Tuesday, July 19, 2016

There's Nothing Funny About BiPolar Guest Post It's Not Your Journey

There’s Nothing Funny About Being Bipolar

When I have to look at a person and say, “I’m bipolar,” they get a bemused expression on their face as if they’re waiting for the punchline.  That’s all there is to it, and believe me, this is not a joke my friend.   
I can’t think of many more things as infuriating as someone using a mental illness as an insult.  You’re going to hear, “Oh my God! Don’t be so bipolar!” much more than you’re going to get, “Wow, do you have to act so diabetic all the time?” 

The truth is that there are many people that are bipolar and have done horrible things.  Things like theft, murder, even rape.  That does not mean that all of us are capable of such unspeakable acts.  Hollywood doesn’t help matters at all.  Have you ever been using one of the movie streaming services and caught a glimpse of a film that might be interesting?  Sure, many people have.  How many times have you clicked on the description of that film and discovered that the lead in the story is a horribly insane person, and you guessed it…bipolar. 

What is the real difference here?  Bipolar disorder is a disease of the mind; it manifests itself in physical ways all the time.  Just ask anyone who deals with it. Conditions like Fibromyalgia, Cancer, and AIDS begin as physical conditions and can eventually have a negative impact on your mind.  I know I’m walking a fine line here.  I would never tell a Cancer patient that their disease isn’t as debilitating as mine.  I’m just trying to say that it deserves the same amount of patience, acceptance, and respect. 

We hear a lot about stigma these days.  If you try hard enough, you can stigmatize any disease or disorder.  Is social media helping us or hurting us?  I honestly can’t decide.  For example, many, many people commented on the death of Robin Williams.  A lot of the comments were centered around how badly people felt that he was in that kind of pain, and their hearts went out to his family.  Conversely,  the number of comments that described him as a psychotic freak that only cared about himself was staggering.  Some people even went so far to go after his daughter in probably the most painful time of her entire life. 

There are positives to using social media.  I’ve experienced that myself.  I’ve had people from all over the world approach me to talk about my story, or to ask my opinion of their situation.  I’ve yet to come across someone that downright insults me, and I hope that I never do.  I’m not one to hold my tongue on something like that.  I do know that people have quietly unfollowed or unfriended me since I told my story.  Whether they did it because of my disease, I may never know.  The fact of the matter is if they want to walk away from me because I’ve said something that offended them, I completely understand that.  However, to take a hike because I have a disease that I cannot control?  That’s simply ridiculous. 

I get it.  There are people out there that use mental illness as a way to garner attention or special treatment.  To those people, I say shame on you.  Unfortunately, that kind of behavior has been around forever.  I watched a documentary on a woman who fooled an entire community into believing she was a survivor of the towers falling on 9/11.  People like that are sick, but not in the way they want you to believe.

In her first published work, Rebecca Lombardo collects her internationally followed blog into the pages of It’s Not Your Journey. Rebecca shares her struggles with bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, self-injury, and recovery from a suicide attempt.
Rebecca candidly reveals her real and raw feelings on these subjects, as well as addressing other issues that have contributed to her downward spiral and eventual climb out of her own pit of despair. Issues such as the loss
of her mother to lung cancer, the death of her brother, abandonment from friends and family members due to her hospitalization, and more.
Purchase on Amazon
I’m 43 years old and have been happily married for nearly 15 years. I enjoy
reading, writing, music, watching movies and sports. I live in Michigan with my husband and our cats. At age 19, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I have struggled with mental illness in many forms for more than 20
years. I’m a published author, bipolar blogger, and a mental health advocate. In addition, I am about to become a contributor for the Huffington Post.
Follow Rebecca
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and a paperback copy of It's Not Your Journey. Open to US residents ONLY. 

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