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To the Well-Meaning Friend Who Said I 'Didn't Really Need' All My Medications

Dear Friend,

I know we’ve known each other for many years. During those years we have laughed and cried together and grew up and got married and had kids. During the early
years of my marriage you and I lost touch and a lot changed for me. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Through many trials and errors and many trips to the doctor and a suicide attempt, I have gotten on the road to recovery. I have worked years on getting the right medicines and behaviors down so I stay in recovery.

During a recent episode in my life you came to me to give me support, and it meant so much to me to have you by my side. You were such a good friend to me most of my life, and I was so glad you were there for me. However, during a conversation one day you said something that hurt my feelings, and I have never said anything to you about it, but now I feel it important that I do say something so you don’t make the mistake with another friend.

You said to me that I “didn’t really need all the medications” I was on. Your
intentions were good, but what you don’t know is the struggle I went through during the years we weren’t close. You don’t know how bad my depression got, or how severe my manic episodes were. There were days I would do nothing but scream and throw plates against the wall. I broke doors off hinges, and I wouldn’t have been able to stay married without getting those angry moments under control.

Each one of my medications takes care of a symptom you may have never seen. My medications took years of trial and error, and when the right combination was found it was like the world was lifted off my shoulders.

My medications saved my marriage and let me be a mother, but most of all they
saved my life. I know since you don’t have mental illness this may be strange to you, but please understand I have to do what is best for me and my family, and know that saying I “don’t really need all my medications” is actually hurtful to hear.

I know we are good friends and that we always will be. Please just love me for who I am, mental illness and all.

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