Wall Drug

I Swear I’m Not Crazy

Stigma suggests otherwise.

Bit by bit, I’ve become more comfortable speaking up about my own mental illness. People hear that term, and they immediately think, “Oh no! What should I expect?” and they take a step back. Then they hear “bipolar 2” and they seem to turn and scurry away from the scary unknown.

I swear I’m not crazy.  I’m educating. I’m advocating for others who struggle. I’m attempting to stamp out stigma. I aspire to prevent others from giving in to suicidal tendencies.

Recently, I’ve reconnected with old friends via social media.  They knew me once upon a time when I was just me…quiet, happy, had close friends, living life as a teenager in high school.  What will they think when they realize I have anxiety and bipolar 2? It scares me to my core that it’ll be another nice-knowing-you-but-see-ya moment. Continue reading “I Swear I’m Not Crazy”

Mental Illness Stigma

Stop Strengthening the Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness

Mental Health is No Joke.

You’re such a psycho.

She’s so bipolar.

What a schizo!

I often hear people use mental disorders as adjectives and for name-calling.  I hear comments like this and my blood begins to boil. They are meant to be hurtful due to the stigma that already surrounds them. However, using the terms in this way undermines the diagnoses of such conditions that many people struggle with. As John Slick says, this terminology has “seeped into our vernacular…it really gets under my skin and makes me feel like I’m less than a person and that my mental illness is not legitimate…” Even the weather has been described as bipolar. Weather isn’t bipolar. This description of the weather makes the mental condition diminutive when the opposite it true. Continue reading “Stop Strengthening the Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness”

BID Wall

Wall of Hope

Let’s climb that wall together.

My husband and I recently vacationed in Asheville, NC.  We never had a honeymoon, so this was it…nineteen years later…and our first vacation together in fifteen years without our child.  As the cliché goes, better late than never!

While walking down Biltmore Avenue, a wall caught our eye, entitled “Before I Die.”  On the wall were places for passersby to record their hopes and dreams for their lives.  What a beautiful idea!

Personal declarations for the masses to see.

Reading these declarations is inspiring.   We all have hopes and dreams.  Sometimes, these dreams seem unattainable, but we must not give up.  However, I believe that giving up is a roadblock that we all encounter at some point during our lives.   For people battling for mental health, we feel the weight of this stalwart roadblock all too deeply.  We require that nudge or encouragement from others probably more so than most.  For those with the invisible mental illnesses, like myself, this kindness can be life-saving. Continue reading “Wall of Hope”

Dried Roses

Mental Health & Marriage: Handle With Care

Marriage and mental health struggles don’t exactly go hand-in-hand.  

I haven’t always been sure my husband and I could overcome our challenges.  He didn’t set out to look for a wife who fights daily battles within her own mind.  Unfortunately, life has brought us here.  For better or for worse, right?  We went into this marriage believing that divorce is not an option; however, occasions emerged that cracked open that door.  We each have our own mental hardships; yet, with care and effort, we have held on.  Our first date was summer of 1994 at the Kimbell Art Museum, and today we celebrate our nineteenth year of marriage.  Yes, not the round 20, but each year deserves celebration!

Every year of marriage deserves a celebration, yet so does every day?! Click To Tweet

Continue reading “Mental Health & Marriage: Handle With Care”