Monday, August 21, 2017

Opening up and letting the world in...

Throughout the last few months I have been a lot more open about a secret I carried for years. It's really sad that I refer to my mental illness as a secret, as if it's something dirty that we shouldn't ever be talking about.

Sometimes though.... That is really how other people make me feel about it.

When you tell someone you are Bipolar and have Borderline Personality Disorder, all of sudden your quality of personhood plummets. Anyone who knows will unfortunately start to judge you based on whatever stereotype or generalization of the illnesses they are familiar with. 

Even if you are incredibly intelligent people will start to look and treat you like you aren't.

There are far too many people that have very little or the wrong knowledge and understanding of mental health. 

The sort of depression that the mentally ill endure is not as simple as just being sad. Depression as a mentally ill person is layered, complex and much more difficult to put into words. Sometimes it doesn't even involve being sad and it can come out of nowhere or be triggered by something.
Not everyone who is mentally ill experiences depressive episodes in the same way either. 

It is also incredibly annoying, hurtful and condescending when someone tells you to "cheer up" or "just think positive". The amount of pain those seemingly uplifting encouraging words create is immeasurable. When I personally hear those words I start to feel like I did something wrong and that I must be a failure at life.

Each day in my life is a new adventure because I never know how my day will be impacted by my brain. There are some days that I am so manic that I get so many things done. I can be up for days working on new projects, playing video games or howling at the moon.

The latter part is usually when my mind has had no rest and deliriousness kicks in.

Being around people can be incredibly painful for me as I can be emotionally fragile and I have hard time relating to others. 

Normal activities like grocery shopping or driving can cause me to go into a full out panic attack; so leaving the house can be a big ordeal for me.

I have extreme paranoia which can often be supremely damaging in relationships. This is probably a result of my illness but also because I hallucinate and hear voices during episodes of extreme duress and mania.

Medications can work for a lot of people but so far the ones I have tried haven't done anything other than make me sick. I still rapid cycle, hallucinate and hear voices.

Despite how disconnected I feel from people and the difficulty of just being alive day to day, I would not change who I am. The person I am and the art I create is all heavily influenced by the experience life has given me as a person who lives with mental illness. 

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