Monday, 18 April 2011

If You Can't Stand the Heat .....

I care for all my on-line friends. Most of you have an interest in Mental Health issues and that is no coincidence. Others of you shared my eight loss journey over what is now 2 years. I have never hidden away my bipolar disorder, some might say to the detriment of my life. I don't feel like I have lost out. I feel like I have gained far more than I have lost and I hopefully continue to be a good role model.

I am at a crossroads in my recovery. I am not as arrogant as to claim a cure is possible. You might hear that from a certain Catherine ZJ in coming weeks. Bipolar is for life not just for Christmas. I put down my progress to working hard over the 28 years since the onset. There have been downs, the most sever of which came this year. I have always bounced back from illness setbacks and life's setbacks. I have some resilience.

Before I ramble on, as is my style, my point! A lot of my progress was made possible by my isolation. I had no one second guessing me, no parrot on the shoulder saying "Take Your Meds", "Get Some Sleep", " I am Busy Now" or other inane suggestions. Let's face it, no one ever has time. Muggles, as my friend calls them, have busy lives. Why should they put off their plans to support a sick loved one? They have worked hard all year and deserve some R&R. I have been very much been left to my own devices, even in my lowest suicidal moments. I manage my finances pretty well. I have always taken pride in the fact that I work on problems. I never take the elated moods for granted and rarely use them (except for maybe in writing my book). Every manic or hypomanic experience has been less of a problem than previous ones. That is my commitment.

All I ask is that friends accept my intelligence and my commitment to get better if not well. If you don't understand, just ask but don't second guess me unless you have walked in my shoes. Only fellow sufferers know what it is like to be bipolar. I have tried to explain in newspaper articles and in radio appearances but i am not sure how well I did? My book hopefully helped to a point. My best feedback comes from the intelligent questions from those who read the book.

I don't ask for much. I am not a government statistic except maybe as a winter fuel payment recipient or someone who gets free prescriptions. Everyone won't "get" bipolar. If you don't, let me get on with my life. To quote a very old phrase "If You Can't Stand the Heat, Get Out of The Kitchen". It is bad enough that mental health professionals don't understand, without everyone and their dog having an opinion.

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