Lucy was bereft!
Immersed in a sea of nothingness, an empty space, completely insignificant, pointless and futile.
Sammy blathered on unremittingly, failing to connect. Empathy all spent, burnt-out and chirruping like a sparrow, high pitched and irritating.
It was sticky and thundery in the garden, where the friends languished with a glass of chilled wine. Lucy’s eyes drifted lifelessly over the colourful flower tubs trailing purple and pink Petunia, and came to rest on a garden ornament chiselled out of stone; a large pair of cupped hands holding a small sparrow.
It had been there some time, Lucy knew that; but still mesmerised her, even today … wallowing in the dark void of self.
Within minutes the heavens opened and large drops of rain began to spot the decking, quickly gaining momentum as the rumble of thunder drew close. Sammy dived for cover but Lucy lingered, hypnotised by the sculpture.
“Get in here Dozy,” shrieked Sammy holding ajar the door. “Ok. Suit yourself!”
The rain fell like stair rods, spilling from gutters and forming puddles on the lawn. Lucy remained oblivious to all but the cupped hands, gushing torrid rain water.
A dim light flickered in the shadows of perception, impalpable, obscure but begging enlightenment.
In the early hours, just before dawn a restless Lucy slid off the couch and peeped through the shutters. The hands had become larger and luminescent, shimmering in the darkness.
Hurriedly she pulled on sweatshirt and pants and grabbed the car keys.
“Oi! … Lucy, STOP!” Sammy tumbled out of bed. “Slow down girl. You’re on the way …” A door slammed and the car sped away … “Up!”
Five days later, a shiny Range Rover purred into the drive. Sammy groaned as the driver leaped out and teetered around the back wearing high heeled shoes, red to match the car.
“Hi Sammy,” Lucy grinned, revealing lipstick stained teeth. “Missed you loads!”
Later, a world-weary Sammy scrutinised her friend over her coffee cup.
“You have bags under your eyes bigger than those you’ve dumped on the table. When did you last sleep Lucy?”
“Sleep? Dunno - Too busy!”
“Researching; networking; building up stock.”
“Turning peroxide blonde,” added Sammy. “But why?”
Lucy sprang to her feet and like a tornado, set about up tipping and shaking out the spoils of bags and boxes onto the floor.
“Sammy, God told me to do this.” Lucy exultantly held up a child’s t-shirt and shorts. “There’s more,” she added, “Shoes, blankets, toys …”
“Whoa!” Sammy looked distraught. “How did you afford all this?” Lucy waved a credit card above her head. “And the posh wheels?” Beaming triumphantly, like the cat with the cream, Lucy produced a second credit card, and then a third. “But Lucy, WHY?”
“I’m supporting, ‘Well Building,’ in Africa. I’m funding rigs to drill deep. I plan to build dams to trap rain water so the fields will be fertile and crops will grow and babies won’t starve.”
“They can’t eat t-shirts Lucy! Why the mountain of clothes?”
“Sammy I’m soooo excited. I’m setting up my own online business. I’ll have the debts paid off in weeks … Sammy … Sam, where did you go?”
“I’m right behind you Lucy.” Sammy slipped the phone back into her pocket. “Just been admiring the truck. Now what’s this new enterprise thing again? ”
Thirty minutes later the doctor arrived. Picking his way through the array of strewn garments, he cleared a space on the table and invited a bewildered Lucy to join him.
“Now Lucy, my guess is that you’ve failed to take your medication again.” Lucy was defiant.
“I don’t need DRUGS Doctor and I don’t need YOU! Please leave!”
“Do you feel that you’re acting a little irrationally lately?”
“God’s work is very rational Doctor!”
“I’d like you to come into hospital for a while, to ...” Lucy jumped up, tipped over the table and scarpered like a frightened hare. Outside two paramedics ushered her into the waiting ambulance.
Six months passed and Lucy was home, well and stable. Walking in the garden she stopped by the hands that held the sparrow. They appeared much smaller now, but the message was clear and concise.
‘Lucy, YOU are MY child and I love YOU. I’m holding YOU in the palms of MY hands and MY strength is made perfect in YOUR vulnerability.
BUT I GET TO CHOOSE HOW I HEAL YOU!’
Bipolar disorder affects about 1 in 100 adults at some point in their lifetime.
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