I had spent most of the year in a hospital getting treated for Bipolar Disorder. I met a lovely volunteer there AnnMarie. AnnMarie was a special kind of person. She warmed everyone’s heart. She was a humble woman not realizing how devastatingly beautiful she was. She tried to say she was old and had wrinkles. Her vision wasn’t good because she was the best looking woman I ever saw. She looked like Marisa Tomei and that is an awesome kind of beautiful. AnnMarie was Italian like Marisa and had a fun loving personality.
AnnMarie was a very comforting person. She was assigned to work with me. She wasn’t a doctor or nurse. She just knew how to make me smile, laugh and forget about my troubles. AnnMarie saw though kind I was gentle. I had been through a lot in my life and there was a reason I was still around sitting next to a beautiful warm woman like AnnMarie.
AnnMarie was middle aged and came across as very gentle as she had seen so much of life. AnnMarie would talk to me about anything. I was open to her about anything and everything. I was open to people but not the way I was open to AnnMarie. I trusted her she was the goodest person I ever met. AnnMarie thought I kept a good positive attitude despite having so many ups and downs. I had a lot of hope that turned into false hope when things kept derailing me.
They were letting me out for Christmas and AnnMarie threw me a party. She made healthy snacks for me being I was diabetic. She found good stuff for me to eat. AnnMarie loved helping others. She was a true angel. I was sad when I realized I would be spending Christmas alone. AnnMarie said I could spend Christmas with her. I accepted her offer yet I didn’t want to burden her. I figured she knew me better than anybody else so it made sense she would feel comfortable with me staying with her. I talked to her every day for a year about my life history. She knows everything about me to my favorite brand of soap to my favorite memory from childhood.
AnnMarie and I hugged each other good night as she would pick me up in the morning. One of the nurses finally spilled the beans to me. He told me AnnMarie was the wealthiest and richest woman in town. With all that money she could be traveling the world and enjoying herself and making a family yet she chooses to spend every day coming here from morning to night. The nurse said she was a very kind and caring woman. He told me I was lucky and to make her happy on Christmas. I guess I wasn’t surprised AnnMarie was very warm, gentle, good and giving.
In the morning she picked me up. We drove up to her castle and I couldn’t believe it. I felt like I was in a whole new world. I noticed she had a giant tree up with tons of presents addressed to me. AnnMarie was awful nice and generous. She told me she wanted to make sure my Christmas was great.
I told her spending the holiday with her alone with no presents was more than enough for me.
AnnMarie went to the trouble of getting me gifts so I would open them and use them. AnnMarie knew what I loved. She got me a Larry Bird Indiana State Jersey. It was very expensive and rare to find. She got me a bunch of Celtics tickets. AnnMarie listened to a lot of stories about me and The Celtics. I loved The Celtics and I told AnnMarie one girl asked me if I wanted to get buried in my Celtics jersey. AnnMarie asked me if I did. I told her I wasn’t at that point of my life to start thinking of things like that.
AnnMarie made me coffee. I loved coffee. AnnMarie watched Nebraska with me my favorite movie. I was a big Bruce Dern fan and wished he got The Oscar for the movie as he was seventy eight and one of his last chances. The movie ultimately led to better roles and insured he would cap off his career on a good note. A lot of people saw the movie as depressing but it had a reverse effect on me. I found Dern’s performance to be warm and a message that love sometimes is an unspoken thing.
I thanked AnnMarie for spending all her free time helping me and others feel better by comforting us by understanding and just being a good friend. Some illnesses there are no cure to. A good friend may not be a cure but it helps a great deal. When I wanted to stop believing she told me to put my chin up and look at her and told me it would happen.
It took a long time but now I was in AnnMarie’s home healthy as ever. It had been a long time since I had been outside the hospital for a long time. They allowed us to go on half day trips and walks. AnnMarie lead the four of us that went to the movies every Wednesday. We took the elevator because Bob who served in Vietnam didn’t like Heights. I was open about my not liking heights either. It’s a common fear. I went to a movie three times just with AnnMarie.
The doctor felt the movie would be triggering as it was heavy. It was Black Swan. I kept falling asleep during it as I was on heavy medication. AnnMarie thought I went to see the film because I liked Natalie Portman. I did like Natalie but the movie seemed real cool to me. It was my type of movie. It was very artistic.
