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In The Bipolar Closet


As some of you may know yesterday March 30th was the very first International Bipolar Day, a day that is supposed to help raise awareness about Bipolar Disorder and to also help and eliminate the stigma that surrounds it. Well I found myself watching a steady stream of post celebrating that day and doing just what the day is intended to do, to put a face to bipolar disorder and do their little part to work at ending the stigma.  I found my self wanting to like those post to show support for them, but in the end (like everyday something good or interesting about it pops up in my news feed) I did not like the post, out of fear of my friends, and even extended family seeing not only that I liked the post but the page that the post where posted in. I know this may sound odd to all of you seeing as how I share that about my self on this blog, but in real live hardly anyone knows about it at all, least of all my friends and coworkers.



It leaves me feeling in a way almost like I did when I was in the closet and not out to those in my life, the same way that I would like this or that, but I would/could not like a post let alone share it so that others could see it, least they guess why it was that I liked such a thing.  I am afraid of what they might think and how they might react and the ways in which they might treat me differently if they where to find out.  That they might think that I am crazy or at least that I am crazier then they already think I am, and at times I am so certain that they think that I am crazy at least on some level. That they may think down about me in some way that they think I am not strong enough or that in some way it is all my fault or that I have done something wrong or that I am not trying hard enough and have failed in some way.  I also fear that they will think that I am unstable and unbalanced and that I constitute some sort of threat to them and their well being.  I am afraid that they will distance them selves from me that they will not want to have to have anything to do with me if they where to find out, or even get the most sneaking of suspicions. I feel that the only safe way is to maintain complete control over that information and do everything in my power not only to insure that people don't find out or suspect but that as few people know as possible. I mean that I only have two friends that know and not even my parents know what my diagnoses is they just know that I have to take medication and that I periodically go and see a "doctor" and that is it.

I find that the idea of having to tell any one is an idea that I fear, and I think that it is one of the reasons that I have been so hesitant to jump back into the dating scene.(added with the fear about having to open up about my past, which once you delve below the superficial surface is not something that is always pleasant and sunny) The idea that I can't keep a tight lid on it once people know or suspect it, is an idea that scares me.  I feel like it is a deep dirty little secret that is best keep securely locked away in a lock box in a safe in a room behind closed doors in a nuclear bunker. Which in many ways is how I felt about being gay when I was deep in the closet.  So in many ways this to me feels like that, only I don't feel brave enough to stick my toe out of the door in any way, at least in a way that people could trace back to me.  So I am left wishing that I did not have to worry about this that I could just let it all go and well dam the torpedo's but I also feel that the risk is much higher to doing that with this then it was with being gay and that was no small risk ether. Unfortunately it leaves me feeling like even tough I am doing well that the disease still has a hold over me, and that is not a feeling that I like, to worry  and have fear in the back of your mind, even for chunks of time in the forefront of your mind, as I'm sure many of you know is no fun. I guess that is my last thought, that it is not much fun at all to live with such a secret.

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Comments

  1. I think that its time that mental health issues came out of the closet and into the bright and shiny daylight. To long have jokes been made, and mostly cruel jokes at that about people suffering from the various forms of mental illness, and its time, past time for those jokes to stop!

    What I hate is that many people believe that its something that one could over, if they would only try harder. Or that fixing all mental health issues is a simple as popping a pill, if only that were true.

    On one hand there is fear about what causes it, could it be catching some uneducated people worry. The other hand holds the fact that what people are most fearful of is often what the meanest jokes are made of.

    While I'm not telling you to come out, come out! I think it might be time to talk to your therapist about being more open with people in your circle. Therapist human will walk you thru all the possibilities that could occur, and help you deal with the fears that they feel are unlikely to happen.

    Take this to heart, if you let them in to know the real and true you, and they turn their backs on you, then they honestly weren't a steadfast friend, and you could do ever so much better! Who knows, more people might be accepting than you think. I know several people at "work" who have children, siblings, parents and other assorted family members who are either bi polar or some other mental health issues. And from what I've seen, no one has said one mean word to them, ever.

    Take care, and keep writing!

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