Tuesday night, I had the pleasure of meeting my new bishop (leader of our congregation) and for the third time in my life I was floored. This was the third person in the history of me who hasn't physically backed off when I brought up the dreaded "B word." Yes folks, I said I have Bipolar Disorder and he just sat there... smiling! Not that creepy "sucks to be you" kind of thing, but smiling out of genuine interest in me and my struggles.
The other two people to do this were a lady in the congregation and a friend of mine who's mother also suffers. It's nice to have these encounters because it means that the stigmas are falling. Slowly but surely we are breaking the molds that society has placed on us.
There are millions of things I wish people understood about mental illness in general, but a few things I wish they knew about Bipolar Disorder are:
- It's not our fault we have it
- Most of us aren't violent
- We struggle more internally than you'll ever see
- Medications help, but they're not miracle workers
- All we need is a little patience and compassion
- We have exactly zero control over our moods
- Rapid Cycling is exactly what it sounds like
- You don't need to be afraid
To those who sympathise, empathise, and try to understand us... Thank You!