Dear Ignorant People on World Bipolar Day

Rise

Let’s chat, shall we? I hear you’re oh so tired of “this whole mental illness thing” so let me be quick, just clear up a few things for you, and then you can be on your way.

My illness is as real, and as painful, as the physical illness that your beautiful child was born with. Just like she had no control over her genetics, neither did I. And just like your daughter has had to swallow medications and be put through excruciating testing, so have I. The thing about your daughter that differs from me is that she’s made a full recovery, thank the Universe, but I have yet to see that. In fact, if you want to go by statistics, there’s a one in four chance that this illness, the one you’re so tired of hearing about, will end my life.

Here’s another funny thing:

Sometimes people go for YEARS without a diagnosis, and even then, they still don’t tell people about it because people like you are assholes. Do you know what I’ve actually heard, from people super close to me? “Well so and so’s brother’s friend’s boss is ACTUALLY bipolar and he…” Really? No, that’s a true story. As if my symptoms aren’t bipolary enough for you. OR, if they are, as if my poor choices and bad behaviour were some sort of excuse…one that I would never blame on my illness, yet you seem to want me to…when it suits you.

Or, “well which side of the family do you think you got it from?” Um, well, really? What the fuck? I love most of my family, but we’re all nucking futs, the whole damn works, and again, really?

Does it matter where I “got it from”? As if a hateful uncle passed it down on purpose, as if we could weed out the bad ones to preserve the family line. As if one in five people in this world aren’t already diagnosed with a mental illness.

Just stop and try to absorb this:

I don’t give a fuck if you’re tired about hearing about mental illness, and mine in particular, because it’s not going away, and neither am I. If you had to endure half of the things that my mind puts me through, it would bring you to your goddamn knees. Step out of your judgmental bubble, take a look around, and stop being so ignorant.

If my illness offends you, cover your ears, because my warrior’s song is going to drive you crazier than I am.

Warmest regards,

Nicole