I believe that there is an angel who watches
over me from time
to time -- partly out of concern; partly out of curiosity.
Last updated: February 8th, 2012
Just a note to
say hello to my Andrea's World friends. I just went back and fixed those pesky pop-ups and ads again...hopefully for
good this time. Minor glich. I hope to have a new article out soon. I've been very busy lately with other
things and feel that I've been slacking.
I'm happy to announce
that Andrea's world has just completed Health-on-the-Net Foundation recertification and continues to conform to the high standards
required by HONcode as a reliable source for health information on the net.
About this site:
this site is dedicated to my angel, Andrea, it’s really about more than that.
It’s also about me and my struggles since her passing. And it’s
about how I have applied what I learned about mental disorders and life from having known her to my life and my relationships
today. It’s about what I’ve learned, what has worked and what has
not in my interpersonal relationships to date. I hope that you find what I say
here interesting and useful in your own relationships. And please feel free to
write me to tell me what you think (whether good or bad) about this site. If
you need an ear, I’m here at email@example.com. I may not have all the
answers, but I might know somewhere to look that might be helpful to you concerning BPD, bipolar disorder, living with people
with these disorders, and grief from loss. Feel free to write anytime.
if I go,
you're still here...
that I live on,
to a different measure
a thin veil you cannot see through.
will not see me,
you must have faith.
wait for the time when we can soar together again,
aware of each other.
then, live your life to its fullest.
when you need me,
whisper my name in your heart,
will be there.
Used with Author’s Permission. Ascension ©1987 by Colleen Corah
P. O. Box 390082, Edina, MN 55439 Web Site: http://www.colleenhitchcock.com
I would like to thank Collen Hitchcock for giving me permission to use her beautiful poem, which
came to me at a time when I was desperately missing my angel and in need of some emotional support. If you like this
poem check out her novel, "Rabbit Heart", below.
This site is dedicated to my angel, Andrea. Andrea was a remarkable person who lost her life tragically
in a car accident two days before Christmas, December 23rd, 2003. What made Andrea's world so remarkable was the spirit
and drive with which she lived her life - a life that had so many ups and downs. You see, Andrea suffered for Bipolar
II, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Anxiety Disorder, yet despite this, she was an intelligent, compassionate, fun-loving,
talented, charming, religious person who wanted to be a child psychologist and do missionary work to help others in need.
She loved reading and learning and was always inquisitive. She loved to travel and see new things. She
wanted to write a book about her life and wrote voraciously in her journals. And she was driven to find God and bring
his word to others. She was beautiful and she was my best friend. I miss her dearly.
Her best friend always,
|Andrea loved flowers!
My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night.
But ah my foes,
and oh my friends --
It gives a lovely light
First Fig -- Edna St. Vincent Millay
to the Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self_image) a person's self image is the mental picture, generally of a kind that is quite resistant to change, that
depicts not only details that are potentially available to objective investigation by others (height, weight, hair color, sex, I.Q. score, is this person double-jointed, etc.), but also items
that have been learned by that person about himself or herself, either from personal experiences or by internalizing the judgments
When answering a question in a workbook
about things she felt good about herself Andrea had written, “Pretty – sometimes”. To me Andrea was the most beautiful person I had ever met – morning, noon, or night. But for some reason she didn’t always see herself that way.
I never really understood why, as she grew up in a wonderful family, went to modeling school, and was extremely photogenic
with a natural ability to strike just the right pose for the camera.
I’ve come to realize that when
she didn’t think she looked pretty it wasn’t the outside she was seeing. It was the inside. Sometimes she didn’t like the person that she was looking at in the mirror. And when you don’t like someone it can be difficult to see them as they really are on the outside. For me, the more I like someone on the inside, the more I like them on the outside. Beauty is not skin deep. It penetrates
all the way from the soul to the outer person.
a year ago I met a woman named April. The first time I saw April, I was stunned
and said out loud, “Holy f…k.” I was caught off guard because
I had just seen a ghost. It turned out that the girl I was with was a friend
of hers and she looked at me and said, “Well, I guess I’ll just go home” and introduced us.
April looked so much like Andrea that I just had to get to know
her, but it scared me to death. First, because I needed her so badly that I was
afraid it was all about Andrea and my loss. And second, because I was afraid
to fall in love again for fear of losing her, too. But, starting out, over the
first few months I kept those thoughts to myself and we dated casually and got along great.
But as I got to know her I saw so much more of Andrea that I
loved on the inside – the passion, the charm, the charisma, the caring for others, and the need to find God. But also, there was the self-centeredness at times, and later (when we became closer) the anger and rages
that Andrea was prone to having when she felt fear inside.
And one more thing that I began to realize was that April thought
she was ugly sometimes. She would look in the mirror for an hour at a time, trying
to make herself look beautiful but never being satisfied with the result. I came
to realize that it was because she was not seeing the outside but the inside and she didn’t like what she saw. And there was a lot of baggage there from her past and perceptions that others had
put into her head. I could see, though, that she recognized beauty in others.
