Bipolar, OCD, and My Cousin’s Wedding

I went to my cousin’s wedding this past weekend out-of-state. If I could change one thing about myself it would be not to brood over things like she’s much younger than me, has known her fiance for a way shorter period of time than I’ve known my non-fiance, and has a picture perfect public relationship with him. Doting over each other and whatnot. Making productions of kisses. That’s just a clogged emotional artery though. Guilt that I’m a couple of years away from 30 now and just finishing up my undergrad, a semester behind my cousin, to add to the embarrassing feelings. Blood however is still pushing through my veins, and thank God for that.

Turns out I had a nice time, and got in some family bonding with extended family that I enjoyed very much. I took a million pictures and was proud they had good composition and decent lighting. Photography has been a hobby of mine for years now and though I don’t currently have a working nice camera, I still managed to use the technology available to take shots. The key is to keep snapping away, and then skim off the crap ones, then skim off the not so great ones, then keep the good ones but show off the great ones. In my opinion at least.

The night we arrived at the hotel I ran to a Walgreens to pick up a card after we ate a late dinner. (I went with my immediate family). I ended up bluntly exposing my feelings about why I wish I had a closer relationship with her (and it’s true, I wish I did). Mental illness was the key component, and the stigma revolving around the subject made me cringe and tear up while writing it.

This was the letter. She hasn’t read it yet as far as I know. They were busy all day and are going on their honeymoon in the morning. I both want her to read it and don’t. I’m scared of her reply. More so I’m scared to be let down by her reply.

“Dear C,

I am very proud of you. I remember little blips of walking down the hospital hallway to see you when you were first-born. I remember dominating bowls of black olive appetizers at your birthday parties at your old Chicago house and playing games like ‘Elefun’ in that living room.

Something old: childhood memories.

Then, to speed this up, you guys moved, later yet i got sick with Lyme and all my confidence flew away and I’ve spent the days since fighting major depression, ocd and bipolar disorder. There IS a point to this recap. You need to know that for those reasons, I have sabotaged my relationships with family and friends for years. It’s an enormous regret of mine that my little cousin is 21, a college grad and getting married i hardly know her. And you hardly know me!

Something borrowed: my ears are yours anytime. I’m a great secret keeper and of course a growing psychologist.

After grandpa died, one of my biggest fears was that if grandma passed away the BARBIE side of the family would fall apart. I’ve meant to start mending gaps and making up for lost time but how do you explain to a perfectly normal extended family  that you carry around a constant sadness and fear that’s not reasonable 90% of the time and it makes it hard to socialize with them because you’re super far from comfortable? Putting that out there for you right now is super terrifying. If you know though, maybe that’s the first step toward having a solid relationship.

Something blue and something new: the color you now know I secretly carry.

You’re about to start a brand new chapter of your life and I’m so happy for you. I felt that if I didn’t tell all that to you, you would never know on the happiest day of your life so far that your big cousin loves you so so much and always has.

Now get out there lady! Get married!!!

‘Now join your hands, and with your hands your hearts.’ -William Shakespeare”

Well that’s it. That’s what it was. Of all my impulsive ideas this one wasn’t so bad I suppose. Now if only I could use some of that impulsive energy to knock out so I get some rest tonight. Maybe after accomplishing as much as I did after we got home and additionally emptying my mind of all the thoughts I was saving up to get out, that’ll do the trick.

G’night moon, G’night stars, G’night WordPress.

11 thoughts on “Bipolar, OCD, and My Cousin’s Wedding

  1. I love the personal spin you put on the “something borrowed, something blue”. Awesome. Also, you know, I think it took a respectable amount of guts to put yourself out there like that. I’m betting your cousin felt a tug at the ole heartstrings, and too, it was good of you to give her a necessary diversion on her wedding day- apart from mountains of stress! it’ll bring you guys closer at the end. 😉

    And on a whole other note entirely, that was freaking HUGE of you to overcome your own mountain of uncertainties and getting out there and being part of all of that. As we know, that’s just not an easy thing to do. Good on you. 😉

  2. Your very creative, wonderfully nostalgic, and healthily honest letter to your cousin will probably be one of her most treasured gifts. And that is exactly what you are: a treasured gift, to your family, your readers, and to yourself!

    • I have a feeling that my readers and immediate family care for me more than my cousin, but thank you. Months later and she never even let on that she read it or gave a thank you. It gave me a little closure though, that I see her colors in those actions. Maybe I just expected even a tad more because that’d the the bare minimum that I would do.

      • Is there a chance that your cousin missed seeing your letter? Perhaps, your cousin feels that she has to build up her own courage to break the ice, since so much time has gone by, as she may not have had the wherewithal to answer at the time, since her life was in a bit of a joyful whirlwind then. I would likely not abandon all future effort. And try not to compare your achievement timetable with anyone else. You are unique. My daughter didn’t really get out on her own until 34. Now, she has found a good antidepressant, and has a job that she loves.

      • I’m glad your daughter is doing well. My cousin knew about the letter and I even told her I wanted her to read it, she apologized that while I was still out of state seeing her that she didn’t get to, and then that was the end of it.

      • At age 64, I can tell you that being 28, and still laying foundations for your future, is a good place to be. We all start out with somewhat immature and unrealistic assumptions about life. For example: “By age xx, I ‘should’ be at such-and-such stage.”
        It seems to make sense to me that, since there are many more opportunities and choices available to young people today, more-thorough preparation is needed, to lay the groundwork for one’s successful future.
        I only wish that I could sweep away any guilt you feel for not being where you think that you “should” be. I can offer two ideas for you to consider: (1) You are carrying a burden of false guilt, and (2) Don’t “should” on yourself. (I learned that one in Alanon.)
        And, young lady, you are a wonderful writer!

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