Was it a difficult decision for you to tell the world your story?

I really appreciate the honesty with which you share your stories and experience!  I feel very torn about sharing my recent diagnosis of ADD and Bipolar II with others.  Although I’m surrounded by supportive and caring people, I guess it’s inevitable that it changes the way they see me. Some of my family members struggle to accept the diagnosis.  And the couple of close friends I have told just tend to avoid the topic which is awful.  How did you decide who to share with and how much to say?  Any regrets? Was it a difficult decision for you to tell the world your story? Do you struggle with the misconceptions and stigma (sorry, stupid question – of course you do!) or does it just fuel your desire to change things?

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Ok so first, here’s our fb page and group.

http://www.facebook.com/askabipolar

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_148128451916715&ap=1

They are FANTASTIC when it comes to getting support from others who get it. If it weren’t for this site, I’d be lost and feel so lonely.

I’m usually pretty open and honest about my illness due to my son having bipolar as well and my website. It kinda makes it hard to hide the fact 🙂 Surprisingly most people have accepted it well, but some have had trouble.

I’ve always struggled with depression and ADHD, so it wasn’t such a huge surprise to my family when I was diagnosed with bipolar 4 years ago. It actually explained so much about me and brought a sense of relief because I was finally receiving the proper treatment. Friendships however, have been harder than ever. The majority of my friends are online and the ones that are not I really keep at a distance. I screwed up some really close friendships right after I was diagnosed and my fear of doing so again really prevents me from getting close with others. When I’m in the midst of a depression I close myself off and become super anti-social. It’s amazing I still have friends at all! But unfortunately, any friends I have with bipolar live too far away 🙁 One of these days I swear I’m going to hold a conference so we can all meet. We’ve all become so close!!!!

I really feel for your situation, but I don’t think you should let it hold you back from who you are. SO what if you have bipolar, at least you admit it. At least you treat it. At least you try to understand it. You should be proud of that. I’m proud of you 🙂

And yes, the stigma and all the negative attention has only caused me to fight harder for this illness. It hasn’t even been a year (until July) since I’ve started this site and it has changed my life so drastically you couldn’t even imagine.

As for the decision to go open on the web to the world with my whole story, some days it still scares me. I don’t think I actually realized what I was doing when I started the site. I didn’t even consider that my life story was now open for the world to see. You can google me! Potential employers, friends, everyone. If they click on enough links, they’re bound to find out. I’ve definitely considered taking it down. Considered altering my story. Definitely left out many details! And to think, my mother thinks I should write a memoir … now THAT is a scary thought!

4 thoughts on “Was it a difficult decision for you to tell the world your story?

  1. I’m so glad you opened your life up. When I think about the challenges that lay ahead for my son, I get nervous. But when I think of you, I realize that my son can have a great life with a family and career. Thanks Marybeth!

  2. At first I wasn’t going to tell anyone. That was before I realized that I was me and I just happen to have bipolar, it didn’t have me. I wasn’t different than I had been, I just had a better understanding of why things happened the way they had. That, and being open and transparent won over. If people decide to stigmatize me, that’s their loss. I choose to live my life controlling my disorder and dealing with what ever comes my way. I refuse to let it define me or control my life. I hold the reins.

  3. It was difficult for me to come out and tell the world about my illness. However, I do NOT regret it one bit. I don’t care anymore what people think about me or my illness or my son’s illness. I am here to advocate for those without a voice and to stand up for myself through the thick and the thin.

    I have lost friends, blog followers and others due to my coming out with the truth. I know that someday I will have different friends in those places and I look forward to that in my future.

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