Today wraps up Mental Illness Awareness Week. Here’s the deal - I enjoy my greatest peace of mind when I’m NOT aware I have a mental illness. When I can just be myself, enjoy myself. Not think of myself as someone with a serious mental illness.
For that to happen, of course, I HAVE to be aware I have a serious mental illness. That way, I can forget that I have a serious mental illness. It’s one of those enigmatic paradoxes.
Last evening came the painful reminder that I have a serious mental illness. For the past three or four weeks, my work had been running away from me. I had been on the planning committee of a mental health event, and the extra workload stretched me to my limits. Last evening, we had our event. It was very successful, but I arrived back home extremely out-of-sorts.
My brain isn’t built for drama, and I had experienced way too much of it leading up to the event. And there, in the final countdown, with things needing to be done, my frustration and agitation was clearly showing. To a certain extent I pulled myself together, but I noticed my social game was off. I was trying too hard and my jokes were falling flat.
And here was the foyer filling up with people, and here was me, and - oh, crap! - I’M BIPOLAR!
The show must go on. It did. But I woke up this morning knowing a serious reevaluation is in order. I’M BIPOLAR! for me is the equivalent of all the lights going off on the control panel. When it happens too often around certain people, then I can no longer be myself, much less feel safe. Moving on is virtually inevitable.
I’M BIPOLAR! It’s great when people accept me for who I am, bipolar and all. But when my bipolar becomes an issue? It never works.
Question: When bipolar becomes an issue in your relationships or at work - how do you handle it?
Please feel free to relate both your successes and failures. Comments below ...
Published On: October 08, 2011
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