This was meant to go up yesterday, but two things happened.
1. I was flattened by some sort of unpleasantness that woke me up in the middle of the night. I’m still not quite over it though I feel miles better than I did.
2. Some tech issues flattened the website for several hours yesterday, so even if I wasn’t sleeping and feeling sorry for myself there’s a chance it wouldn’t have made it up anyway.
And since what took out the website did the same to the email, now seems like a good time to tell you that if you wrote yesterday expecting a response and didn’t get one, try again. Messages from the downtime have been slowly coming in, but I’m not sure they’re all gonna make it. When I sent myself a test message yesterday it bounced, so there’s a chance some things may have gotten lost.
Gill sent this, I believe intending to time it for Bell Let’s Talk Day. It’s good that she’s in a position where she can talk about her own struggles, since sadly so many others don’t feel they are.
Have you ever been on an amusement park ride? You probably scream, but you also know that you can get off, right? Imagine that that seemingly harmless rollercoaster was going on in your head. Not so much fun, is it? Knowing you can’t get off, and there are things to regulate it, but you still can’t get off. This is how I, Ms. Gillie live every day. I have something called bipolar disorder.
When it Began
Like most things mental illness invades at puberty. Mine started around fifteen or so. I just didn’t feel right, bursts of sadness, anger, and liveliness that seemed to know no bounds. On my good days I could function at about an average level, but my bad ones would plunge me deep in to a dark tunnel with the light securely blocked. At times I would crave an ending at my own hand, longing for the pain to go away, with most people either telling me to put a smile on my face, or that I was going through one of those dark teenager things.
The Diagnosis Game
When I was seventeen I wrote just how much I wished to die by my own hand in a journal assignment, alarm bells went off, and I began my first round of talk therapy. Diagnosis depression, one of those catch-alls like every professional gives. Several years, and several extremes later, the actual diagnosis. Bipolar.
Myth- Someone with mental illness is faking it.
Fact- It’s real, anxiety disorders do exist.
Myth- The home life of someone suffering from mental illness is disfunctional, and the sufferer is usually poor.
Fact- The truth is mental illness knows not class, race, or location.
Myth- Only able bodied people suffer.
Fact- Differently able people are just as likely to suffer, sometimes more.
I am just an ordinary person, but I am glad to share this with you out there. It might seem cliche, but sharing is the first step to breaking stigma.