As I mentioned earlier, it was my Mums birthday today. It was also my ex-girlfriends wedding day. I had an invite to the ceremony, reception and a room at the hotel for the night as well. In the end I contacted her this week and explained that I couldn’t go, explaining that I just wasn’t well enough to attend. She responded by asking if it was because I still had feelings and that she thought I’d moved on. The truth is, that I most definitely have moved on, I just genuinely am not well enough. I stated this to her, but whether or not she and my other friends that are attending will believe that, or simply assume that my recent troubles are an easy convenience to hide behind, is of no concern to me. I should stress things were not left in a strained way and my two friends, who are bridesmaids and two very close friends, have both been supportive through this whole process.
To be honest since I got the invite I’ve had an onslaught of views and opinions ranging from ‘why would you go? I wouldn’t invite an ex’ to ‘I wouldn’t go to an ex-girlfriend’s wedding’ to ‘you’re still friends, so why not?’ It doesn’t really help that I’m reticent to go into too many details that would add more colour and clarity for anyone reading this.
All I know is that such an event would no doubt have been a trigger for me and tested my resolve in ways I doubt I could cope with at the moment. And with event being the right word – with a very large crowd in attendance and the whole occasion unfolding in a manner befitting my ex and her families status – it was best to avoid it*.
You see, you walk a damn fine line between normality and madness when it comes to bipolar. Sometimes the sheer energy of a place can send you into a manic state where you lose your judgement. As I say, I don’t have romantic feelings for her anymore – I’d question my sanity if I still did – just happy ones that she’s getting married. For that reason I think I would have struggled not to get swept up in the day. It may sound silly, but from past experience, I can look at that mood scale I referred to yesterday and easily foresee myself racing up the scale. Or maybe not, maybe I’d race down it, but whatever the mental response, I doubt I would have come out of it feeling balanced. The sheer amount of socialising, the mental toil of being switched on, the question of alcohol; would I be strong enough to refuse? If I did how would I be able to handle the question of why I wasn’t drinking? Would I be comfortable enough to be open? Or would I crumble, succumb and lose my mind to excess and put myself in danger over the coming weeks from the skewed reality alcohol leaves me with. I’ve written enough recently about being mentally exhausted, I mean it wasn’t that long ago I was talking about my mind being perfectly accepting of very dark thoughts.
No, best to retain the equilibrium I have found for the time being as I continue my journey forwards. Nothing is more important than that and I must protect myself and look after myself. On Monday my counsellor said that, with everything I’ve been doing, there are tangible, life-affirming green-shoots of recovery, but they are fragile, as they would be. Now, I hate to think of myself as fragile, I’d much rather see myself as strong, tough, able. But the truth is the truth.
I can’t shake the thought that today is the biggest day of my exes life but yet at the same time, what is unfolding in my life right now is probably the most important period of my life. One day I’ll look back and be able to say, that was the point in my life where I started to turn things around, where I got back on track, where I started to find answers and build for a happier future. That is a great thing.
So yes, today I’m staying home and celebrating my mum’s birthday with my family.
* Further on that second paragraph, I’ve steadfastly refused to go into details about the relationship on this blog, if I ever do discuss it here I’ll choose my words and sentiments carefully as it wasn’t exactly a healthy relationship. If I were too choose one word for now to describe it, it would be messy, but there were certain situations that transpired where I was able to help her in fundamental ways, actions which I’m proud of but again, that isn’t for now.