I have never been ashamed of my disorder. Shame was never the reason for me to bury my pain deep within my soul. Shame is not why I swallowed my tears and put on a brave face. Shame is not why I smile despite my brain was screaming. I was afraid people would see me based on some preconceived notion they were given from the media and poor education. I never understood why can’t people look into my eyes and see me? Why do they always see the disorder first?
Why is bipolar all that I am to some people? I am so much more. I am a mother. I am a daughter. I am a wife. I am a writer. I am a teammate. I am a lover of books and art. I am so much more than just bipolar. All it is is a small piece of a bigger puzzle that is me. I grow weary of being told of what I am and am not when people don’t truly know. How fat my bank account would be if I receive a nickel every time I have been told that I am not bipolar. I am so normal. They know someone who is bipolar and I am most definitely not.
There is a heartache when someone repeatedly denies the authenticity of your pain. It makes you question your existence. My battle is very much real. Mental illness does not fall into a neat little box. My illness is as individual as I am. My brain is very much my own. The clay I have been molded from has shaped my disease. Though I don’t meet your little checklist, it is very real. Nights when my brain screams ten thousand thoughts and I sob for silence, it is very real. Days when the sun is shining but my heart is clouded, those emotions are so real.
I will no longer suffer in silence. I will instead share. Share and educate, one person at a time. Slowly, I will change the world’s view on what bipolar looks like. I will do it in hopes that others may be able to find solace in someone they know. They can do it without judgement. They can do it with still being seen as themselves. We are all different. And that is what makes the world beautiful.