AM 10 Adderall, 2.5 Zyprexa, 200 Lamictal, 30 Cymbalta, .5 Ativan
afternoon 10 Adderall, 2.5 Zyprexa
PM 2.5 Zyprexa
A post brought to you by The 200th Post Topic Request Survey.Who has been hardest to "come out" to as bipolar?
Yowzers, this is tricky.
Divulging the information about our craziness can be uncomfortable and scary, to say the least.
I have talked about this topic a few times.
Check out these posts:
I talked about common reactions to our crazy news here.
I talked about when and how to tell people here.
I talked about the benefits of telling people here.
I talked about how to talk about it here.
But I suppose it's high time to discuss when it was most difficult for me.
I honestly don't remember when I told the hubs but it was some time when we were dating. I was not properly medicated at the time and was acting really crazy, like all the time. I felt I owed him an explanation. I'm so happy and lucky he responded with understanding and didn't run out the door.
I do I recall telling other boys I was dating and experiencing anxiety the moment before - heart pounding, sweaty palms, lump in my throat. The sad news: sometimes I got dumped. I know those boys weren't worth dating but it still stung. I was being rejected for the truth of who I was.
I also honestly don't remember how my in-laws found out. Did I tell them? Did the hubs tell them? Regardless, it was not a fun feeling once I knew they knew. What if they reject me? What if they think I'm crazy, because after all, technically I am. What if they tell their son not to date me anymore?
Apparently none of the above happened because they have always welcomed me into their family with loving and open arms. I feel and know I am beyond lucky for this. But I have never actually discussed my illness with them. Sure, they know I'm bipolar and take crazy pills, but they don't really know what that means for me - the crazy ways I can act sometimes, or how difficult being married to me can be at times for their son. If they knew this I'm not sure what would happen. That is why I am fairly certain I won't ever discuss those details with them.
I have shared some of the crazy details and suicidal tendencies with my dear sister-in-law and I don't think it changed her opinion of me. Sure she might have thought to herself, "This bitch is ca-ray-zee!" But if she did, she didn't share it with me and I am thankful for that.
Like it or not, most of the general public doesn't know much about bipolar disorder, and there is a lot of stigma that surrounds mental illness in general. Telling someone runs the risk that they are a person that is not educated on the topic, and may have a reaction that is unfavorable and lacks understanding. This is a risk we must face because not "coming out" can leave us feeling really alone and exhausted. I'm not going to touch on pretending very much because I've talked about it a zillion times. I will just say pretending is damn hard and exhausting and not entirely fair to us.
"Coming out" to my boss was hard. I was terrified she would trust me less. The catch: I didn't tell her until she was no longer my boss. When I quit my job to write my book about bipolar disorder she asked me why I was interested in the topic. And so I told her I, myself, was bipolar. Something incredible happened. She told me her mom and brother were also bipolar and that she would love to read my book when it's finished. All that anxiety, apprehension, and fear over nothing. That's a piece of good news. There are people who understand, who may be bipolar themselves, or have a loved one who is.
However, the most difficult "coming out" experience for me was to one of the nursery schools I worked at. They loved and respected me there. What if they didn't want me anymore? What if they no longer trusted me with the children? They embraced me. They said, "We never could tell. You do a wonderful job. The children love you, and so do we." Whew, what a relief! Again, so much worry over nothing. Cake and balloons for everyone!
But the reality is it is a big risk. There is nothing shameful about being bipolar, but that doesn't mean it doesn't feel that way sometimes, or that there isn't the fear that the person you tell will think it's shameful.
You should tell only the people you want to, at the time you want to, but know, in my experience, usually it has not tainted people's view of me. They still saw me, and not just an illness. Will you have some undesirable reactions? Probably at some point. But you will also have some wonderful reactions. Many people will respond with understanding and support. We can use all the support we can get. We owe it to ourselves to allow others to support us. Everyone deserves support, acceptance, and love. Telling people gives them the opportunity to give us that gift.
You are beautiful, fabulous, and amazing - just the way you are - crazy and all.
Don't be afraid of who you are.
Until next time...