10:35 pm, EST

I've learned that everything in life is a lesson. Even that time you were humiliated or that you were abandoned, and especially that time you succeeded are all lessons. Whether or not you acknowledge that these are lessons, they are, and it is up to you to decide whether you want to learn from them.

Life is the opposite of school: in school, first you you learn the lesson, then you perform what you've just learned; in life, you do it, then you learn the lesson. Perhaps that's what makes life so interesting, so painful, so thrilling.

Every person is a lesson. Seriously, some people were placed on this Earth just to show the rest of us how not to behave. Like that teacher you had it in for you or those popular JAPs with their labels, coyness, and cruelty. One can readily observe that they are pond scum, but it takes that extra bit of insight to learn how not to be pond scum, how to give the benefit of the doubt, how to be open-minded, to be patient, and how to question yourself and your own behavior. I've been angry for so long and all I have learned from that is that it is getting me nowhere at all.

The examples of good people are slightly more difficult, sometimes because we don't know where to start and other times because we're so hell bent on finding the flaws that we don't know where to begin. Trying to learn through positve behavior is oftentimes more therapeutic, but it is also more gut-wrenching because to do so is to first admit that you are faulty in your own ways (sounds like a 12 step program, eh?).

I love spending time with my manic-deperessive friends, especially my friends who are older than I am. We talk about our meds, chnages in our doses and our "cocktails", and how they can make life a living hell. Like the Lithium that made me gain 15-20 pounds and removed my desire to do anything and that time she went on a $5000 shopping spree for things she doesn't even remember and found months later in the trunk of her car. The frighteningly uninhibited sexuality of hypomania and thanking G-d after it passed that we never acted on our crazed chemical imbalances.

Most of all, we learn from each other and help one another with our experiences. She helps me find ways to get out socially and I make her laugh and share intelligent conversation with her, as she is a remarkable woman of faith and strength. She warns me of what is to come, even though we both know that when the crazy strikes, I will probably throw it out the window. I tell her of the times I was bouncing off the walls, when I was so depressed, but at the same time I had so many ideas that my mind was a live grenade.

Manic-depression is my lover and my soul-nemesis, but I'll live with her anyways, because she is my lifeblood.