Hey there boys,
I hate to tell you this but all my friends and family say you have to
go. You’ve caused too much chaos in our lives. You’ve ruined my
marriages, cost me jobs, alienated me from friends and family, lead me to jail on a few occasions, and even had me hospitalized when you wouldn’t shut the fuck up.
You have been nothing but hell to my life, and still I can’t get rid
of you. You are a part of me. To quote Renee Zellweger, “You had me
And since I am unable to rid myself of either of you we are going to
have to revisit the rules of our little game.
From now on, I need you to listen to me. You may give me ideas, some
good, some bad, and some that are definitely harmful to all of us, but
it will be me making the decisions, no matter how long you scream in
There will be no more porn, no all-night drinking binges, and no more yelling
at people over piddly shit. Have you got that Mr. Hyde?
As for you Jekyll, just because we are strong doesn’t mean we have to
be silent. It’s okay to ask for help or just have a cup of tea without
being pretentious about it. We don’t have to go into hiding simply
because something has upset us.
To quote Rodney King, “Why can’t we all just get along?” Hyde, you
can still tell me to take a break and have a little fun without
breaking the pocketbook. We don’t have to go on benders for weeks at
a time. We can just chill. We can feel good and laugh and smile
and be intimate with our girlfriend, but it’s not the end of the world if we
don’t have to do it right now.
Jekyll, stop being an obsessive, introverted, arrogant little prick.
I’m more than glad to have you as my friend. You always give me such
unique insight into what Hyde is doing. And you have stopped me from
doing stupid stuff on more than one occasion.
We each offer strengths and insights into our shared little world that make
us a unique person of value to the human race, but in the end I’m
going to be the one in charge. This is my life and you have been with
me through thick and thin, not so much for the blessings but as the
cause. Dudes, together we can be something extraordinary. We have
the ability to learn faster, think deeper, to be more compassionate,
more productive, and an even funnier son-of-a-bitch than we are now.
So when I feel you guys getting out of control I’m going to have to
take a break, talk with you, and keep you in line. You can help me be
the person I want to be, not the person on the 6 o’clock news or the
daily arrest report.
Hating you has done no good and giving you free reign has only
brought chaos. So this is it. Be polite. Introduce yourself. Be the
person I know I can be and everything will be just fine. By embracing
you, I make us all a better person, somebody worth remembering, not
somebody needing to be forgotten.
So do you understand now why things have been so rough the last 30
years? It’s because you’ve been in control, not me. That changes
today! I can embrace you or I can medicate you into oblivion. The
choice is mine.
Think about it for a while and I’ll decide what part of you gets to
continue being a part of me.
© 2016 Chad McDonald
Art courtesy of Zerinity.
About the author:
This letter was written during the course of my first major manic episode of the year, which actually started around Christmas. I am the author of the book, “To My Children, Love Dad.” It is my testimony about how basic Christian doctrines have changed my life and how they can help everyone. Insert shameless plug: All who buy the book directly from my website receive a signed copy with a personal note of hope and love, if you’d like. I also blog about the things I have time to ponder about in my life in Southeastern Idaho and share my photography of this beautiful piece of America.
I do have a permanent disability called Bipolar Disorder that I have been dealing with for 30 years and researching for the last 20. Some days I cannot focus and get nothing done while other days I am hyper-productive and hilarious. However most of the time, aside from my talking to God or any number of ideas racing through my head, you’d never know I have an illness that has almost taken my life.
I rely on the support of family and close friends inside and outside of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and above all my Heavenly Father, My Savior, and my spirit bro, the Holy Ghost. Without them, I would not have had the strength to change my perspective in life to discover that this “curse” was given to me as a blessing if I would learn how to use my symptoms.
Life isn’t perfect, but the perfect joy in life is knowing that we have the strength not merely to survive but to enjoy, to rejoice, and to exude our divinity everywhere we go. From the second half of 2 Nephi 2:2, Book of Mormon:
… and all thine afflictions shall be consecrated for thy good.
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Please, if your life is impacted by mental illness help spread awareness and understanding by writing to that illness and sharing it at Letters of the Mind blog project.