I told AnnMarie she had to let me to get her a gift after she gave me eight million gifts. AnnMarie stayed in the other room as I wrote her something. Writing was the only thing I was good at and it was a thoughtful gift. I wrote about her once again voicing my appreciation for her my big giant loving kind heart. I thanked her for being a friend and caring about my feelings.
I thanked her for all the late nights in the hospital where I couldn’t sleep and she stayed up talking to me until they gave me enough Ativan to put me to sleep. I am sure for AnnMarie it was much like being with a newborn as I was up at 4 in the morning talking like crazy.
I thanked AnnMarie for exercising with me because I was so medicated I didn’t want to do anything. It was best for my health and without her being a workout buddy I wouldn’t have done it. I was also treated to the lovely singing of AnnMarie during exercise time.
During arts and crafts time I wanted to draw a picture of her but I was frightened to do that. Women are a little consciousness about how they look and I lacked the talent to capture the full beauty of AnnMarie.
It seemed all like a fantasy this happened. I knew I would be fine. I knew I would always have ups and downs but I would make enough to get by to live. But I truly knew I could never live without AnnMarie by my side. She helped me grow up in some ways. She saw the emotional wounded parts of me I did not show her and she healed them. She saw through my eyes and into my bewildered soul. She was the only that dare look deep through my eyes and into my soul as others stopped at the blood shot eyes and darkened circles around my eyes.
AnnMarie showed me to my room and I had to take my pills before I forget and passed out. In the morning AnnMarie and sat outside drinking coffee looking at the cold New England snow. AnnMarie made a huge Christmas dinner. I treated myself as I only got to do it once a year. AnnMarie in addition to being the greatest person ever was the greatest cook ever. Her food was yummy good.
We went to see ‘The Hateful Eight’ the film might not have been AnnMarie’s first choice but there was something very motherly about her as she wanted to make others happy by her generosity.
After the movie it was very late. We both sat in our chairs laughing about our memories together. AnnMarie brought up the memory that made me glad there were only two of us in the room. In the hospital the evil diabetic doctor and diabetic nurse were trying to force me to do a scary injection for the rest of my life. After saying no eight million times to them and them not backing off I started crying. I just wanted to be left alone and try an alternative treatment which I am sure there was as they were doing the easy thing for them. Doctors think they are Gods but they are really not.
AnnMarie normally the sweet angelic woman got angry and stood up for me and got those people to leave. She saw I was being brow beat and didn’t want to see a poor man who had been through so much be bothered like that. She protected me like a mother would to a son.
After AnnMarie told me that story I gave her a big hug and was hesitant to let go. And I never did as I stayed there and lived with AnnMarie in her castle for the rest of my life. And we lived happily ever after together.
© Dan Curley 2016
About the author:
My name is Dan Curley. My writing topic is Bipolar Disorder I’ve had 15 years.
I am writing a short story about a patient diagnosed Bipolar Disorder who is in the hospital befriends a kind volunteer AnnMarie who turns out to be a very wealthy woman who spends every day working with the sick. I think it’s important story during this time of negative stigma to remind there are kind loving people who will understand them and be supportive.
I am 31 years old graduating U-Mass Boston despite two major relapses. I wrote 22 books and over 800 short stories. I love wrestling from the 80s and 90s. I love Tom Brady and The Patriots. I am a long time hardcore fan of The Boston Celtics born with Celtic green in my blood. My best friends are Marvin and AnnMarie. Marvin I’ve known for 26 years and he has been a great friend supportive and kind to me when I was ever sick. He always shows up when he sees me not doing well. I like to include my real life friends in my stories because it makes them feel special. If they have a bad day I have a chance to make it better. I wrote a book for a girl who is suffering from a Bipolar Episode and is not doing well. She is the nicest and kindest girl you would ever meet but Bipolar is a terrible and difficult disorder. It turns a person from being nice to mean sometimes. So since she is struggling I figured writing her a book would help. A lot of people have the opinion it’s best to leave the real people out of stories. They don’t really understand why I do it and how important my writing is to me. Their opinions will rest with them.
“Bad times don’t last but Bad guys do!” -Wrestler Scott Hall, recovered from his lifelong battle with Drinking and Drugs
The wonderful photograph was taken by Milada Vigerova and acquired through Unsplash. It’s a great source for free photos under the Creative Commons Zero license, so check it out!