November 23, 2020
So recently I have started being more open with the fact that I have bipolar disorder. How open are you in regards to disclosing things of that nature? How does it make you feel, regardless of whether you’re open or conservative? For me it’s been really freeing to finally acknowledge that yes, I am bipolar.
So this evening I stumbled across this post that Jeff made in one of the bipolar Facebook support groups I am in. In it, he talks about coming to terms with his diagnosis. I too have found myself feeling “plagued” by the disease. In the past few months, though, I have found myself acknowledging my Bipolar Disorder more openly and trying to fight the stigma in the little ways I can. (P.S. Facebook groups have changed my life in helping me better understand mental health and grief and develop strong support systems. You should check them out!)
I immediately asked if it would be okay for me to publish what he wrote here and Jeff graciously agreed, so thank you, Jeff.
The closing paragraphs are what really hit me. I want to develop a story from my pain to make it worth something. I want to use my ability to converse and write to “spark motivation, hope, recovery, salvation, and resurrection in others to a change,” too. That is my goal as of lately that inspires everything I do. I hope you enjoy this read as well.
“At the age of 52, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Like many of us, initially, I was in denial. I was confused. I did not see or feel that there was any hope, recovery, salvation, or resurrection.
Of course, I proved myself wrong, for the mere fact, that I am writing this post as the person I knew without a doubt. His name is Jeff Newman and he wants to share his understandings of his misunderstandings. His “Blind Spots,” towards his mental health disorder.
I have asked myself this question, “What are mental health problems?” It took me a few Google searches to find out that there are a variety of terminologies used to describe mental health problems or the disease itself.
I always rationalized that the “Stigma Terms” used were the correct ones. This was “True” for me for many years. I could only hallucinate that you have heard these words one time or another:
Terms, such as, “Crazy. Stupid. Idiot. Nutty. Looney tunes. Lame. Nut case. Deaf. Dumb. Paralyzed. Blind. Bipolar. OCD. “Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.” Off meds, Mad, Out of one’s mind, deranged, demented, lunatic, unbalanced, unstable, disturbed, stark mad, and psycho.”
These terms do not give much information about what the person is really experiencing. And, these words, I describe above, are the “Slang words” to a more treatable diagnosis.
However, what was the “Truth?” I learned there were medical synonyms to describe my illness. More “Practical” terms. More, “Politically” accepted terms.
These included: Mental disorders, serious emotional disorder, extreme emotional distress, psychiatric illness, mental illness, nervous exhaustion, mental breakdown, nervous breakdown, and burnout, are just a few of the many.
My doctors assured me that a mental disorder or mental illness is a diagnosable illness that affects a person’s thinking, emotional state, and behavior and disrupts the person’s ability to work or carry out other daily activities and engage in satisfying personal relationships.
Doctor Goldman, proceeded to explain that there are different types of mental illnesses, some common, such as depression and anxiety, and some not so common, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. I fall upon the latter of the bunch, Bipolar.
This just seemed too simple, for me. I just want to get back to normal. To get back on my feet, again. Is that asking too much? I got to make a difference but I cannot write about it and not be about it.
I was plagued and diagnosed with a disease that has no mercy. We live in a world of a pandemic. One that inflicts millions of people, taking them far too soon that they could have imagined.
My demon, known as bipolar, ran through my veins like a toxic poison. My misery and my addiction to pain was my only friend and I, at the time, was the blame.
However, mental disorders, as with any health problem, can lead to a disability, which is sometimes severe. This is a factor that I, personally, did not appreciate.
And, as I read more on this subject, it was disclosed that a mental health problem is a broader term that includes both mental disorders and symptoms of mental disorders that may not be severe enough to warrant the diagnosis of a mental disorder.
My lived experience gives me a story. This story is a skill and part of a skill set which I can use to spark motivation, hope, recovery, salvation, and resurrection in others to a change.
I want this to happen, so it can be used to help others to strive for their greatest wellness.
Thanks for listening, energetically, Jeff
— Jeff Newman via Facebook.com
of ROME TRAINING &&
“Corporate Crazies in an Imperfectly Perfect World“