Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Sunday, December 16, 2007

More than I thought I'd say

Normally I try to stick to links that reflect the fact that this blog was originally set up to be a way for college students at my alma mater to see some of the reality of living with bipolar. I graduated from a very strict Christian school, and those students may be highly offended by certain philosophies of life. They also have things that are deemed inappropriate blocked; once an email I sent there that merely mentioned Mastercard was blocked. They have tight security and safety controls.

Personally I'm willing to read blogs that include more "interesting" language from time to time. I think it is part of operating in the real world. Besides, the truth is that when I'm manic my own language is somewhat questionable at times.

The main thing I want to avoid is having bipolar patients or any mentally ill patients come across as the bad guys on this blog. One of the things that was unbelievably hard was coming to terms with having severe depression on a college campus where many people consider mental illness a sign of sin, of weakness of character. I was judged, sometimes harshly, by both students and faculty. This went so far as to my having to go to the dean of students because once, when I was in the midst of a depression that I avoided hospitalization by having 6 hours of counseling plus 2 hours of support group/week, my therapist was out of town, and my father was arrested, I was out of control upset and asked for extra time to prepare from a sociology professor. I was far too upset to take the test, even though I knew the material. He gave me a lecture about being weak. Another time I received a package, which is a big deal in college. The package contained a tape of a conservative pastor giving a sermon about not feeling sorry for yourself. I never learned who sent it, quite possibly because I was so furious people were afraid of me. Whomever it was had lied to the place it was sent from and said they were me.

I had a severely abusive childhood and have struggled with mental illness since I was 14. Yet much of that I have moved past. One of the hardest things I have ever tried to handle and which I still have a long ways to go in not being hurt by is the loss of my best friend. After I was diagnosed in 2002 I was going through a lot of adjustment and med changes, and trying to resolve that my whole life was going to be different just based on 1 hour on Sept. 9. My best friend decided that I was struggling because I didn't have enough faith and wasn't doing things the way she thought I should. She actually got a group of people from her church, people who hadn't met me, to vote on whether I was acting "Christian enough". It took me until January 2003 to tell her that I never wanted to speak to her again. Even now I am not healed from that loss. I have several reasons to prevent me from going to church; one of them is that I simply couldn't handle being judged ever again.

So that all goes to say that there are plenty of blogs that I read but don't necessarily link to because I don't think their content meets the standards I need. In general, you swear, you're out, even if that's extreme at times.

But today I'm going to link to one. The actual blog is an incredibly popular one which I pop by from time to time because the author is incredibly honest and open with about her struggle with postpartum depression and anxiety, which led to hospitalization a few years ago. She is a former Mormon and I make no promises that anything on her blog won't contain some salty language, sexual content, etc. But the actual thing she wrote is wonderful.

It is exactly accurate and honest, in a world few people are willing to say "I am Just Me (insert real name) and I am bipolar and I take antipsychotics)".

So please, check out this writing.


BipolarLawyerCook said...

Followed you here from Everyone Needs Therapy. Sounds like you are doing the hard work of being self aware and taking care of yourself. Keep up the hard work.

Just Me said...

Thanks for stopping by. I'll be checking out your blog this evening.