Hey guys. It’s Hannah. Thanks for tuning in. Okay, so we’re going to talk about friendship today. This is my best friend, Courtney, everyone. Hello. Hi. She’s amazing. She’s been my best friend since high school. After my senior year of high school, I moved to Boston and about two to three years later, I had a bipolar breakdown and was diagnosed with bipolar 2 and put into a mental hospital. Okay, but let’s back up. So in high school, we were best friends but when I left for college I completely disconnected. Hung up the phone. I didn’t respond to texts. Didn’t respond to AIM (or whatever we used to do before facebook) from my friends back home because I was trying to run away from those emotions and the emotional pain and the fact that I couldn’t keep up with that image that I was trying to portray back home. So I’m gonna be asking her questions I’ve never really asked her today about our friendship and what she must have thought when I was gone. So we’ve had quite a journey. So I am excited. Get ready (giggle) Okay. So we’re just having girl time. But when I left for college and left for Boston I disappeared from Courtney’s life. And one of the questions I’ve never really asked her, which has been selfish of me and I’m so sorry, is what must you have thought when I left, when I disappeared? She was in a whole new environment. Everything was completely new to her. So I just thought that at the end of the day that she was literally kind of doing her own thing and being happy there. I had a bipolar breakdown. So I was 19, almost 20 and I was put in a mental hospital and diagnosed bipolar 2 and I’ve been in Raleigh, North Carolina, our home, ever since. And then my good friend and I, Courtney, reconnected out of the blue; about I would say close to a year after I got out of the hospital. (Courtney: A year?”) Yeah, it was a year. I’m pretty sure it was a year. It was close to a year. Well I didn’t tell anybody about my diagnosis of bipolar 2. I would withdraw and be so distant from Courtney; not respond to texts. And you must have been like, I must be a crappy friend like you must have thought – you must have been a crappy friend or like she must be mad at me. Courtney: Yeah. Hannah – That sucks. Courtney: I just took it more personally in our relationship and honestly didn’t even really think about Hannah and why she wasn’t responding or anything. And I just kept asking myself, “What did I do wrong?” and “Did I do something horribly in our friendship?” I thought about the things running through my head and I couldn’t think of anything. And it was just kind of hard to deal with because when you have a friend you talk to pretty much 24/7 and then sometimes you don’t hear from them for say two weeks or a month, you start to think: “Well what did I do? Is she mad at me?” You know, things run through your head. Yeah. I know. Sorry about that. But then I came out and started to say to people, “Alright, I’m coming forward like about this thing I gotta tell you about. Remember that time that I was gone for quite some time? This is what happened. i was diagnosed with bipolar 2. I had a breakdown.” And I think it was like a lot thrown on someone at one point. And I don’t like – Wait! I like, for real, have never asked you… What did you even think when I told you I had bipolar? Were you surprised? (Courtney) I think, at first, you think when you hear the term bipolar or mental conditions, mental illness, yeah, illness or anything you think, to be honest you think: “Wow, this person is unstable. (Hannah) Right. Right. (Courtney) and they’re crazy. and they can lash out any minute and that’s more of the stigma and stuff. Exactly. It’s good that you’re saying that though because that’s such an honest answer. I had a best friend yet I had that stigma too or those thoughts. And then when she told me, you know of course it developed over time – we actually got more into the discussion of everything. But it kind of made sense as to why sometimes she withdrew or why I wouldn’t hear from her or why she reacted a certain way, you know, during a certain moment. I don’t know the word “shocked” is the right word to use. Just more so like caught off guard. Yeah like: “Wow! Literally, my best friend is bipolar.” (Hannah) Right. You hear of other people that you don’t associate with being bipolar through the media. Right, right. Like I am so glad that you brought that up because you are giving it such an honest answer that’s like such a huge problem. You see in the news, like these people that are like criminal, like ridiculous, and it’s like: “Oh, they’re bipolar.” And all the terminology. That’s you. So I could only imagine what Courtney was thinking at the time. That it’s like, “Oh! I’m bipolar.” It’s probably like: “Oh, my God! Should I invite her over to sleepover?” (Courtney) Right. I always knew Hannah was an interesting one, but in a good way. Now that it’s been a couple years that you have like it’s like a new awakening, you’ve been my best friend knowing I have bipolar. (Courtney) Right. (Hannah) What would you give as advice to people out there, to someone that has a best friend that struggles with a mental condition that’s going through something? Right. I think a lot of it is making sure that you do keep constant communication, whether it’s your friend or yourself. And because sometimes I feel like if I withdraw, then she might withdraw. So, I think sometimes you have to keep that constant communication. To kind of keep it going sometimes. And knowing that you’re here for them no matter what’s going on – if it’s good, if it’s bad. No matter what it is. Even confront them sometimes. Hannah and I know we haven’t talked… (Hannah) Like be open. (Courtney) Yeah, be open and say, “I hope everything’s okay with you. Let me know if you need anything.” Just kind of be there for support. So many people with a mental health condition think this way… that we’re helping people by not being honest. Because I wasn’t honest. I used to make up stuff. Like I would say, “Oh, I’ve got the flu”. Courtney probably thought I was sick 365 days a year. (Courtney) Or, for example, say we have plans and then, last minute, Hannah felt bad. Well really, it might be because something’s going on. (Hannah) But I would make up an excuse. (Courtney) Right. (Hannah) I thought I was helping by withdrawing instead like you said you thought you were – you didn’t know what was going on. You felt like… (Courtney) I thought it was all me. (Hannah) You thought it was all you. Geez. I mean I don’t blame you for that. We assume that they’re going to judge us because we struggle to understand what the hell’s going on inside of our head. So we assume that they’re gonna judge us and we keep it to ourselves and then were upset because you don’t understand. There were so many times I would be mad at Courtney, when she didn’t understand. Now that I’m older and I’ve opened up this conversation with her – I just never explained it and now that I’ve explained its change her perspective on mental health and she didn’t judge me. And now when I look back on it, I was the one judging her because I was saying, “You’re judgmental. You’re going to judge me.” And that’s not something that we do maliciously. It’s almost subconscious. It’s natural. You look on the TV and it’s like you said – “Is she unstable?”; when you first heard. That’s why it’s so important to talk about it. What I’ve learned about Courtney and my friendship is even if she doesn’t fully grasp it, she’s a support. Best friends, they support each other regardless of your opinion, your bias, your background. It doesn’t matter. There’s two sides to every story and it’s important that Courtney was honest today and gives her side of the story; how she was hurt by what happened. It wasn’t just all about me Leave your comments below. How many years or did you ever or have you ever told your close family, your best friend, when did you tell them? Please, please, please leave your comments below. Thank you, Courtney. She’s my best friend. I love her so much. (Courtney) Great to meet you guys. (Hannah) Yeah, they’re amazing. I love these people. Please subscribe now to my youtube channel and you’ll see my videos on that. (Courtney) Subscribe today. (Hannah) That’s right. That’s the best friend for you. Thank you so much for tuning in and I can’t wait to see you guys next time. Go out and give your best friend a hug. Awww.