Before I met my husband, Valentine’s Day was a holiday that I absolutely hated––mainly because of the crippling depression that it usually brought.
Ah, Valentine’s Day.
It used to be a holiday I hated. I stared at goopy couples hand in hand while I waited on them in restaurants wondering what was wrong with me. I delivered their desserts with a smile painted on and then slinked away back to the kitchen to mock a holiday which broke my heart.
My uncle used to say Valentine’s was a “Hallmark Holiday” created by card companies looking for extra profits. Here’s what Valentine’s Day meant for me for two decades: depression.
You see, I was single for most of my twenties and thirties. I longed for love, a true love, and not whoever was lying next to me. (Sometimes, this was promiscuity due to mania, yes.) If I was lucky, they would produce a card. I could forget about the accoutrements: a rose or romantic dinner.
There was the time I was dumped three days before Valentine’s… That one hurt!
To my single readers, this post is for you. If you were alone on Valentine’s this year, remind yourself it is a “Hallmark Holiday” and only 24 hours long. It’s over. Maybe do what I used to do and hit the discount, 50-75% off chocolate isle while picking up your meds at the pharmacy. You can eat your chocolate while laughing at the suckers who paid full price!
These days I am finally in a loving relationship but I paid my dues. I kissed many a frog. Love happened – at least in my experience – when I healed myself, when I began to live well. It was all thanks to my illness which drew me to the steps I needed to take. It was when I fine-tuned and really got the hang of wellness that my princess came along.
Hope you had a Happy Valentine’s. If not, then I hope you’re eating some yummy, post-Valentine’s chocolate.
Wendy Williamson had her first manic episode while studying at Virginia Tech, eight weeks before graduation. It was then she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder type I. After being downsized from corporate America, Wendy wrote her memoir of honesty and hope entitled I’m Not Crazy Just Bipolar. She co-wrote her second book: Two Bipolar Chicks Guide to Survival: Tips for Living With Bipolar Disorder with author Honora Rose.
Wendy writes for BPHope.com and The The Huffington Post. She has written for: BP Magazine, Bipolar Disorder for Dummies: 2nd Edition and The Two River Times. Her book has been reviewed by Publisher’s Weekly and National Alliance on Mental Illness’ The Advocate. Wendy is the founder of The Red Bank Writers Group and has been interviewed on over forty radio stations worldwide. Catch up with Wendy on Twitter and at her website.
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