So, I made a decision that could have turned out disasterously,
but it was one that I felt I needed to do. One day I picked out three of Andrea’s
modeling photo’s that I felt looked the most like April. Others who I showed
these photos to actually thought it was her in the photos. The next time we were
together went something like this:
Me: “April, do you remember the first time I saw you,
how my jaw dropped and what I said?”
April: “Yes, I remember.”
Me: “Well, this is what I saw.” And I handed her
April: “I look like this?”
Me: “Yes, you look very much like that.”
April: “I didn’t know I was beautiful.”
She picked the one that looked most like her and put it up on
the mirror and over the next several hours she would constantly go back to the mirror and look at the picture and play with
her hair and try on different clothes and smiled at the results. It was a wonderful
experience for me seeing her happy with her self image.
Why did I do this? Because
I believe that before a person can find the strength to make an effort to change their self-destructive behaviors they have
to first believe that they are worth it. And for April, I felt that self image
was a start.
I'm speeding like a bullet
to drive through
I hope you're wearing
a bullet proof vest
Trying to Find a Way to Carry On
I'm empty since you left me
Trying to find a way to carry on – Sarah McLachlan, Adia
sent me a cassette tape that Andrea made a few days before I met her. I got it in the mail the other day along with
a CD full of pictures of her ashes being spread in about two dozen countries across the world.
I had to work up the strength to listen to it. A package that traveled 5,000 miles to reach
me, the last 20 feet from my mailbox to my cassette player would be the most difficult. After a while, with mixed emotions
of desideration and diffidence, I put the cassette into my tape player.
was drunk and lonely and spoke with her characteristic passion of her life, her hopes, her dreams, her difficulties, and the
veneer of confidence and control she presented to the outside world that hid the lost child underneath. She hinted about the
man she saw coming into her life in the near future who would protect her from herself, yet then spoke bluntly of the certainty
of her coming death. It saddened her that her life would be a short one, and (she thought) insignificant. One
thing that will always be with me are the words she wrote in a book of Bible lessons -- words that I was drawn to once when
I was missing her -- “I don’t want to be forgotten.”
listened for half an hour to her voice. Well, really that’s not true. I could not listen to it all at one
time. I had to turn it off twice along the way to recover and prepare myself for more.
Her voice was exactly as I remember it; her enunciation so familiarly distinct, especially her
“t’s”. I’ve missed that voice and hearing her say things I had not heard her speak before. Her
words were imbued with insightfulness, openness, honesty, and prophetic visions of her future -- and sadness. It was difficult,
but I needed to listen. So I did.
One inexplicable result from
listening is that finally, after a year and a half, I can play our Sarah McLachlan CD again.
I pull you from your tower
I take away your
And show you all the beauty you possess
If you'd only let yourself believe
wanted so badly to believe that she had value and a purpose. That was my initial goal when our lives first became enmeshed
and I knew I had met the person who would change my life forever; to show her that she did indeed have value and that God
had a purpose for her on this world and in His Kingdom. But she knew more about God than I did. And she worked
harder at that relationship than I ever could.
I wanted so much to
take away her pain. But just as you can never feel someone else’s pain, you also can’t take it away.
Would only I have had the power I would have laid my hands on her forehead and absorbed all the pain inside. I would
have gladly and willingly taken that pain as my own. I would have died to take that pain. I would have given my
life for her happiness, were that possible. Of course it was not.
“…by whose stripes ye were healed." -- 1 Peter 2:24
Andrea had this phrase from 1 Peter tattooed with a cross over the dozens of scars across her left
forearm – her stripes of pain. She understood that Christ died as our substitute and that His stripes have healed ours.
She knew where to look to take her pain away, but the dichotomy that is the borderline mind fought her all the way.
She wanted it both ways, but knew that was not possible. She was either to be all God’s or all the Devil’s.
She ultimately chose God. Were it not for that choice I could not have an angel watching over me now, holding off that
stiff breeze that threatens my house of cards with the consequences of sin. I have needed that angel desperately at times
since and I am so grateful that she is there for me when I need her most.
I often think about the many things that I wish I had done differently. I
wish I had been more attentive to her needs and more validating of her hurts. I
wish I had been more aware of what she was going through in her head near the end.
Adia I do believe I failed you
Adia I know I let you down
don't you know I tried so hard
to love you in my way
it's easy let it go...
But it isn’t.
I'm trying my best though.
“Always know in your heart that you are far bïgger than anything that can happen to you.”
– Dan Zadra
"I Miss You, Baby"
Hello Andrea, how have you been
What's it like on the other end
it like in heaven's hold
Is it just as we were told
The life you lived was filled with hurt
You felt ground into the dirt
you never gave up the fight
Til God reached out and took you that night
My Piglet, I miss you so much
I miss your lips, I miss your touch
your smile, I miss your charm
I pray that now you're free from harm
I know that you are in that place
I know that God left you a space
that now your heart will heal
And he will take the pain you feel
So tell me Andrea, if you can
What's it like in God's land
What's it like
on the other end
And are you happy my special friend
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