An Excerpt from Bipolar Firsthand

Enjoy this excerpt from Bipolar Firsthand.


I’ve been a surgical assistant for my dentist for the last couple of years. Last week a new patient came in for an evaluation and from the doctor’s office I could see a young teenaged girl slumped in the passenger seat of the blue Toyota he had just parked.  I said, “Michael, she’s welcome to come in and wait here.”

“No, thanks,” he said, “She wants to stay in the car.  Her boyfriend just broke up with her and she’s…“

“Very sad?” I offered.

He smiled and said, “Yes. Very sad.”

I want to give her something, but what?  I often write Messages in a Bottle and casually place them in the surf at the beach for people to find.  I have a couple in my car.  I wonder if I have time to go get one, give it to her and be back before Dr. Gums needs me?  I ran out the door.  I picked a bottle hoping the message would be right for her.  The bottles contain four different messages. I showed up at the Toyota’s window with the bottle and waited for it to glide down.  Thankfully it did.  I said, “Your dad said you weren’t feeling very well.  I write these “Messages in a Bottle” and put them in the surf for folks to find and I’d like you to have one.”  She began to bawl as soon as I opened my mouth.  Poor kid.  “Thank you!” she wailed as I ran back in the office. Smiling, I could see Brittney trying to shake the Message out of the Bottle.

We did the evaluation and Dr. Gums said, “Go get the wife.  She should hear this.”

I said, “It’s not the wife.  It’s the daughter.”

“That’s okay.  Go get her.”

Bending to the girl’s level at the car window, I said, “Brittney, Dr. Gums would like you to come in and listen to a story he needs to tell your dad about his condition.  It could give you something to think about besides what you’re sitting here thinking about.  Come on.”  She followed me in and sat in the waiting room.  I sat in a chair kitty-corner from her.  I said, “The reason you feel so bad is because you are trying to fill the big screaming hole within you from without.  When you were between 2 and 5 years old, somebody took something from you.  I don’t know who it was or what was taken, your trust, your innocence, something important, and it left behind a big screaming hole.

When someone has an organ transplant, you’ve heard of those, right, liver, kidney, heart?” She nodded her head, tears streaming.  “The people who receive the liver, heart, whatever, must take anti-rejection drugs for the rest of their lives. Their body knows that no matter how close the match, the frequency of the organ is not the same as their own so their body will try to reject it.  It’s the same thing that happens when you try to fill the hole with something from the outside, like a boyfriend.  Your body will reject it and you’ll feel awful.  You have to fill the screaming hole from within yourself.”  I stood up and moved to the chair next to her, my hand on her sobbing shoulder.  I said, “The most important thing you can do right now is love yourself.  You’re so beautiful, look in the mirror at your eyes and fall in love with your precious self.  Act as if you know you’re worth it. You know, right?”

Through sobs and tears, I heard her say, “Thank you.  That’s exactly what I needed to hear.”

I gave her a tissue and said, “You’re very welcome sweetheart.  Let me go see if Dr. Gums is ready.”  We all listened to his story, an appointment was made for Michael’s surgery and they left, Brittney lagging behind still thanking me.

I felt even higher than I did after rescuing the pelican.

When Michael came back for his surgery appointment, he looked at me and said, “Thank you.  I don’t know how you knew what to say to my daughter.   You really got to her.  She told me, “Dad, it was like she knew me.”

I said, “Did she share the Message in a Bottle with you?”

Shaking his head yes, he said, “Oh yeah.  She shared everything she could remember.”

I tried really hard not to let out a big rooster crow.  I was over the moon happy.

The credit for my knowing what to say to Brittney goes to Christa Rae Pacheco and her Full Mastery Edelwize program.

Below, please find a sample of one of the Messages in a Bottle. 

Message in a Bottle

It was not by chance that you are the one who picked up this bottle and are reading this message now.  There are no accidents or coincidences in life.

The time I spent floating here, the sun glinting off my surface, bobbing in the vast ocean, crashing over waves to the sand, gave me time to know what you were ready to hear.

If you could see yourself through my eyes, the look on your face might be one of surprise.

I see your complete innocence.  I see your pure heart, your compassion. Your inherent worth and immeasurable value.  I see a light within you, brighter than any sun.  It is with you always.  You are a glowing, golden-white light in human form.  You are a powerful force for love on this planet. 

And you are free.  Free to ignore what I see and tell me you are not enough.  Someone convinced that you were less than precious.  You were free not to believe them, yet you bought their story.  It was a lie.

The truth is you are precious beyond measure.  The truth is you can choose to love yourself.  The degree to which you love yourself is the only measure of how much you can love anyone.  You matter. What you do is important.  Choose love because Love is who you really are.

© 2024 Patty Hansen. All rights reserved.