(some more - the box you write in was playing up a bit and worried i case it disappeared i thought i'd submit and start again)
L. lived 100 miles away then but came to see me as soon as she was able and now I tend to think that our relationship as it is now started that day when I, in my ill-fitting trousers and clutching my carrier bag of precious things in a mental hospital way, saw her walking down the corridor towards me, smiling broadly and shaking her head. She said 'I don't mind you being mad but you must try not to look it, too.'
No one before her ever, not friends or family and certainly not lovers was ever able to cope with me when I'd be crazy. It was always, 'slow down', and 'why are you being like this?' Amazingly she didn't see me as 'not being myself', but as my lovely self, just in the throes of strange delusion!
She became an expert in the condition, I learnt more than I ever had before because I didn't 'move on' but stayed around to come down enough to hear what the proffessionals were telling me. And now I accept the esteem blind lows that come with the down swings and savour the energy of the mania, but strictly only ever to a safe extent. And I relax knowing that Dadi is always on top of it, take notice (I hope. I try anyway) if she says I have pressure of speech, prolonged sleeplessness, falling away in appetite, etc, etc. (And if I get really manic I'm not allowed sex because she thinks its exploitative. If you know anything about bipolar and hyper sexuality you will appreciate that this is some incentive.)
So that's me. I have had a lot of shame over this issue, it has exacerbated my sense of not being like any one else and has got me in a lot of trouble, but overall I wouldn't have it any other way.
Hope this hasn't been too tedious to wade through. I thought it best, rather than drip feed information in my day to day posts, to avail of the mental health section which JA has so helpfully provided .