It’s Thursday and book club was tonight. I had worried about it all day which seems silly because I know all these women, we’re friends. And yet still, I was worried that there would be a distance between myself and them, since I hadn’t taken part in the club for several months. I had basically walked away without any communication or explanation, vanishing into thin air.

It had nothing to do with them or the books. It was me. It was my Bipolar rearing it’s ugly head. It was the medications that mute me, leaving me lifeless.

When it became apparent that there would be a small handful of us, I became even more anxious. In a bigger group it’s easier to fade into the background, smile and nod. Throw in a sentence here or there. In a smaller group you have to be engaged and present. Was I ready for that?

The answer was yes. I slid back into the group with ease and was welcomed back into the fold. We talked less about books and more about life, connecting over good food and wine. These beautiful faces, smiling and laughing. I’d missed this. I had forgotten how invigorating the conversations could be, how warm everyone was.

I left the restaurant feeling fulfilled and happy. Lighter. We’re social animals and thrive off of connection. Well, most of us (I see and hear you, all you beautiful introverts). Tonight confirmed for me that I can’t let my condition limit me and my interactions. Even if I’m feeling down, I should do my best to stay in the light instead of shrinking back into the shadows.

Today was a good day. I’m excited to go out and buy the next book. I’m excited to sit down and immerse myself in words and paragraphs, dog-earing the pages as I go, carving out time for myself. Hopefully this feeling lasts.

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