio started playing “As Tears Go By,” the entire room wept. We all wept at the tragedy of losing someone who had so much of that sparkle, so much of that shine.
How the image of her two sons screaming and wailing to, “See MOMMY!” as they shut the casket will be forever seared into the brains of so many as the most heartbreaking thing we’ve ever seen.
She is so, so loved.
I could tell her that two years later, I still cannot talk about her without crying. How I cannot hear “Tears Go By” without weeping. How I still have her phone number in my address book. How I dedicated Band Back Together to her because I think the stigma of mental illness and alcoholism and all those demons we hide, I think that’s bullshit. How I think she’d like the site.”
“I guess I could tell her any of those things if I saw Stef again. But I think she’d already know.”
“Maybe I’d just hug her one last time, have one last laugh and say the right words: Must it be? It must be.”
“Today is really dragging out, everything seems to be taking ages. Every 10 mins feels like at least an hour. We had traditional steak pie at lunch – is steak pie traditional everywhere or just Scotland?”
“Anyway, we had that and some trifle which was vile. Tonight there was a buffet but I slept through it, they kept me 2 little triangle sandwiches 2 mini sausage rolls and 2 mini quiches. Oh and 2 bite size strawberry tarts. At least I wasn’t forgotten about anyway.”
“There is a new girl in my room and she was in during my admission in 2003 with quite severe anorexia, well I don’t know much about eating disorders but she had a tube up her nose and one into her stomach and looked about 5 stone. Now she has recovered a bit maybe is about 7 stone now and remembered me from all those years ago. She said she was just in for a few days respite but all she has done is cry. She doesn’t really do it in the room though, instead she will sit outside the staff room or kitchen and do it. I got worried as I asked her if she was ok and she said yes so I quietly mentioned it to a nurse who told me not to worry that’s “just what she does” on every admission.”
“I heard this song today, and I keep hearing songs or listening to messages from pastors about how God gives us grace, and we should do the same for others. You know, forgive them no matter what they’ve done. The first person that always pops into my mind is my mother who I cut out of my life years ago, at a counselor’s prompting. I told Mark about what I was thinking, and he said there’s a big difference between forgiving someone and contacting them. I could forgive her, but that doesn’t mean I should try and have a relationship with her. (Of course, emphasis on *try*) She makes me crazy mad like no one else, but of course it’s because I don’t think I’ve ever forgiven her. My current therapist called her a narcissist. But people I talk to only know her through me – what I’ve chosen to tell them, they don’t actually know HER, and I know her side of the story is quite different than mine. But to get involved with her again, that could jeopardize my entire emotional stability. Or at least I think it would. I don’t know if I’m strong enough to deal with what she could say that would hurt me. What would I expect or what would I want to come from trying to contact her? I’ll never have a normal mother daughter relationship with her, maybe it’s best I leave it alone. Yet, the thought of what I should do, what Jesus would do, keeps gnawing away at me.”
“I watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the cartoon version) and had to turn the channel after about 15 minutes of it. It took me back to when I was a child watching it, what was going on in my life, and it was just too painful. Why on earth would I want to remember that? I thought the memories would be happy – Christmas as a kid is so magical, I wanted the Christmas spirit and thought that would be a good way to get it. Instead it just depressed me for a little while. But it made me glad to be where I am today and I felt lucky not to be in a similar situation.”