Healthy

I had a friend who I loved. Being with him was like a dose of electricity. My adrenaline soared just seeing his name. He was so edgy. Smart, daring, perverse, dark, haunted, haunting, rude, crude. He challenged my assumptions, my beliefs. I learned things about myself I might never have learned without him. I drove myself harder than I’d have ever believed in order to consider myself worthy of his attention and conversation. Of course he wasn’t perfect. I knew that, that wasn’t the allure. It was the thrill of the challenges, the push to the edge, the dare, the uncertainty, the variability, the unpredictability. Sometimes it felt there was insufficient air to breathe.

Then they told him he was ill. He agreed and did what they said. I’ve talked to him since. He seems happy. He’s a nice man. Gray, flat, nice. The treatment worked. He’s heeled.

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3 Responses to “Healthy”


  1. 1 anonymous obviously October 21, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    I have a child who I love. He’s brilliant and unpredictable. He’s handsome and strong. He works at jobs he likes, and that support him, but that are far below what he could be, something he admits. That’s OK. Occasionally, he’s crazy enough to harm himself. That’s not OK. There’s deeply crazy in his father’s family, and there’s alcoholism in mine, so probably depression there too. I know he has adventures and friends. He’s also alone, except for us, and we’re getting old. People like him, but he controls the access that his friends have to him because he knows something is off, so people are charmed, as you were charmed by your friend, but they’re never truly close.

    I have never, ever tried to convince him that he has an illness. He knows that already, because he’s a smart man. The illness is not all he is. Sometimes he’s more ill than other times. I’ll drive him to the hospital if he asks me, and he has.

    If your friend sought treatment for an illness that someone else told him that he had, chances are he already knew something was wrong. When he goes to sleep at night, and whenever he’s alone, he knows who he is and how he feels. If the exciting part of him makes him lonely and sad, and if wearing grey makes it more possible for him to connect with others and to disperse his pain, that’s his choice. Only he can decide how much pain he’s willing to tolerate in exchange for living with the brilliance that often accompanies his mental state. Be his friend: support what he wants. Mourning the loss of his symptoms will not help him find that wonderful part of him that still exists and always has. He, too, is more than his illness.

  2. 2 ahuva18 October 21, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    @anonymous Thank you very much for taking the time to respond. I agree with all that you said. He would agree with what you said. I don’t believe he was very happy with how things were going in his life before he accepted the treatment, and I think that he is probably much closer to happy now, if not actually happy. But…. *smile*…. this blog is MY point of view and therefore accordingly selfish. And I miss the thrill of what we had together. So whereas I am truly happy for him if my friend is in a better place, I am not so happy that we no longer interact. I was part of his “not healthy”. I miss him. I miss us. But that is life, is it not? People change, move on and you need to cherish the good memories.

  3. 3 daleinnis October 25, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    Wow, that is powerful stuff. I am reminded of John Nash, who famously said, after his schizophrenia was under control, that while it was good to be sane, it was also less interesting, or other words to that effect. It would be bad if we figured out how people can become ordinary, and everyone felt pressured to do it. Of course to some degree that is just what society is…

    (And why does WordPress love to torture me by telling me that my comment cannot be posted?? 🙂 )


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