Actually, it's more Mister Nice Guy. For too much of my 61 years, I have settled for second best. I went with the expectations of friends and family. I am talking about my emotional life. The expectations for my "career life" were always high. I never achieved what I was capable of because of the underlying emotional whirlpool. I did okay. I had average school exam results, average degree and a very good but not exceptional career in IT. Things did improve when I moved out and worked in Saudi Arabia and California. I regret that I broke out quite late at the age of 32. I was always a late developer!! I think my first book details the story well.
At the grand old age of 61, I have finally got the message. I should ignore the naysayers and doubters. It is worse for someone with a mood disorder. Everyone, include Mental Health professionals, wants to turn you into a zombie with stronger and stronger medications. In the preface of "Bipolar in Order", Tim Wootton says:
"I look forward to the day when we all rise above the ignorance that keeps us in fear and denial of a better life"
The asylum is a thing of the past but sufferers are often left in the asylum of their own mind. Out of mind, but maybe not fully out of sight. This must be the biggest stigma of all. Everyone wants cancer survivors, stroke survivors and heart attack survivors to recover into a good life. Who wants a good quality of life for the mentally ill? We often have to settle for second best. Worse still, we actively seek the second best option and we have no ambition beyond benefits and medication.
I have drifted off a bit but I think it is important stuff. I see so many talented people wasted and on the "scrap heap" of life. I have a lot of good friends, mostly in cyberspace, I regret. I think most of them are understanding and want the best for me. They appreciate it when I feel genuinely better and they don't treat it as "another" mood swing. This is an appeal for people to act that way. Give your mentally ill friends and family a bit of leeway. Life can be tough enough without the pressure of appeasing others. Unhealthy mood swings need to be handled but leave room for some joy. I will not ditch friends who try to bring me down. I rarely if ever will drop friends. I may choose to spend more time with those with positive and encouraging attitudes.
I have made a lot of new friends this year. They have all know me only as a positive and upbeat person. This is good for me. I don't have to constantly explain myself, to explain my not working and to explain why I don't always follow through on commitments.
I try to be a nice guy. I am just saying that I have my limits.
Thanks for reading.