No Stigma!!!

Wouldn’t it be great if there was no stigma, or prejudice? If people could look at us for who we are instead of what we have. We are people and not an illness.

People still joke about going to the “Funny Farm” or that the weather is very bipolar because it is unpredictable. I have had friends who have quoted the Bible and said, if you don’t work you shouldn’t eat. Is someone on disability not supposed to eat?

It seems like in a mental hospital or in a support group, is where I find the most understanding. However, there are people out there who are accepting, no matter what obstacles one faces. These people are great!

Usually, it takes one to know one. But we all struggle with something. Perfection is not a quality for humans. Some struggle more and need more care and attention.

Life is unpredictable. We don’t always get to choose our course. Some choices are made for us. Can we agree most people wouldn’t like to be bipolar?

We can still have a high quality of life by responding positively to our diagnosis. What we don’t need, is to feel like a second class citizen. It is not all in our head as I have been told. We are complex, but we have feelings that are very real. Love us.

I have chosen to speak out. I write about bipolar and I share with others, even when I am not warmly received.  My ex wife has done a lot to reach out to people as well. With our voice we can make a difference.

The sorry part of it is the mental health system is so far behind the medical field. We have a long way to go. But, if we don’t give our input, and no one says anything, it will take even more precious time. Meanwhile some fall through the cracks.

We are not what the media would choose to project as a stereotype. Come on!!! We are good people who struggle and do the best we  can. We would all do well to embrace those who are different from us.

I like to think of myself as colorful and interesting, not as a creep or a freak. Each one of us, even though we have a common thread are different.

But, if we stay silent, we are adding to the problem. Stand up for our cause. It is a worthy one. Let’s deal a blow to stigma!

 

 

Safe?

It is good to be aware of your surroundings. This can keep you from real danger. Don’t get me wrong, there are times where one can be a danger to self or others. But, I venture to say most of the time we are safe, even when we don’t feel safe. That has been the case with me.

Paranoia can be so strong. It is convincing. It dictates a response, a response of fear or anxiety.  There have been many times that I have  given way to my irrational fear.

I don’t know if it was so much a moment of crisis, but a building in my mind leading up to a moment of despair. My mind was working well in advance to set the stage for a breakdown. Things built up and then came to a head.

It isn’t like someone was holding a knife to me or shouting threats at me, but I loose my filter and everything comes flooding in stimulating my senses and over riding my brain. Then my brain tells me danger, danger!!!

The key is knowing the difference between when you are safe and when you are really not safe. If you are not safe, get help immediately. The hospital may be your best option. There you should be in good hands and you will  be removed from your situation.

If you can talk yourself down, great. I have gone to the hospital many times, where I just needed to go anywhere, but where I was at the time. Counseling can be a valuable sounding board, especially at times before one gets to far into an episode.

So what can a person do to make themselves feel safe? Self talk is a valuable tool. You can convince yourself of anything if you just believe it.

Catch things before they get to far. See patterns and spot cycles. Try not to repeat react.ions that cause you problems.

I am not saying this is an easy process. I have struggled for years. Take my advice for what it is and I hope in the future you will feel safe, even when you are on the verge of an episode. Good luck and good mental health.

 

 

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