Monday April 23: Health Activist Choice Day 2! Write about whatever you like.
There. I said it. The cat’s outta the bag! (Huge shock, right?)
Once upon a time, I let the crazy “out,” so to speak. I would sit down at the keyboard every morning, and just let the crazy go for it! Oh, it was “liberating” for a while. People laughed, my hubby learned to sleep with one eye open, and my daughter worried about mental health and heredity.
Right about now, you’re probably wondering just how crazy I am, right? I suppose it depends on who you ask…I’ve been diagnosed as Bi-Polar by one very nice lady. Another decided I had Borderline Personality Disorder. (Oh, by the way…they find NO humor in it when you ask, “So, does that mean I’m borderline actually having a personality, or what?”) I guess you could always combine the two and say I’m Borderline Bi-Polar Disordered Personality Syndrome…it sounds more fun that way. (Actually, I really dig that one...I may have to keep it! *grin*)
Another thing, I don’t do well in crowds. Seriously…I do NOT do well in large crowds. I get very “gltichy” and distracted…confused…unless, of course, there’s alcohol involved…that helps. Sadly, alcohol is no longer my friend. (Which is probably a huge bonus for everyone around me.) So…I’m back to not doing well in crowds.
Now, on to why I’m writing about this…why am I letting the poor bagged-cat back out into the light of day? *another deep breath* Because mental illness in all its many and varied forms is also a chronic illness!
Over the last several months I’ve received multiple messages from people who battle Chronic Depression, Bi-Polar Disorder, and Anxiety Disorders. I’ve been thanked, I’ve been cranked at, and I’ve been somewhat spit at, in a virtual sense. I have always professed to writing with honesty. So, I guess I figured it was time for COMPLETE disclosure. (Although, do NOT ask about certain “disclosures” that could get me arrested. *embarrassed side-ways glance* It was college and no one got hurt…so it's all good.)
In the past I have had problems with people turning away…suggesting HEAVY medication…or assuming I’m dangerous when they hear the Bi-Po word…so I’ve gotten in the habit of keeping my trap shut! I work HARD-HARD-HARD to keep my impulses in line…to live my life on MY terms and NOT my disease’s…the same as I do with the Scleroderma and Fibromyalgia! (MY life MY way!)
So why here? Why now? Because it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Because it’s not contagious. Because it breaks my heart to see people living half-lives in the shadows, quietly fighting something that many assume is either “in their heads” (Depressed? Just cheer up!) or exaggerated. (Anxiety? Just stop worrying and get out and make new friends!) Because it’s part of what makes me…me!
Fear not…this does NOT mean I’m going to start going off the deep end here…I learned the hard way that sharing some of your favorite “inner dialogues” with friends and family does NOT lead them to a better understanding of your thought process…just makes them VERY nervous! (OK, and they tend to question how you ever get anything done with all the racket!)
And I have never and will never use my “shadow self” as an excuse for any of my varied and sundry “bad behaviors.” Actually…the axiom “know thyself” has simply made me a bit more aware and forced me to be more diligent at certain things…like the whole keeping the “inner dialogues” inner…*grin* (Talking to yourself is fine…answering yourself…not so much!)
It all adds up to the fact that life is just too damned short to live in the shadows over things out of your realm of control! Be proud of who you are and love yourself for all the strength you have!