Not long after I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder (I use capitals as it’s had a huge impact on my life, from trips to ASDA to long term relationships) I felt a strong urge to write a back-dated sick note to all those I'd let down since my teenage years; friends, boyfriends, work colleagues, flat-mates, my German teacher, Nana, my gerbil...
My draft went a little something like this.
I am sorry that I (delete as appropriate) never turned up / turned up wasted - on my first day / spent all your money on tat I binned on the way back / tried to run you over on my push-bike / threw up in your bath - whilst you were in it / wore your wedding dress out - before your wedding / forgot to feed you for three days / trashed the TV because you wouldn't put Catchphrase on / invited twelve strangers back - to live / went to Woolworths for biro's and didn't come back for three days / tried it on with your Dad (This last one was not aimed at either Nana or the gerbil).
I was in-fact experiencing from a manic episode. It is a medical condition and I'm not the selfish, irresponsible drunk you portrayed me as. Times when I didn't attend for weeks on end to return as though nothing had happened I was in-fact experiencing a depressive episode.
I didn't send it. For a start I couldn't afford stamps, or paper (just reverse bingo slips) as I'd been fired. And dumped, and de-friended.
I was diagnosed in my late twenties because during a nine month stint of sobiety I was still “drunk”. My Dad, also diagnosed with bipolar, heard it’s often hereditary and said I passed it on too him.