Jonna Terhune is a social worker living with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. She writes,
“… [my diagnosis] does not define me. By the grace of God, I am still alive and blessed to have the support of my best friend/mother. I know this letter cannot show the extent of sacrifice and love that my mother has given to help me live but I do hope that it gives a glimpse into our experience. I pray that one day I can give back as well as pay it forward. Thank you for spending a few moments to read my letter to my mom.”
To my best friend, I call you mom,
I never thought I would make it this far. You stood by me through all the sleepless nights, not just as an infant but as a teenager and adult when mania engulfed me or depression strangled my heart and mind. How many times did you sit in the hospital wringing your hands and whispering a prayer of safety and love to God for saving my life…. Your faith in a future where I could Love God as much as He loves me never wavered. I’d beg for you to let me go but letting me go never entered your mind.
You are a strong and loving mother that may not have always known what to do but you managed to do just was called for. I fought these tremendous battles but I never fought them alone. You have always supported me to become who I was meant to be even when we weren’t sure exactly who that was. I haven’t been able to express my gratitude to you for everything you’ve done and continue to do. I pray that I can continue to make you proud as I become a better version of myself.
I started out with this brain disorder as a frightened & rebellious 15 year old. For some time we all thought that I may be living in a state hospital riddled with delusions for an indeterminate amount of time. As you encouraged a life of recovery and stability, I slowly managed this disorder and I no longer identified as a bipolar disordered person, I became the woman who lived with a diagnosis and succeeded.
I am so proud to be your daughter, a survivor, and a child of God. Thank you for all you do and all you have done.
With love and faith,