The Colours of My Friends

Today, I had a long conversation with my mother and sister-in-law during our lunch time. I started the opening by telling them stories of my best friends who are gay and lesbian, about how hard is it for them to fight against the stream and keep on living their daily life. The story went on as my mom and sister-in-law asked me questions on how do they strive for living, what do they do to themselves and how do their family accept them at last.

Then, my sister-in-law said something that makes me realize how rich I am as a person. She said that since she got married to my brother and stayed at the same house, she started to know the reality of human lives (do I sound too much?). She started to learn that human have their own colors and sometimes they want to show it off. I have numbers of friends who failed in their relationships and ended it just a moment before their wedding day. I have a friend who has been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. To make the list longer, my sister-in-law took no time to mention them out.

with my friends - Singapore 2009

After having my lunch, I was thinking to myself and it made me realized of how rich I am as a person. I have so many friends from so many different backgrounds. I’ve met so many people with their own dreams, stories, hope and tears. I’ve talked to so many people who can’t wait to share their happiness, sorrow and tragedy.

A good friend just told me her story of aborting her baby because she couldn’t help to raise another baby. She has two young children to be taken care of and also, she has to think of her unfaithful husband. At the same time, another good friend cracked open his hidden identity as a gay (I have another gay friend). Another good friend of mine, who is happen to be a brother at one monastery also had a problem. His superior (whatever you named it) asked him to leave outside the monastery while still holding onto his eternal vow. At last, he will be able to decide whether he will still be a priest, or he will live as a layman.

I think I have to be thankful to meet those extraordinary people, who enrich me through their stories and share their wisdom to me. Even though they have their own tragic stories and unhappy ending, they still the colours of my life!

Riding on an emotional roller-coaster

He calls me every now and then; he sends me sms or emails. He always asks about my conditions, worrying about my solitary life and keeps on praying for me. He is such a nice best friend to me. You can see that from his behavior toward me. On the other time, he would scream at me, saying rude words (even though he said that those words randomly chosen for random people, so, he did not say those words to me) and crying. He would be someone else, not the nice person that I’ve been known for almost 10 years.

2680609834_3bf3848ed6_oHe’s been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a clinical condition that is characterized by the occurrence of one or more Manic Episode (when a person have abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, lasting at least for 1 week) or Mixed Episodes (when a person experiences rapidly alternating moods –sadness, irritability, euphoria- accompanied by the symptoms of Manic Episode and Major Depressive Episode).

When he has his enjoyable days, he would be nice to everybody. Call them up, greet them and send them some gifts. Sometimes, through MSN, he will show me his design books and tell me stories about his favorite designers and their masterpieces. He also makes jokes on me, and sometimes the jokes are very silly, yet he can make me laugh. He also tells me how much he loves his mother, his sister and his close friends. He even supports me to keep on keeping up with my dreams. He knows a lot of my stories.

But when the stormy days come, he would be someone else. He would send me sms and it sounds very angry. Like a few days back, he sent me sms and said that he was very angry with the conditions around him. He had a project in which he had to use drilling machine. He was so afraid that he was almost hurt his fingers in that machine. He was so angry for not being able to use that machine. But, the cause was not just that. He was also angry to his own condition. He said that he was almost going back to ‘that small room’. That room refers to a condition in which he feels helpless, no one around him and nobody would ever love him. That condition comes and goes, without any notice and hurt him so bad.

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Some people who do not know about his condition usually labeled him as a weirdo. Even some of his family were talking behind his back and spread the gossips to others. They said that my friend is a schizophrenic. That he’s crazy and won’t get any better, even with medication. One thing that makes me mad is the way they label someone with their own judgment and prediction. I talked to his aunty once, she insisted to call me up. She kept on telling me about his family history, in which I knew it long before she called me up, and kept on blaming his mother as the source of his disorder (the way my friend’s mother took care of him and so on). I tried to assure her that my friend is going to be alright with the right medication and acceptance from his surroundings, including her. The phone call went for about an hour and she never called me up again since then.

What I want to say is never ever label someone with something that you do not know. That label may hurt them so much and haunt them for the rest of their lives. Imagine if you are the one who get labeled by others. It’s like writing on your forehead, that you are having such disease and you have to face it for the rest of your life.

Just be careful with what you say…