“It would be so nice if something made sense for a change.”
~ Alice from “Alice in Wonderland” Lewis Carroll
“A beautiful thing is never perfect”
Mental illness is a slippery business.
Dustin was probably bipolar. We weren’t sure, and we never got the time to sort it out. What was certain, however, was that something was seriously amiss, and had been since he had been a teen. Diagnosed as ADD and a half dozen other things over the years, he could be impulsive, especially when it came to money. He also had difficulty working out long-term solutions to a problem, leading him to make decisions that started at reckless and slid sideways into catastrophe.
His living situation in my area became intolerable, and instead of sticking it out or settling on a solution that would take time, he went for the quick fix to raise money. In the end, he was forced to leave the area and wound up back in Michigan.
He went through a lot of trouble to make sure his disastrous decisions didn’t touch my life, and as a result, it took me a while to fully understand both the nature and the depth of the problem. He never lied to me, either outright or by omission, but both his life and mind became so chaotic neither of us could get a clear picture or a solid grasp on our situation. We went our separate ways for a time, something I still have deep regrets over.
Our road together was never going to be an easy one. We knew that. But despite the illness, or maybe because of it, he had an emotional maturity and clarity that is rare in this world. If he made a mistake, he owned it and apologized for it, without excuses. He was always open his feelings, never hesitating to tell me how he felt about me with a simple honesty that cut through years of my skepticism and scarring.
He was a lot of things, some good, some bad, but never a coward. And neither am I. So we worked things out, and made plans to bring him back here, before the demons he’d left behind in Michigan caught up with him and killed him.
We didn’t make it.