How can I tell my friends that I really am crazy?
As many of you know, over the last couple of years I have been having an adventure with mental illness. I think it was quite a shock for me, at the age of 51 or so, to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I was horribly ashamed, I think. In any case, I didn’t tell anyone in my family (except those who are like me—which I didn’t know before then), nor did I tell my oldest friends. I just stopped talking to them.
I think that it may be time to let them know what happened to me. However, it’s a bit of a problem, since one of my friends is in a relationship with my brother. I don’t know if I can ask her not to talk about it with him. So, perhaps, if I tell anyone, I’ll be telling everyone.
I haven’t really had any personal contact with my friends for two years now. How can I explain this? How can I explain that I’ve been ashamed of what happened, and fearful that they might not understand. I don’t mean what words to use. I mean how can I make myself do it?
For that matter, should I tell them? Or is it too late? Has too much water gone over the dam to ever be able to reconnect like it was before?
It’s been bothering me a lot. I’ve come to think that there’s really no point in not telling them. It can’t get any worse, can it? It could only get better. Or am I wrong about that? I’m feeling like a schmuck, and part of me is saying the hell with it. But I need friends. I desperately need someone besides my wife who cares. I’m no good at making real life friends. Maybe I’m just too old to form the kind of friendship like the ones I made in college.
I don’t know. I just don’t know.