Thought that you might like to see a letter I wrote to Stephen Fry in a weak moment:-
Dear Mr Fry
(I am suddenly reminded that 20-odd years ago I used to chat up long- haired young men in student unions, with some success, by offering to tell their future through ‘reading’ their shoes).
In fact I hadn’t read anyone’s tweets except that of my friend Monty, who signed up to Twitter one night in 2009 when there was nothing on the telly and wrote ‘For some reason I’ve signed up to Twitter, here is my Tweet’ , and hasn’t written a thing since; perhaps because his singular entry sounded like a literary speech impediment.
I further confess that I bought your autobiography 2 weeks before Christmas, at which point I was given another 2 as presents and despite the copious copies, can’t get past the first few pages of any of them-not even if I remove the dust jacket and think naughty.
However there have been many times in the past 6 months that I desperately felt that I’d like the chance to talk to you. I recognise(d) this as very odd because I do not know you; do not feel that I know you and do not assume that we would like each other. On the other hand, you do seem a nice chap, a clever chap, a creative chap and a funny chap and I think I might be all those things too sometimes, apart from the ‘chap’ bit.
The bigger picture of me is that I am in my forties and was diagnosed with Cyclothymia, in January although I had known I was bipolarish since September... I won’t go into my feelings of frustration with the medical profession up to that point and since, or of a life that I feel that has been half-lived but I wonder if those are familiar feelings for you too?
The gist of the meeting with the consultant psychiatrist was that since I had not been hanging by my bra strap from a giant cornet whilst kids bought Mr Whippys in my shadow, then they had nothing to offer me unless I tried to do away with myself......at which point they’d send someone round.
I just wanted to ask you how long it took for you to get onto an even keel after the diagnosis? I am making huge strides in integrating both sides of myself and have successfully limited a recent manic phase but then had a complete meltdown in a passport photo booth in Morrisons!
Forgive me for rambling, but at the minute, the knowledge that I have it at all is causing its own problems. Beforehand, there was always the possibility that this would be the last time it ever happened.
Pre-September, the highs were wonderful and joyous and carefree, now they are treated with suspicion, mistrust and caution. I miss the euphoria of believing that I can change the world through the power of Underwater-Knitting- although I do believe that they’re thinking of allowing it into the 2016 Olympics in any case and that Skipton has some real talent in that area.
My psychotherapist is fabulous and I simply wouldn’t have coped (nor even known about my condition) without her. However, not even she knows how it feels to try and reign-in a tidal wave and that’s why I have succumbed to the temptation to write to you. I imagine that you are in a place of acceptance and less fear? How long did it take to get there I wonder? I really want my life to start and not to sit here grinding my teeth and fretting.
The plus points are that I have always been creative but had little confidence in the quality of what I produced but I feel that with this diagnosis, comes the probability that I am good at stuff and I am allowing myself believe so at last. Oh the liberation!
Forgive me for I know you are neither a doctor, nor Oprah and I am doing a good job of supporting myself really, but in any case, you are a ledge to rest on in the glacier of my mind when I see how you are managing to control the condition.
I will aim for that.
My very best wishes in all your endeavours