I want to get one things straight before I begin …
I am NOT trying to offend ANYONE, exclude anyone, upset anyone, disqualify anyone’s feelings, and/or share my feelings out of a need to act superior or condescending. My words are not said with a bitter tone or a snotty attitude. My words are simply a way of explaining my reasons for choosing to keep the site name, Ask a Bipolar. Nothing more … nothing less.
*Puts away the Caps lock and takes a deep breath*
1. I suffer from bipolar disorder.
2. I have a mental illness.
and because of that
3. I get depressed, hypomanic, and sometimes I feel nothing at all.
4. Have sensitivity issues and can be easily offended when my decisions and choices are put into question.
Because of this
5. I feel bullied at times.
6. I feel like the prey of unsatisfied souls.
7. I feel like nobody likes me, everybody hates me, and I’m about to head out to the garden to eat worms.
What does this all mean?
8. I’m just like every other person with, suffering from, who is … or what have you … bipolar.
(oops … no more caps, I swear!)
If you missed the concept I’m trying to convey, let me say it this way … I deal with this illness too. Every day actually. My moods fluctuate and drive me batty. I’m depressed more often than I’m hypomanic. And I experience symptoms similar to or exactly the same as anyone else who suffers from bipolar disorder. Needless to say … I’m you! (or your mother, father, sister, friend, brother’s uncle’s monkey … just smaller …)
That is why I started this site. I didn’t start it to offend anyone. I didn’t start it to hurt anyone. I started Ask a Bipolar as a way of helping people understand me and my son and everyone else who deals with mental illness in any way, shape or form. Point being …
I’m just trying to help!
(hahaha … see how I did that? Avoided the caps and used bold instead? *evil laughter*)
So why did I choose the name of the site?
It’s simple really. It was catchy. I was a small shoe in the gigantic bipolar closet and I had no idea others felt so strongly about how they were associated with their mental illnesses. I just wanted a name that conveyed what I was trying to do with the site. I wanted people to see our title and say, “Ask a bipolar? Hmmmm …. I’ve got tons of questions to ask a bipolar!”
Maybe we don’t like being called “bipolar” or “schizophrenic” or “mentally disabled,” and that’s understandable. Those are scarey terms. Unhappy terms. Terms that make you think everyone is looking at you like you need a lobotomy and the drool wiped off your chin. I’m not discounting these things. But I’m not going to shy away from what it is either.
To me … key words there … to me … it doesn’t matter what others call me. People have called me much worse things than “bipolar.” I’ve been labeled as ugly, annoying, short, free loader, selfish, depressing, crazy, buck toothed hammy down farmer girl Mary. (No really … my brother used to call me that all the time when I was little) So when someone says to me, “You’re bipolar!” I think to myself, “Yeah … I’m also smart, pretty, talented, loving, caring, and willing to do anything to help a friend feel better.” If they want to call me bipolar and say that defines me, who cares. There are a million things that define me. Bipolar is just one tiny piece of my picture. It’s not my fault if they choose not to see past that or see past my height or my eye color or the way I tie my shoes. I can’t be blamed for another person’s ignorance.
We are all many things. Not a one of us is the same. Labels do not define us. The medical world and/or the ignorant world came up with a set of labels to help us see that we have an illness. I mean, it’s not different from being pregnant. Being pregnant is just a medical term that means someone is carrying a child within them. In a way, that just says to me that being bipolar is just a way of explaining I have two sides to me and unfortunately I never know which one is going to show up each day. I carry a brain within me who’s chemistry is a bit off.
So I guess I don’t understand … why is everyone so ashamed of that?
WHY does it bother everyone so much when someone “labels” them?
WHY is it so offensive?
HOW does calling someone bipolar or schizophrenic or diabetic or depressed have to be viewed in such a negative light?
Can’t we just be who we are and stop worrying about being called bipolar and instead start educating the world about what it really MEANS to be bipolar? Why are we fighting about a name when what we should really be doing is going out and explaining to everyone what it means to be called that name?
It’s a word. It’s an adjective. It’s a stupid way of telling someone they have a mental illness. Well I do have a mental illness, but I’m not going to sit and debate whether or not it defines me, I’m going to show the world what it means to have a mental illness and help them understand in a way that makes being called “bipolar” something we are no longer ashamed of or offended by, but a word that we are proud to be referred to as.
Does that make me a bad person? Does it make my site suck more, or less? Does it take away from what I’m trying to do?
Again, I’m not trying to offend anyone. And if I have in fact offended you I deeply apologize. But please keep in mind, I’m a person too. I have my own opinions and you have yours. I’m just trying to view my world in a positive way and not dwell on things that I am unable to change. I run a site called Ask a Bipolar because, considering how this subject is so controversial, obviously there are many people out there who need help understanding it. And I’m here to help them understand. And while everyone’s off fighting the “label,” the name of my site is drawing in those who throw that label around every day, those who don’t get what it means to be called, “bipolar,” those who type in to Google “Ask a Bipolar” and know exactly what they are looking for … a place where they can find answers about what it’s like to have bipolar disorder … and my goal is to provide them a place where they can find those answers.