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

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

It took a long time

It took a long time for me to get a comment attacking me. I know it's a normal part of blogging, and I know that it's one of the things that happens when you put your thoughts and feelings out in a very public way. It's really rather surprising that this was the first time it happened. But it did, on my last post.

I'm surprised that it bothers me. I've always known it would eventually happen. The person that introduced me to blogging gets so many that I actually enjoy reading his comments just for entertainment value sometimes.

I think what surprised me is that this happened on a post I took great care to try to see 2 sides, and then was accused of not doing so. So I guess I wanted to apologize if that didn't come across.

I also wanted to remind people though that this blog is about MY thoughts and experiences, and while it is fine to disagree, doing so without attacking me (even in a partially controlled way) is appreciated. Anyone is welcome to email me at any time if they don't like something or want to have a dialogue about what I have said. The problem with comments is that they are not particularly interactive. I can comment and hope you read my response but it really is more effective to email me so that we can discuss things. I will handle emails respectfully, and you can stay anonymous by opening a free web-based account at yahoo, hotmail, gmail, etc. I may not get the email immediately; I don't check that account every day. I will answer as soon as I can.

I never intend to hurt people. However, that's not a particularly realistic thing when it comes down to when you read this you are reading my thoughts at any given moment. Sometimes I may not express what I mean well. I'm human for one thing, and for another I'm bipolar. I write on this blog pretty frequently, but discussing feelings is still a pretty new thing for me, and on top of that bipolar makes it hard for me to communicate well sometimes. Much of what I say has been filtered through another person first.

Finally, a reminder that should be unnecessary, but which may need said from time to time: This is about me. This is about what I think and feel and experience in dealing with my own illness. I am totally honest about that; this blog is my experience with severe mental illness. It is never about putting someone else down, nor am I talking about YOU when I describe my feelings about something; I write about a general experience, even when I give an example of one encounter and how I experienced it. What I wrote yesterday? That comes down to this: I feel alone in this world because my experience of bipolar and all the struggles I've had with meds, the particular characteristics of my own illness combined with my particular co-morbities, the length of time it took for me to respond to treatment, the length of time it took for me to be diagnosed and then to be treated appropriately, and the various complicating factors I live with. My struggle is different because I am a healthcare professional and have worked for years in psych. I've lived through everything I have with a more than healthy awareness of my chances of getting better. Read through about Feb. 2007-July 2007. I went through a serious grieving process because of what I knew, which including the knowledge that my multiple bad reactions to anti-psychotics did not bode well, and my understanding of exactly how serious things were when we started talking about Clozaril as an option, and that ECT was what I wanted but which I might not qualify for. Being in the "weird" category sucked.

This blog is not about me feeling sorry for myself; I don't. I celebrate every day as the miracle that it is and I do not use the word miracle lightly. There are a few people out there who have common experiences. One reader of this blog and I share a good bit of the same experiences. But most people with bipolar have not had some of my experiences, both good and bad. And that is all I was trying to say. Nobody ever should tell anyone they know "exactly how they feel", because they just don't. I grieve that I cannot have a child. I love children, always planned to have a lot of them, and now that is not an option. My psychiatrist has made it clear it would be very bad for me. I absolutely refuse to risk passing on the strong genetic component of this (both sides of my family and on one side it's extensively present), and I refuse to ever raise a child who has to live with my illness. There's nothing wrong with being a bipolar parent, but I will not do it because I grew up with an unmedicated bipolar and it was not pleasant. I know that I may not have good control forever, and I won't expose a child to me when ill. I know the pain of being unable to have a child. But I could never go up to someone who is infertile and say I understand their pain, because my inability is a choice. Another example? I have kidney problems related to being on lithium for a very long time. It's called diabetes insipidus and as long as I take meds and have bloodwork frequently I'm ok. This is not the same as someone with renal failure. Even if I develop more kidney problems, which I might, that's not the same. It is 2 different degrees of illness.

Not sure how to end this. I'm in no way saying that disagreement is not allowed. It is. Once I remember feeling I couldn't handle disagreement, so I posted that clearly. What I do not want to is to be attacked when I am only relating my experience and my thoughts about it. At a minimum, read carefully before you disagree, and then be truthful but try to be kind. I have not published many, many posts because I couldn't word them nicely. It seems fair to request the same of you.

I hope this hasn't further offended people. I needed to say it. And again, this is my page, so if I feel I need to, then I guess I can. At the same time, if I decide I don't like this, I'll immediately take it down. Which I've also done before.

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