Common Sense: Oh, hi.
Me: Hi? Are you shitting me? WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?
CS: I was out.
Me: You were out for a LONG TIME, MISSY.
CS: Yeah, I have been, haven’t I?
Me: Do you have any idea the trouble I got into without you? Do you have ANY idea what happened while you were gone?
CS: I’ve read the progress reports.
Me: Faaaaaaaaaaack you. You abandoned me.
CS: I didn’t. You made me go. I never meant to leave.
Me: Right. You didn’t mean to totally leave me to go crazy, go on a bender, end up in the psych ward and now stuck in an undetermined amount of outpatient therapy? You didn’t MEAN TO? I am paying for my crimes, boy howdy am I, but you should have been there and you WEREN’T. You keep me in check, man! You’re supposed to step up to the plate so I don’t DO shit like this! It’s your damn JOB, dude!
CS: Listen. Whether I was there or not, you still shouldn’t have done what you did. Let’s get that really clear. Blaming a lack of common sense for all the shit you pulled is just making excuses. You really fucked up, and you’re doing your penance and whether I was here or not doesn’t change any of that, so why don’t you stop yelling at me and we can have a discussion about where we are right now?
Me: I’m really pissed off, and I need to be pissed of AT someone and I nominate YOU.
CS: Bullshit. Be pissed off at your bipolar. Be pissed off that you were on the wrong meds. Be pissed off that you made bad choices and decisions and you pay the damn piper for it. But don’t be pissed off at me just because I wasn’t here to say “No, no. That’s not the thing to do”. You would have done it anyway. This goes way beyond my control. Do you even know WHY I left?
Me: Please, do tell.
CS: Because you stopped listening to me months ago. MONTHS. Way back in December when you started feeling low, you should have listened to me and gone to someone for help. But no. You insisted on doing it alone, and you insisted that you were FINE, and you ignored me for so long that I figured there was nothing I could do anyway and I took off. That’s why I left. You haven’t been listening to me for a very long time, missy. Be pissed at that choice you made, but don’t be pissed at me. That’s just passing the blame, and that gets you exactly nowhere.
Me: Done? Done chastising me? Because I get five hours a day in outpatient to think about all the bad things I did, and I get to go to bloody AA meetings and feel like the lowest molecule on the food chain for an hour three times a week, and my self-esteem is in the toilet and I’m really beginning to wonder if the BEATINGS will ever CEASE. Will I never be punished enough?
CS: You’re not being punished, idiot. You’ve got people trying to help you, and you keep fighting it for no reason other than you’re scared of what might happen. That you’ll get out of denial about all the shit that torments you every damn day and actually deal with it. You’re scared. That’s okay. But you’re not being punished.
Me: It feels like I’m being punished.
CS: That’s your guilt and shame. They’re bastards.
Me: I’d very much like for them to leave me alone. I’ve been listening to them for a really, really long time, and I’m ready to explode if they don’t stop screaming at me.
CS: Then listen to me right now. Keep an open mind. You have to be at outpatient. You have to go to AA. These are things that are supposed to be helping you, and if you LET them, you might be surprised. That’s all you’ve got to do. Stop tilting at windmills. You can’t fight me off forever unless you want to totally surrender to guilt and shame and why would you keep living if you did that? Listen. Just stop flailing your fists at anyone who tries to help you. That’s the first step in all of this.
CS: Did you hear anything I just said?
CS: You gonna listen to me from now on?
CS: You gonna stop fighting so damn hard?
CS: Good enough for me. Let’s go get a cookie or something.
Me: I’m glad you’re back.
CS: Me too.