I am just a country girl living in the south. I had a great childhood but cannot say the same for adulthood. I love to write, draw, and paint. However, I do none of those well enough to support myself much less be known for them.
This is Life
Occasionally, you meet someone who claims without trepidation that they want to know what you are thinking, seeing, hearing, feeling when they realize you are having a manic episode. Yes, a close friend, all one of them, wants to see inside your mind so they can better HELP you. God bless her. She meant well; I know that now, but it still stings when I think back on that all to predictable day. To this day I know she truly and sincerely wanted to help. I naturally hesitated but nonetheless, I let her in. Never again. My experience went a little something like this.
While the understanding of mental illness has come a long way there is still much more to be learned by all. The stigma attached to a person who is mentally ill is still greater than what the news reports would have you believe. Sure, the few studies that have been done say society is more accepting of the fact that mental illness is a disease and not a mere moral failing. Yet almost fifty percent of society said they would still be hesitant to leave a child with someone they knew was mentally ill. The big misconception that always infuriates me is most is society no longer believes we are violent. I’m not so sure of that. It seems like we may be rowing uphill with this particular fact. The studies do show that a person who suffers from a mental illness is 10% more likely to be a victim of violence than being the actual perpetrator. However, the horrible incidents of shootings that have happened in recent years that receive tremendous coverage from our news always make sure to report, “…and they are to be believed to be struggling with a mental illness!” Why don’t we ever hear of the great accomplishment of the mentally ill on the news? I am sure they are numerous. As far as the fear factor is concerned, not just violence but the entire disorder, I go by my own personal experience and say that those studies must be wrong to some extent. I have lost count of the times when I thought that I had a true friend, one that had accepted me as a whole person, bipolar disorder and all. They always think I am funny and outrageously fun. The time will always come unfortunately when I wander off the reservation into a manic episode, and they get a true glimpse into my mind. Guess what they do? They stand quietly, very still at first, then back away very slowly, then pick up the pace until they are in a flat-out run trying to get away from me. No more lunches together at the Waffle House, no more going shopping at the Bargain Ben on fifty cent day, no more phone calls. Complete desertion. All because I did not sleep for a few days which threw me into a state of complete mania. So, what if I did talk incessantly about the DEA camping out across the pasture recording every movement I took. What if I did go up to the couple at the next booth and lay a kiss on the hot guy sitting with his wife, who was young enough to be his daughter, so I made an error in judgment, causing his wife to reach over and grab my hair and start banging my head on the table trying to defend what was rightfully hers. Oops. Luckily, my friend grabbed me by the waist as I was about to defend myself and managed to forcibly drag me out of the restaurant and throw me in the car. When we got into the car, she started laughing so I thought all was good. She did recognize I was in a crisis and saw to it that I received the help that I needed. However, after I was stabilized, she became unreachable. That is just one of my experiences. There have been many, just not as severe. In the end, they simply do not like what they see, and people don’t like what they can’t explain or what they don’t understand. Honestly, though I do not like what I do not understand either.